While after-school activities provide your child with an opportunity to relieve stress and have fun after the school day has ended, they do more than that. Participating in after-school activities not only lowers your child’s risk of becoming depressed or engaging in risky behaviors, participation can also improve your child’s attitude about learning, increase her academic performance and raise her self-esteem, according to Scholastic.com.
After-school programs provide a safe haven for children after the school day has come to a close. You can ask your child’s teacher or contact your school district administration office to see if your child’s school offers an extended-day program. While there is usually a fee required for enrollment, the cost is likely worth it. Enrolling your child in an after-school program can help him stay out of trouble and provide an opportunity for your child to explore his interests and get the support he needs, according to FamilyEducation.com. For families who need childcare after school, extended-day programs tend to provide consistent and dependable child care.
Arranging for your child to play with a friend after the school day ends may bring a huge smile to her face. Playdates can be at your home, at the friend’s home or at a local venue like the library, playground or community center. Playing with friends after school allows your child to develop deeper relationships and to work on her social skills. When having a playdate at home, consider the children’s age and interests to gauge how involved you should be. Preparing a snack for elementary-schoolers and setting up a craft project for them to do may be appreciated. If your child is older and is in middle school, she and her friend may prefer to grab their own snack and head off into her room to chat and play without you.
Choosing an extracurricular activity for your child can be fairly easy if you consider his interests. There are a host of extracurricular activities to choose from, so you are likely to find something for your child to participate in that he will enjoy. Activities range from team sports, like soccer and basketball, to individual sports like figure skating or running. Martial arts classes, dance classes, tennis lessons, cooking classes and swim classes can be found in most communities. Your local YMCA, community center, recreation center, Boys & Girls Club and place of worship are places that may host extracurricular activities. Private local businesses, like dance and martial arts studios, may also offer age-appropriate classes.