Find after-school activities that are perfect for your child

After school activities are the perfect way to encourage your child to develop new talents, get regular exercise or practice lifelong skills such as focus and teamwork.

Many schools offer an excellent range of clubs and teams that your child can join, but there are also activities offered at community and recreation centres, and independent lessons and classes to check out. No matter your child’s personality and abilities, there is sure to be an activity (or two or three!) out there that will be a great fit.

Sports teams

Sports are a go-to after school activity for kids of all ages. Many schools organize teams and leagues for football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer and more. Talk with your child to see which option they have the most interest in and which is the best fit for them. There is usually a fee to join a team, and an investment in equipment, but extra-curricular sports feature great benefits for growing kids that far outweigh the cost. All group sports help kids focus on teamwork and communication, build their focus and concentration, and strengthen their stamina and motor skills. Individual sports give children an opportunity to get highly in tune with themselves and take on a challenge.

Drama

For kids who are less eager to get out on the sports field, a more artistic activity may pique their interest. A drama club may be the perfect pick for children who have an outgoing personality and flair for performance. For kids who are a bit shy or quiet, drama may help them find their voice and build confidence in their interactions with others.

Music

If your child has a natural love for music, joining a school’s music classes or glee club can be a great way for them to build their appreciation of this art form. Not only will learning to play an instrument be a skill that they will enjoy for the rest of their lives, but this activity is ideal for kids who need to work on focus and discipline. Developing a knowledge of making music takes plenty of time and careful practice, but the rewards can feel wonderful, teaching kids the value of hard work.

Reading, writing and photography

Encourage a lifelong love of words in your child by helping them get involved in a reading club or helping with the school newspaper. A command of language will serve them well throughout their lives, and tackling a challenging reading list or crafting articles, poems or short stories help them to finesse this skill. For little shutterbugs, taking pictures for the newspaper or yearbook lets them develop their talents as they socialize and get to interact with other students.

Beyond school

If your school doesn’t offer any extra-curricular activities that resonate with your kids, there’s no need to worry. Check out recreation and community centres to see if they offer youth swimming or skating classes, or if they organize sports teams as well. Dance studios often offer beginner lessons in ballet, hip hop, and jazz for little dancers to start with. Investigate local options to see if there are acting or singing lessons that your little one can start with if they have a passion to become a performer when they grow up. These classes may give them a jumpstart if they decide to pursue their dreams in these areas, and if not, they are a great exercise to build confidence. For young animal lovers, horseback riding lessons can be a splurge, but are a great way to teach kids responsibility for their actions, focus and confidence.