At one point and time “after school activities” were firmly divided between belonging to a school-sponsored activity and the unscheduled free time that kids were left with. In this current era though parents are continually worried over the future of their children and as a result tend to take the inclusion of after-school activities to extremes. Keeping your child busy with an after school activity is a bonus that isn’t to be taken lightly. It is however important to balance the time they spend at activities in such a way that they’re still allotted time to study, have fun, and of course, to rest.
After school activities can be designed to improve a child’s education and still allow them to have fun. For children still in middle school and younger the focus needs to remain on having a good time. Fun is still a large part of their life. The inclusion of stressors such as padding a college resume need to be put on hold. As imparted by Kimball (2016) some parents go too far in scheduling activities and don’t think about the undue wear and tear they’re placing on their children. After all, after school activities are meant to be a choice, not a mandatory requirement.
A Parent’s Guide to Choosing Fun and Educational After School Activities
So far as the activities are concerned, there are a great number of things that kids can do, both school-sponsored and on their own time. The activity needs to be made to fit their grade level, but there is virtually no reason why children of all ages can’t engage in some type of activity after school. Here are just a few ideas of what you can do:
1) Join a club.
There are literally hundreds of clubs that kids can join whether they are part of their school or not. The main goal of a club aside from its purpose is to help kids socialize and build a network of friends and acquaintances in order to keep them active.
2) Get them into sports.
Aside from the social aspect, sports can teach kids the value of setting goals and what it takes to achieve them. This becomes valuable as they continue to grow and learn.
3) Encourage them to volunteer their time.
Volunteer work is just for adults and college students. Teens and even younger kids can be exposed to the rewarding experience of helping others. This can provide them with a sense of empathy for others that can help them grow as individuals later on.
The truth about after-school activities is that it doesn’t really matter what children do or why. The chance to get out, meet others, and learn valuable life lessons in a fun and engaging way is a great method for keeping a kid active. Just remember to keep a healthy balance between activities, school, and personal life and any kid will have the chance to grow into a well-rounded individual.
Kimball, Harry. “Finding the Balance With After-School Activities.” Child Mind Institute. 2016. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.