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Wondering how to keep your child engaged after she returns from school? Try these fun and educational activities

Kevin Doyle Kevin Doyle 6 Mins Read

Kevin Doyle Kevin Doyle


There's no better way for a child to build up essential skills than through entertaining and fun after-school activities that incorporate learning

Primary to Pre-teen
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Wondering how to keep your child engaged after she returns from school? Try these fun and educational activities

There's no better way for a child to build up essential skills than through entertaining and fun after-school activities that incorporate learning. Depending on where you live, you can find after-school activities such as martial arts, dance, music, games, cooking, and so on.

Nowadays, in almost every city or town, there is a wide range of after-school activities for kids. Here are a few ideas from which you can choose one according to your child's interest.

After-school activities for kids

1. Games and sports

Sports is the perfect choice if your child is a bit of a live wire, and has a competitive streak. While getting a good workout, your child will also:

  • Learn about teamwork
  • Develop fine and gross motor skills
  • Establish a healthy attitude towards exercise

After-school activities to consider

  • Individual sports like tennis, swimming, gymnastics, and martial arts
  • Team games like basketball, volleyball, or football
  • Fun fitness activities like wall-climbing, indoor trampolining, or roller skating

2. Art and craft activities

Got a kid who is always drawing on the walls or cutting up your important documents to make something? Art classes can be a very good way to channel his creativity. While expressing himself, he'll also:

  • Become more imaginative
  • Focus better
  • Learn about color and composition

Try to look for the following after-school classes for your child

  • Painting, drawing, or any other art class
  • Photography
  • Ceramics or sculpting

3. Drama programs

If you have a child who likes to express herself with song, dance, or poetry, then look for after-school performing arts classes. If she takes up a performing arts activity, you'll notice she:

  • Expresses emotions better and is more empathetic
  • Develops positive practice habits
  • Works better as a part of a group
  • Confidently address an audience

Classes you could possibly explore

  • Music or dance lessons
  • Acting or drama classes
  • Creative arts
  • Music workshops

4. Learning Activities for STEM kids

If your child knows more about your smartphone than you do, or when she explains the latest technological development with ease, then it's worth finding after-school classes or groups that focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) activities. Whether it's a coding class or a computer club, it's not only fun but a good way to make your child future-ready.

Besides after-school activities, there are also educational toys that will encourage a love for STEM in younger children.

Clubs that encourage STEM can help your child

  • Use critical thinking
  • Master technical and digital competency
  • Develop the necessary patience to stick with a problem

Your young Einstein might enjoy:

  • Coding classes
  • Computer classes
  • Robotics

5. Programs

Along with good education, the activities children do outside of school also play a major role in moulding them into well-rounded individuals.

Here are a few after-school programs, participating in which can be beneficial for your child

  • Volunteering for projects like animal care, cleaning the beach, saving wildlife, planting trees, and so on.
  • Doing community service like feeding the poor, donating gifts to orphans, visiting old age homes, and so on
  • Making field trips to places like the fire station, farms, farmer's markets, library, museums, and so on.
  • Engaging in art and craft activities like making handicrafts, learning to draw and paint, making stuffed toys, and so on.

6. Club activities ideas

Clubs are not only a place to meet and socialize but also where learning happens in an informal and relaxed manner. For example, becoming a member of a:

  • Phonics and reading clubs can encourage the habit of reading, which is a must to expand your child's knowledge base. And, learning phonics would also increase your child's ability to understand and speak a language in a better manner.
  • Eco clubs can help your child learn what is affecting the environment and help in protecting nature.
  • Photography clubs can bring out the artistic side in your child.
  • Science clubs can help your child understand why and how of things happening around him.

How to pick after-school activities for kids

1. Look at your child's interests

Make a list of the after-school programs available near your house. Then, find out from your child what he or she is interested in. If you pick an activity that your child is interested in, he's more likely to stick to it, and of course, more likely to enjoy it.

2. Don't overlook unique or seemingly mismatched activities

It's important to not overlook unique hobbies and seemingly mismatched activities, for example, a shy child might enjoy (and benefit from) drama classes while a fidgety kid with an energy overload might appreciate the focus and discipline of an activity like a martial art.

3. Don't push your child unnecessarily

It's important to not push your child to do anything she doesn't want to do. If you always wanted to ride a horse as a child, it doesn't mean your child wants to do the same. And, don't make the mistake of filling up your child's calendar. It can become overwhelming and end up with her not wanting to do anything.

4. Visit your local activity centers

If you have the time, try to visit the selected center with your child while a class is in session. Your child will get an idea of the class and make up his mind to participate or not. Most places offer free trials.

What to look for in after-school activities

There are a few things to look for when it comes to after-school programs and activity centers. Obviously, it depends on the activity, but we recommend also checking the following:

  • The teacher-child ratio should be 1:12. If the children are younger, then 1:10 is a good ratio
  • Space should be safe and age-appropriate. This is especially important for children who are in kindergarten. Is there enough equipment and is it well organized? Are the children supervised and are they safe from sexual abuse?
  • Check if the staff are qualified to teach what they're teaching and don't be shy to ask for references
  • Are there any additional or "hidden" costs? You do not want to keep shelling out money and burn a hole in your pocket

After-school activities for children entertain, educate, and keep them out of trouble. What more can worried parents of bored children ask for?

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