Afterschool at Home

Welcome to Hudson Bluehawk Nation Afterschool at Home! Here are some fun “afterschool” activities you and your family can do at home (organized by category).

Artful & Food, Foil & Fabric

Bread Painting

Energy level: Low

Here’s an activity that is not only fun to do but good to eat. Bread painting can transform any everyday sandwich into a work of art using materials found in almost any kitchen.

Equipment: Two slices of white bread for each player, assorted food colorings, two quarts of milk (for 5-6 players), a paper cup for each player, a new paint brush for each player or a supply of cotton-tipped swabs, and a toaster


  1. Supply players with several paper cups filled with small amounts of milk. Add a little food coloring to each cup of milk. Give each player two slices of bread.
  2. Players should use new brushes or cotton-tipped swabs to apply the milk paint. To keep the colors bright, tell the players to keep brushes separate and not mix colors.
  3. This is a good project to try experimenting with different painting styles. Try scribbling a design with one colors, then brush stripes of another color at right angles to create a plaid pattern. Draw pictures of stars or rainbows or just cover the bread with multi-colored dots. Be careful not to get the bread too soaked with milk.
  4. Dry the bread painting in a toaster set for light toast. When everyone has finished making edible art, other transformations will happen with each bite.

Mutual Monsters

Energy level: Low

What would happen if we could switch heads, torsos or legs with other people? We’d come up with some strange combinations, prepare yourself because here we go!

Equipment: A sheet of any standard-sized paper for each player, a pencil, a crayon or a felt-tipped marker for each player


  1. Give each player a piece of paper and a pencil. Have everyone fold the paper into thirds.
  2. On the top third of the paper, each player is to draw the head of a person, an animal or a made-up creature, continuing the lines of the neck a little bit past the fold. Then, players are to fold back the tops so that the pictures are not visible.
  3. Each person then passes their sheet to a neighbor who is to draw a torso and arms in the middle third without looking at the head drawn on the top third. The lines again should be extended slightly beyond the fold. Once again papers are folded so that the pictures cannot be seen and then passed along.
  4. The last player connecting the lines adds legs on the bottom of the paper.
  5. When all the players have finished drawing, the sheets are unfolded and shown to everyone.

Ripped Puzzles

Energy level: Low

What a delight! It’s OK to tear the paper!

Equipment: A sheet of paper and pencil for each player


  1. Keep everyone seated in the usual places, pass out the paper and a pencil to each player.
  2. Each person must make a drawing, keeping it hidden from the other players. Have players make their pictures as complicated as they can with lots of details covering the entire surface.
  3. When all are finished drawing, have them tear their pictures into an agreed upon number of pieces (30-40 is plenty). The number depends on the size of the paper but don’t make the pieces unreasonably small.
  4. Everyone passes their puzzle to another player who tries to assemble it. The first player to finish gets a ripping round of applause!


Energy level: Low

Our imaginations are always working to organize and structure the world, even if no structure exists. We look up at the clouds and see faces take form in their billowy masses. We look down at a crack in the sidewalk and find the shapes of animals and monsters. This activity is another challenge for our ingenuity.

Equipment: A sheet of standard-sized paper and a pencil, for each player


  1. Keep everyone seated in the usual places. Pass out a sheet of paper and a pencil to each player.
  2. The object of this game is to turn the most pointless scribble into something recognizable. Each person draws a simple scribble on the paper and passes it to a neighbor.
  3. Now everyone must make this new scribble part of a drawing of a recognizable object or scene.
  4. After everyone has finished, have the players try to pick out the original scribbles. The one with the most ingeniously disguised scribble gets the “Scribble of the Year Award.”

Cooperative Challenges

The Great Escape

Energy level: Low

This exercise can bring about some lively conversation/ It can be used as a tool in working toward improvisations, decision making and creativity.

The group is told they are trapped in a hut in the middle of a large forest, food is pretty much gone and to stay there would probably mean that they would perish. To reach safety, they will need to overcome the following obstacles:

  1. Break out of the thick walled hut
  2. A 20-foot smooth barricade
  3. Negotiate an intense barbed wire fence
  4. Cross a treacherous murky river
  5. Travel through an entangled deep tropical forest
  6. A malarial swamp

The group is to decide what three (3) things would be most useful to their escape. They will have nothing else at their disposal. The group cannot use things like helicopters or magical devices like laser guns.

Partner Games

Me Switch

Energy level: High

First, you must master the game’s three signals:

  1. Hands angled above the eyebrows
  2. One hand pointed up and the other sideways, touching the opposite elbow
  3. Both hands crossed in front of the chest

One player starts by saying, “Me, switch!” At the word switch, snap into one of the three signals. The object is for the caller to trap their opponent into making the same signal they did.

If there’s no match, switch roles and whoever was the non-caller immediately starts the next round with, “Me, switch!” Each player snaps into one of the signals again and the call keeps alternating until there is a match. Three matches by one player wins.

This game is best played ultra-fast, with each “Me, switch!” coming right after the other. It quickly becomes such an eyeball-to-eyeball psych out showdown!


*These activities are from Escapades (TaliCor, copyright 1996)