Once kids start school, parents don’t just get busy helping their kids with homework and school activities, but also often think about after-school activities and which ones they should sign up their kids to.
We are sure that after-school activities are hugely beneficial to kids as they don’t just offer new skills, but uncover your child’s talents and expose children to other social groups rather than their school one. Activities after school are also a safe way to spend afternoons for busy kids or kids with working parents who are still at work (when a family member or nanny can take them there).
Well, structured activities will not only provide a safe environment with knowledgeable and supportive teachers but provide belonging and skill development for your child. Your child will also feel free to express themselves and explore their abilities in managing tasks or challenges.
With so many activities out there ranging from small to big groups, from specialised to general interest ones and requiring different costs, it is up to you to do your research, talk to your child to find out their interest and then get them to try the first class.
First classes are usually offered on a trial basis, and some operators even provide them for free. That’s when both you and your child will be able to see if the class is suitable. When choosing an activity for your child, it is essential to look at many aspects of the activity. Below we combined a list of things to watch out for when choosing an after-school activity for your child.
Follow your child’s interests:
It is important that your child actually enjoys their extracurricular activities, so make sure to talk to them and pay attention to what they enjoy. Their enthusiasm will be a massive plus for the activity once they start going there regularly. You don’t want to sign them up and pay for a term to find out they are bored after a couple of sessions.
Look outside of school:
Many schools often offer activities beyond the usual curriculum, and they usually happen during school time (lunch break). While it’s great as well, there will be lots more activity options beyond the school walls where your child will have an opportunity to meet new friends and be exposed to a new environment.
Be attentive to your child’s needs:
Some kids have lots of energy and love doing many after-school activities, while others prefer focusing on one or two activities outside their school hours. Talk to your child and find out what (and how many) activities they might want to try and if they start struggling with some, discuss why it’s happening and what can be done (and whether you need to cut back on some activities).
Structure of the activity:
When taking your child to try an activity, carefully watch how it’s planned and what the teacher is doing. Taking your child to a well-planned activity with a supportive teacher is the key to both their enjoyment and parent’s delight that their child is gaining new skills. Ask your child if they enjoyed it afterwards and if they learnt anything new.
Activities are priced differently and not every good one is priced high. If your budget is low, you can find great community-based activities which will be as great as the ones that are priced high. Do your research and chat to local community groups about what’s around and what other mums do with their kids.
Whatever you and your child choose for after-school activities, make sure they enjoy their time there while learning new skills. When they grow up, they will remember the fun they had during their childhood and the skills they gained back might just become important life-long skills they will rely on as adults.