After-school activities can provide enriching new experiences for children and give them something to look forward to during the week. There are many options to keep children busy with activities that teach them new skills and help them explore their interests.
At Kids Club HQ, we let you organize fun activities while we take care of the details with our hassle-free out-of-school club admin system.
In this article, we’ll give you ideas for fun after-school activities for kids and why these activities are so important for a child’s development.
Why after-school activities are important
After-school activities encourage further learning outside of the classroom with no underlying pressure to perform or be assessed on performance. This comes with several benefits for little ones which we’ll discuss below.
- Builds confidence: When children are able to identify an activity that they can excel at and even enjoy, their confidence levels increase. After-school activities facilitate social and emotional learning, which enable children to build a higher sense of self-worth as they set and achieve their personal goals, collaborate with their peers, and become responsible for making their own decisions. The confidence boost is more pronounced if children previously thought that they weren’t good at anything or experienced a particularly challenging time in the classroom.
- Improve academic performance: Studies have shown that children who take part in afterschool activities have improved academic performance with improved overall test scores. After-school activities lead to improved attention and concentration in class as well as participation in class discussions as their confidence improves.
- Develop friendships: Some kids find it difficult to make friends in school because of social anxiety, learning difficulties that may lead to them being more reserved, or worse, if they’ve been bullied. With after-school activities, children are able to develop friendships based on mutual interests outside of the classroom. This kind of social interaction in a more relaxed environment can make children feel like they “belong”, which can lead to lifelong friendships.
Learn new skills/ experiences: After-school activities teach children new skills and create a wider range of life experiences than those gained at school and home. They can develop positive hobbies that they can carry into adulthood, which lay a strong foundation for good life skills, like discipline and perseverance.
After-school activities help reduce the stress and tensions of regular classroom expectations and can be a great opportunity for children to learn how to regulate their emotions depending on the type of activities they do. They can also be done during holidays when there’s no school. There are also plenty of resources to help you get started with quick and easy activities.
10 after-school activities for kids
Below are different physical, creative, and intellectual activities that you can offer to kids.
Physical after-school activities
Physical activities help children engage their bodies in a healthy and balanced way. Here are two types of physical activities to consider.
- Sports: you can offer different types of sporting activities which may not be available at school. Specialized sporting activities like mini golf, badminton, gymnastics, or judo are physical activities that can be enjoyed from a very young age. Playing sports helps children to develop and improve their cognitive skills early on and can even be taken up professionally if they’re talented.
- Dance: dance is a fun and energetic way to get the body moving. From tap dance, modern dance, and ballet, children will learn endurance, physical and mental agility, and improved coordination. The sense of achievement that comes with mastering a dance routine and performing in front of an audience boosts confidence and creates memorable experiences.
Creative after-school activities
Creative activities encourage children to use their imaginations and express their creativity in a positive and wholesome way. Here are a few creative activities to try:
- Painting: painting is a relaxing way to express ideas and emotions. Exploring colors and creating aesthetically pleasing works can help children get in touch with their creative side. When done from early childhood, it helps improve fine motor skills and builds cognitive memory by learning movements used in brush techniques to create certain types of art. As they grow, painting helps them relieve stress and practice mindfulness. You can start with sponge painting for little ones and move on to brushes for older children.
- Pottery: Apart from the pride of being able to create something with your own hands, pottery is relaxing. It encourages the development of sensory and motor skills, as well as hand-eye coordination. It’s also a fun way to teach children about history and culture since pottery has been around for thousands of years.
- Learn musical instruments: the beauty of being able to understand and play music is unparalleled. For children, it also helps with accelerated brain development as they memorize and replay notes, improves discipline and concentration, and helps them learn to process multiple things at once.
- Performing arts: you can have a drama club where you teach little kids how to act and perform in plays in front of an audience. They’ll love the costumes and getting to explore different characters. In this way, it can help build empathy, as kids will be delving into all sorts of different characters and exploring the emotions those characters feel during certain scenarios. Plus, it can be a great way to get more reserved kids out of their shell, by building confidence and reducing anxiety.
Intellectual afterschool activities
- Learn a foreign language: learning another language helps expose children to other cultures, and it gives them an opportunity to widen their worldview. Children who are proficient in other languages exhibit signs of enhanced creativity and mental flexibility. Children tend to pick up languages much quicker than adults too, so it’s best to start them early!
- Play chess: chess significantly improves children’s visual memory and attention span. Chess can even be played socially at home with other siblings or used as a way to bond with parents. Children can also test their skills by playing competitively in tournaments.
- Solving puzzles: Puzzles are one of the ways to enhance problem-solving skills in early childhood development. They help improve memory and concentration as well as social development as they learn to share and collaborate with others.
- Science experiments: science helps children gain a better understanding of the world they live in and how to solve problems. It keeps them curious and encourages them to develop an innovative spirit.
Visit the Kids Club HQ articles for more ways to help brilliant kids excel. If you run your own after-school program, we’ll help you by taking care of the admin like invoicing, managing contracts, and sending important reminders to parents.