How to Find the Right After School Activities For Your Child

by SPARK


Studies frequently show that children involved in after school activities experience a wide-range of social and developmental benefits. For instance, KidsHealth reports that after school activities could help children to achieve better grades and higher school attendance. What’s more, introducing advantageous hobbies into your child’s routine can help them to learn the value of time management, and teach them how to overcome the difficult emotions involved with winning and losing. In other words, children may learn the skills they need to cope in the real world, in their after school classes.

after school activities

Of course, with countless different after school activities to choose from, finding the perfect fit for your child can be a complicated task. At a basic level, it means understanding the temperament, interests, and schedule of your child. However, keep in mind that regardless of their level of interest, different activities may require some trial and error before you find the ideal option. Following, we’ll cover some tips that could help you enroll your child into an activity that builds their skills, ignites their passions, and nourishes their growth.

1. Start Slowly

It can be tempting to enroll a child into numerous activities at once. After all, this way, if they want to drop one option, they’ve still got plenty of other classes to choose from. However, it’s often much better to start off slowly, introducing your youngster to a single activity and seeing how they react.

Too many activities at once, and your child may feel stressed, and exhausted, causing them to withdraw from friends and family. Too few activities, and your child will feel bored, irritable and under stimulated. Finding the right balance between too much and too little will be a personalized journey for yourself and your child, as some are capable of more activities than others.

2. Consider Your Child’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Remember that no two children are the same — each has different needs, interests, and skills that will all become crucial in choosing the correct after school activity. Take the time to think about the areas in which your child excels, and the places where they may struggle, then create a list of after school options based on this information.

During this time, try to make sure that you don’t impose your own interests and dreams onto your child. Just because you always wanted to be a star footballer doesn’t mean your son or daughter will feel the same way. Keep in mind that it’s worth considering not only your child’s current interests, but their future goals too. The right after school activities can help to give your children crucial life skills that will enrich their lives for years.

3. Ask About Your Child’s Interests

If you’re having trouble deciding which activities will best stimulate and engage your child — ask them what they enjoy doing, or which skills they’d like to build upon. When making a short list of activities to consider, don’t be afraid to involve your child in the brainstorming process — they may surprise you with ideas you would never have thought of alone.

Make sure that you’re clear with your children about the commitment involved in choosing an after school program — particularly if they’re interested in options that have enrollment fees or costs for equipment.

4.  Consider Your Child’s Temperament

Before you enroll your child in group sports and activities, you may need to think about their temperament. For example, some children naturally get along well with others, while others prefer to spend time in their own company.

If a child who prefers engaging in structured play never has time to be alone, they may get bored and frustrated very quickly. On the other hand, keep in mind that introducing your child to occasional interaction with other children could help to boost their confidence in social situations, and improve their group skills.

5. Think about Your Child’s Schedule – and Your Own

Finally, when choosing an after-school activity, make sure you consider the time it runs, as there’s little point in enrolling your child to a class you won’t be available to get them to.

At the same time, think about your child’s schedule — as children of certain ages will have different commitments that too many after school activities could impact.

Encourage Your Child – No Matter What

Remember, even if your child is excited to join an after school team at first, there’s always a chance that they could lose interest, or want to quit. Although children should be encouraged to stick to an activity for a reasonable amount of time — to ensure they don’t simply need time to get used to it, your child should also feel free to leave a group they genuinely don’t enjoy. As mentioned before, finding the perfect after school activity may involve some experimentation.

How did you choose extracurricular activities for your children? What extracurricular activities do your kids love most?

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