What Are Some after School Activities?

K T Solis

Parents who want to keep their kids busy in the afternoons may want to consider signing their children up for after school activities. In today's world, there is an after school activity designed for just about every type of interest or hobby. Many after school events are sponsored by public libraries or youth community centers, so these activities are often available to children free of charge or at a discounted price.

After school activities may include dances.
After school activities may include dances.

If parents have children who love to dance, they should consider signing them up for dance classes. In most average-sized cities, parents can locate dance schools that offer a variety of dance styles for prospective students. Whether a child wants to study ballet, hip-hop, jazz, tap, flamenco, Irish step dancing, folk dancing, or belly dancing, it's often possible to find a school that offers that particular type of dance.

Many kids participate in sports, like soccer, after school.
Many kids participate in sports, like soccer, after school.

Even some community centers offer dance classes to students at a low price. On the other hand, if a child wants to seriously study a dance form, it's often best to enroll the child in a traditional dance studio. Tuition prices vary according to each dance school. After school activities that highlight dance are a good way for kids to get some exercise and study an art form at the same time.

Joining a field hockey team is a great after school activity.
Joining a field hockey team is a great after school activity.

Kids who love sports can find various after school activities that satisfy the need to run, jump, or throw a ball. Most middle and high schools have sports teams in which kids can participate. Many areas operate youth sports programs for local kids that are in elementary school.

At some schools, ice hockey is an after school activity.
At some schools, ice hockey is an after school activity.

Little League Baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, ice skating, or cheerleading are popular choices for kids who love sports. Some areas may even offer ice hockey teams for kids to join. If parents have children who enjoy gymnastics, they can even locate a local gymnastics school so that kids can learn to tumble.

While youth hockey can be expensive, it can be a great way for children to get exercise and be part of a team.
While youth hockey can be expensive, it can be a great way for children to get exercise and be part of a team.

Perhaps a child is interested in after school events that involve drama. With a bit of investigation, parents can locate youth drama groups that teach kids about the art of theater. Kids learn all aspects of drama, learning how to act and build scenery. They learn the behind-the-scenes jobs of putting on a play as well. Many youth drama classes provide performance opportunities, allowing kids to showcase what they have learned to friends, families, and members of the local community.

Families might go for a picnic after school.
Families might go for a picnic after school.

If a family has a budding Picasso in the home, after school activities involving art are a useful way to satisfy a child's need to create. Some schools offer after school art clubs, but if no art clubs are available, a parent may elect to enroll her child in an independent art workshop. These workshops are often offered by local art schools that give classes to the public. Kids can learn to paint, sculpt, or sketch. Some schools may even offer classes in animation or graphic design.

Playing basketball, alone or with others, is a great after school activity.
Playing basketball, alone or with others, is a great after school activity.

Children who like music may be happy taking singing lessons or learning to play an instrument. Some areas even offer workshops that teach kids and teens how to play in a rock band. Whether a child joins a local kids' choir or learns to play the guitar, these types of after school events are ideal for kids who love music.

Kids might enjoy planting flowers in the garden after school.
Kids might enjoy planting flowers in the garden after school.

It's important that parents explore the after school opportunities available in their local communities in order to find activities that appeal to their children's particular tastes and needs. Not every after school activity is right for a particular child. Children have diverse interests and need to find an activity they will enjoy.

Football is a popular after school activity.
Football is a popular after school activity.
Baking with a parent is something children can do after school.
Baking with a parent is something children can do after school.
Little League baseball is a popular after school sport.
Little League baseball is a popular after school sport.
After school programs are usually hosted by local libraries.
After school programs are usually hosted by local libraries.
Cheerleading is an after school activity.
Cheerleading is an after school activity.
Hanging out and watching a movie is a popular after school activity.
Hanging out and watching a movie is a popular after school activity.
Guitar lessons may be a good after-school activity.
Guitar lessons may be a good after-school activity.
Many children enjoy playing video games after school.
Many children enjoy playing video games after school.
Gymnastics and dance classes are favorite excurricular activities.
Gymnastics and dance classes are favorite excurricular activities.
Choir might be an extracurricular activity.
Choir might be an extracurricular activity.
Kids may be interested in performing in a local theater production.
Kids may be interested in performing in a local theater production.
Teens with a new car may spend time after school working to make sure their vehicle looks nice.
Teens with a new car may spend time after school working to make sure their vehicle looks nice.
Ice skating may be a fun after school activity.
Ice skating may be a fun after school activity.
Softball is a popular after school activity for children who like sports.
Softball is a popular after school activity for children who like sports.

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Discussion Comments

anon310656

Look, I am not a mother. I'm an almost-to-be teen who finds this article interesting. Yes, I would love to find something that suits me, something to do after school. But I find myself here on my bed bored because all my life I have tried almost everything!

I've tried sports, karate, clubs, art, naturalist, dance, swimming, babysitting, choir, musical instruments, etc. All of them just made me bored or tired. The only thing that keeps me entertained is reading, talking, and even enjoying some time with my friends.

Even so, I engulf myself in words so much that I finish books too fast. My friends have their lives as well and have their own things to do. I love to help as well. I love helping and giving people, but I don't want to join some community effort or something.

I have so many plans for the future and know what to major in. But I don't know what to do now in my life. So I'm asking, what else is there to do?

ProudMom2

Thank you so much for the advice on finding activities for children. My daughter was pestering me to register her in dance classes. I hated to disappoint her, but the dance academies were just too expensive. So I looked into our City’s website, like you suggested, and found they offer all types of dance styles at different locations around the valley. I saved so much money and even enrolled her in an art class as well. Noelani was ecstatic when I presented her leotard and ballet slippers and told her the first class is next week. I am the ‘hero’ mom again and I owe it all to you. Thanks again!!

LivHappyr

Schools are putting more emphasis on test scores to increase government funding. This is achieved by cutting out or decreasing active and creative programs; they are failing to fill these young spongy minds with creativity and activity. Extra-curricular means exactly that, “extra” learning. And with the introduction of new video games and internet social sites at home, kids are less likely to express interest in outside activities. I believe in the old saying, ‘idle time is the devil’s workshop'.

As parents, it is our job to expose our kids to outside activities like sports, art, clubs, music, dance, etc.. The benefits of a child participating in activities outside school walls will be reflected in their health, mind and self confidence (maybe even study habits and grades). Do not wait to receive flyers from school, not all organizations can afford mass advertisements and they are usually handed out last minute. Do look up local government programs, they are often less expensive. Ask children what interests them and research, research, research to find an affordable and comfortable facility. Good luck and stay healthy!

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