Kids deserve to keep having fun with their friend after school is over. Especially when their young, they need constant interaction and peer support for social development. Some kids are shy, and that’s totally fine, but they should still be involved. One of the best ways to encourage this is by finding after school activities that are actually fun. The more fun they are having, the less likely they are to feel that stress and anxiety!
Although finding these kinds of activities may seem like a hassle, it doesn’t have to be. We’re here to help!
Are After School Activities Good for You and How do They Help?
Before we get into the list of 20 after school activities that are actually fun, it’s important to address a few things. One of them being, are after school activities good for you? After school activities provide a wide variety of benefits for kids of all ages. We’re focusing on elementary aged kiddos in this article, but the benefits apply to everyone!
Benefits of after school activities
- Enhances social abilities
- Increases self esteem
- Leads to friendship building
- Keeps kids active after school
- Helps children get over their fears
- Encourages teamwork in many of the activities
- Leads to the discovery of new talents and passions
How Many Extra Curricular Activities do Kids Need?
One more vital piece of info here folks! A popular question parents ask themselves is “how many extracurricular activities do my kids need?”. This truly varies child to child. Some kids have a plethora of energy and are very outgoing. These kids could benefit from multiple activities throughout the week. Other kids are more reserved, shy, or introverted and that’s totally fine! They may be better suited for one or two after school activities.
It really comes down to your kids but finding after school activities that are actually fun can increase the likelihood that they’ll want to do more than one!
20 After School Activities that are Actually Fun
Alright alright, you’ve waited long enough. Let’s get into this list of our personal favorite 20 after school activities that are actually fun!
- Enroll them in dance lessons – competitive or for skill!
- Take them to a trampoline park where they can practice their tumbling!
- Find an after-school reading program for them
- Enroll them into gymnastics classes
- Find a local after school sports camp
- Ask them if there’s any sport they want to get involved in at the school
- Take them to an art studio where they can paint their own canvas
- Set up an after-school scavenger hunt for them
- Allow them and their friends to build rocket ships out of old cardboard boxes
- Take them to the local animal shelter to play with the pups and cats
- Find a local rock-climbing gym that offers lessons
- Take them on an after-school field trip to the zoo
- Visit an aquarium
- Have them watch an educational movie and set up the living room area like a theatre
- Enroll them in better babysitting classes
- Go on a hike with them
- Sign them up for music lessons or singing lessons
- Take them to an after school mini golf session or to an arcade
- Find a center that offers after school care where they can play games and hangout with their friends
- Let them build an obstacle course in the backyard and invite their friends over for a play date!
How to Keep Kids Safe During Afterschool Activities
We wanted to include a section here about something we know parents worry about, especially today. Ensuring your kids are safe at all times is something every guardian wants to do. The last thing we want it to pick up an injured child or wonder where they are. There are so many ways to combat that, whether through the school or safety protocols you instill in your child. Let’s talk about it!
There is a plethora of after school activities that are not held at your house. These are often group activities, like a school sport, karate, an after-school club, etc. Essentially, it’s anything that’s not run by you and that you won’t be there for. This is where parents get nervous because they have to continue to put their trust in the people running these programs. Now, although these kinds of programs are created with safety in mind and we are confident your kiddos are perfectly safe, there are some things you can do to add an extra layer of protection!
- Make sure your kids know how to speak up for themselves. Sometimes, in after school activities like sports, kids may be scared to try something new, or they may need a break. If this is a brand-new activity, they may also be scared to speak up for a wide variety of reasons. Teach your kiddos that it’s okay to speak up for themselves and explain to them that it can even protect them.
- Make sure they have a way to reach you if need be. This may be through them having a cell phone if they’re of age. It could also mean ensuring that whoever is running the program has your contact info as well as 2 backup contact persons.
- Instill good listening skills in your kiddo. One of the primary reasons kids do get hurt in afterschool activities is due to them not listening to instructions set by the coach or person running the show. Teach your kids the value or staying quiet when someone of authority is speaking so that they hear what rules to follow.
There are quite literally hundreds of after school activities that kids could engage in. Some activities are at school or at local community centers, others are at-home activities to keep them busy! These 20 after school activities that are actually fun will keep your kiddos happy while ensure they’re still learning something!
Before You Go!
Make sure you check out our explore page and these additional resources to find more after school activities that are actually fun!