Beyond sports: Activities for children after school

Lifestyle Wednesday 03/August/2016 18:53 PM
By: Times News Service
Beyond sports: Activities for children after school

From soccer to lacrosse, sports are what most parents initially think about when considering extra-curricular activities for their children. However, today’s schools and communities understand there’s a need for diverse after school options that challenge kids in a variety of ways. While participating in sports can have many benefits, to raise a well-rounded child it’s important to consider other after school activities that help them to develop different skill sets, says Ellen Marks, educational expert and curriculum director at Bricks 4 Kidz in the US. “Introducing a variety of activities helps children have many experiences so they can discover their natural talents as well as improve areas where they may struggle.” These extra-curricular activities are guaranteed to broaden your children’s horizons and provide them with plenty of fun and education.
Nature: Because we live in such a digitised world, many school systems are now offering nature-based programmes that teach important science and biology skills while instilling respect for Mother Nature. Check out these types of programmes at school or through your local nature centre. Scouts is another fantastic option with many nature-based activities.
Theatre: Many kids dream of becoming stars on their favourite TV shows, and theatre experience is the first step in exploring that interest. It’s not just for high school students. Acting classes, musical theatre, and play production are all great options enjoyed by students with a wide-range of abilities.
Music: Music after school activities exercise the brain in a variety of ways. Inherently creative, music is also very technical. Learning about notes, chords and music theory is mathematical in many ways. Explore choir, instrument classes and band camps to inspire your junior Mozart.
Martial arts: Taekwondo (from Korea) and Karate (from Japan) are both great options for children. Classes offer physical exercise that improve balance and stamina, but parents enjoy many of the other benefits that often come from studying martial arts, including increased focus, discipline ,and respect for others.
Cooking: With the expansive popularity of cooking shows, children have never had more interest in what goes on in the kitchen. Sign students up for cooking classes and they’ll learn proper cooking technique and whip up some tasty treats in the process. Soon enough, you may be able to hand off one meal a week to your chef-in-training.
Art: With the reality of many schools reducing or cutting art programmes, exploring art education outside of the classroom becomes even more important. Children love to create and there are a variety of art programmes for the next Picasso or Rembrandt. Drawing programmes are wildly popular, but also consider sculpture, pottery and mixed-media classes.
Technical Clubs: Today’s youth grow up with technology, so they have a natural inclination toward any activity that incorporates it. For example, robotics clubs are popping up in elementary and middle schools across the country.