For children who aren’t intrigued by sports, it may seem like there aren’t any activities for them to participate in after school lets out, but that’s not always the case. If you can’t find these activities at school, look for them throughout the community. Here are 10 after school activities for children that don’t involve sports.
Children may have access to musical education during the school day, but have you ever looked into what’s available after school? Children interested in the arts might choose to take music lessons, join concert band, choir, show choir, jazz band, or a number of other musical groups on campus.
Music teaches children crucial concepts like creativity, self-confidence and teamwork. Taking music lessons is one of the most effective ways to teach your children about musical instruments and music theory. Techniques like the Suzuki method nurture a passion in music and aim to address a child’s character, making their musical education fun and enriching. Musical participation can be a lifelong activity and enriches the lives of many. Even if there’s no after school activities for the musician in your life, consider seeking out piano lessons or musical groups in the community.
If you’re seeking a program that will put children on the path toward personal growth, leadership, goal-setting, and motivation, then girl scouts and boy scouts are excellent programs to join. While these aren’t hosted through the school system, some schools allow scouts to meet somewhere on campus. If your school doesn’t, consider bringing the idea to the school board to make it easier for students to join without having to travel too far.
In these programs, students will engage in:
- Service projects
- Goal-oriented activities
- Camping trips
- And more!
All of these activities are designed to promote well-being as well as teach children leadership and teamwork skills.
3. FFA or 4-H
FFA and 4-H are similar programs run by different organizations. Each appeals to the rural community and allows children to show animals, art projects, and more at the county fair each year. But you don’t have to live on a farm to get involved! In 4-H, for instance, you can join a number of categories, such as:
- Shooting sports
- Visual arts
- Wood working
- Performing arts
- Food and nutrition
- And so much more!
Children also have opportunities for service projects, leadership roles in their club, and summer camps. Find a 4-H club near you to get involved.
Is your child a drama queen? If so, he or she might find joy in joining a drama group after school. Some schools offer drama clubs while others host plays and musicals throughout the year. For activities outside of school, check in with your local community theater to see what types of workshops and auditions are available for children.
While swimming can be a competitive sport, signing up for swimming lessons can be especially important to your child’s personal growth. Find a pool in your area, or check with your school district, to see when lessons are open.
Want to get kids moving without having to throw a ball around? Gymnastics classes at your local YMCA or gymnastics school could be the answer! If your child decides he or she enjoys it, consider signing him or her up for a team to get involved in competitive gymnastics.
Much like gymnastics and swimming, dancing can get competitive, but it doesn’t have to be! If you’re looking for a simple fun activity, look for local dance schools to see what kinds of lessons are offered, and work with your kids to find the type of dance that appeals most to them.
While reading may be seen as an individual leisure activity, there are often plenty of opportunities to join after school reading groups, such as at your local library. Libraries often host reading time, reading challenges, and fun games for children, so take a look at what yours offers.
9. Martial Arts
Martial arts can prove to be competitive, but it’s unlike most sports you’ll find offered by your school district. It’s something worth trying if your child is looking for an alternative as it teaches respect, personal growth, and self-defense.
10. Language Classes
Early childhood is the best time for a person to learn a second language. If you’re looking for an intellectual activity to immerse your child in, consider signing him or her up for foreign language courses taken after school.
Like these ideas? Talk with your school about making them after-school programs, or go out into the community to see if any of these options are available close by. If you’re a parent, talk to your children about their preferences, and give them a chance to try a little of everything. What after-school activity will you try first?