Updated January 27, 2017
When planning for a normal after school day, there are many elements to consider. You know that the children in your program have been in school for six hours, and you should have an idea of the kinds of activities they've been engaged in. Chances are, lunch was the last time they ate, and an afternoon recess was the last chance they had to be in charge of their own activities. Knowing what you know now about the school-age child's developmental needs, you will realize that the plan for the afternoon needs to balance what the children have been doing in school.
Some developmental needs to consider are:
Many of the children will be hungry. It is a good idea to have a healthy snack available to them as soon as possible after they arrive. Your program philosophy will determine how snack is prepared (by adults, by children, or partially prepared but needing child assembly?), when and where it will be offered (as an ongoing option all afternoon, or only during a certain time period? In the cafeteria or in various program spaces?), and how it is served (family style or assembly line? In individual servings or from shared platters / bowls?)
Children who've been sitting for the past several hours often need to get out and move. It is very important to include outside time every day, unless the weather is extreme. Consider a balance of planned games and free time. The range of ages and temperaments amongst school age children means that some of them will need some structure throughout the day, while others will flourish with very few boundaries.
This depends on the age and temperament of each individual child. For those who have struggled to follow directions and do their own work all day, you will need to provide comfortable places and plenty of time to hang out with friends. For others, a quiet place to be alone will be perfect after a day of being surrounded by other people.