Wondering how to keep your energetic little one engaged after she comes back from school? Here are some great after school activities for kids that are not only fun, but also educational.
By Kevin Doyle
There’s no better way for a child to build up essential skills than through entertaining and fun activities that incorporate learning. Depending on where you live, there are usually after-school activities, programs, lessons, classes, courses and workshops in various subjects like martial arts, dance, music, games in sports centres and academies, computer science, cooking, etc.. These should be available whether your child is a kindergartener, a pre-schooler, a middle schooler, or in elementary school.
With such a wide range of after school activities ideas available, how can you choose the best after-school activities, classes, programs, and workshops for your child, without stressing her out?
Once you’ve done a recce of the after school activities near you, 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.
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 very well appreciate the focus and discipline an activity like martial art requires.
It’ 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 children wants to do the same. And don’t make the mistake of filling your child’s calendars up too much. It can easily become overwhelming and end up with them not wanting to do anything.
If you have the time, try to visit the selected activity space after school while a class is in session. Your child will get an idea of the class and see if he wants to participate. Most places offer free trials.
There are a few things to look for when it comes to after school programs and activity centres. Obviously, it depends on the activity, but generally we recommend checking the following:
Sports is the perfect choice if your child is a bit of a live wire, and has a bit of a competitive streak.
While getting a good workout, your child will also develop certain skills including:
List of after school activities to consider:
Got a kid that’s always drawing on the walls or cutting up your important documents to make something? Art classes can be a very good way to channel children’s creativity.
While expressing themselves, they’ll also develop skills to help them:
Try to look for the following after school classes for them:
If you have a child who likes expressing herself with song, dance or poetry then look for an after school performing arts class. Also, if they enjoy music and want to learn to play an instrument, these classes will help them with children’s confidence.
If they take up a performing arts activity you’ll notice they’re able to:
Possible classes to explore include:
If your child knows more about your smartphone than you do, or if it sounds as though she’s speaking gibberish when she explains the latest technological development, 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 future-proof them for when they’re older, career-wise.
Besides after school activities, there are also educational toys that will encourage a love for all things STEM for younger children.
Clubs that encourage STEM will help your child:
Your young Einstein might enjoy:
There you have it – our best after-school activities for children that will entertain, educate and keep them out of trouble. Is there an activity you’d like to suggest?
The author is co-founder of Toys Advisors blog. He loves to learn and share about parenting and DIY.
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