- 35 educational and fun after-school activities for your little ones
- How to choose appropriate extracurricular activities
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Extracurricular activities are vital to a child's physical and mental development. Additionally, research shows that well-designed after-school programs canimprove children's social skills, school attendance and school performance.
After-school programs are beneficial for young and older children. These activities will keep your energetic child busy and tiring for a restful sleep. Plus, older children can stay on track and avoid bad company by participating in skill-based activities.
After school, several courses, activities and learning programs are available. You should choose an appropriate activity based on your child's age and interests. The activity must be fun, but build the foundation for school.
As a reference for parents, we present the top 35after school activities for kidsof all ages.
Related reading: Extracurricular activities and their benefits for students
35 educational and fun after-school activities for your little ones
Typically, children spend the whole day at school, which leaves them less time to play. So instead of overwhelming your child with too many extracurricular activities, why not choose an activity - based on your child's grade and interests - that can both entertain and educate your child.
Because middle and high school students talk a lot about their interests, this article focuses on kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school students.
So read on to find the best after-school programs to develop a new skill in your child.
Related reading: Fun free games for kids to play online
The best extracurricular activities for kindergarten kids
Kindergarten children are little energy balls. You are curious and always ready to discover new things. In addition, the kindergarten classes are shorter, so the children have a lot of free time at home.
So before your child turns your house upside down, you can sign them up for the following activities:
1. Online educational games
Materials required: SplashLearn-App
capabilities: math and reading
Does your child like to play with their cell phone? Then you can download the free SplashLearn app and leave it to your childplay educational games. SplashLearn has manymath gamesereading gamesfor children from kindergarten to fifth grade. With animations, stories and learning curves, thisBrain games for kidsdevelop their academic skills.
Related reading: Brain boosting memory games for kids to enhance learning
2. Treasure hunters in the park
Materials required: Small toy
capabilities: Tactical and engine
After school, you can take your child to a local park and put away some of their favorite toys like a car, stuffed animal, etc. things. Be careful not to hide toys so far that your child cannot be seen. Suchconcentration gameswill also help them have a great time!
3. Recycle crayons
Materials required: Broken crayons, various plastic shapes
capabilities: Matching colors and shapes
Ask your kids to collect all the broken crayons and color coordinate them. Then you can melt broken crayons and pour the mixture into various shaped molds to harden. Kids will be mesmerized watching the crayons melt and form different shapes as they learn about themshapes through games.
4. Colored popsicles
Materials required: Food coloring and flavorings
capabilities: Color recognition and taste recognition
Sensory development in young children is crucial. So you can make a colorful popsicle with your children after school and train their senses. To make popsicles, you can use food coloring and different flavors like orange, grape, etc.
5. Draw an object
Required material:Any junk items such as broken toys or paper plates
Pick a random item from the trash, e.g. E.g. paper plates, cans or broken toys. Then have your child paint and brush to turn that item into something fun. It's a messy activity but a great one to keep the kids happy. This will help the kindergarten childrenIdentify objects by color.
Materials required: Anything
capabilities: counting, combining and observing
You can also schedule an activity while driving to/from your child's school. For example, you could choose a random object, say a tree, and ask your child to count all the trees that come home from school. Again, this is a simple learning activity to improve your child's observation skills.
7. Paint a sidewalk
Materials required: colored chalk
capabilities: Motor coordination and eye-hand
Does your child like to draw on the living room walls? In this case, you can get your child some colored crayons and go outside to paint the sidewalks. This activity can stimulate your child's interest in art from an early age.
Related reading: The best online art games for kids for fun and creativity
8. Word Tree
Materials required: Dry sheets, markers, double-sided tape, cardboard sheet
capabilities: Alphabets and Numbers
Take your kids to a park and let them collect dry leaves. After that, write an alphabet or number on each sheet and stick tape on the back. Then put a sheet of cardboard in your room and tell your child to find it on the leaves and glue it to the sheet. This works outMake gardening a fun activity with the kids.
9. Bring Calmante
Materials required: Empty bottles, glitter, soaps, watercolors
You can make soothing bottles with your kids to relax them. Simply add water, glitter, paint and soap to an empty jar. Tighten the lid of the jar and let your child shake the jar when they feel restless after a long day at school.
10. Dance your heart out
Materials required: Children's music playlist
capabilities: Physical and bodily balance
The easiest kindergarten activity is to choose yoursChild's favorite song to dance toand explode on your living room TV. This dance session will be exciting for the children. This activity can tire your child and can be used as atraining for children.
11. Chasing bubbles
Materials required: soap, glycerin, straw
You can make homemade bubbles using dish soap, glycerin, and trash straws. Then let your children chase colorful soap bubbles and laugh through the house.
12. Friends of Stone
Materials required: pebbles, watercolours
Ask your kid to pick pebbles from the street and paint them different colors. You can also draw faces on the rocks. These pebbles can become your child's friend to share happy and sad movements. Also, it can evoke emotions in your little kids.
Related reading: Best outdoor games for kids of all ages
The best activities for preschoolers after school
After school preschool activities should be simple and engaging. It's hard to hold the attention of preschoolers for a long time. So, you should choose some fun activities to improve your preschooler's attention span and teach him new skills. Here are some of the best activities for preschoolers to do at home:
13. Foam item no
Materials required: Shaving foam, watercolors, sheets of paper
capabilities: Color recognition and sensors
This is an artistic and sensory activity for preschoolers. Just put shaving cream on a piece of paper and let your child draw something on the foam. Then place another sheet of paper over the foam and all the colors will transfer to it. This creates a cool foam image. ThisPainting ideas for childrenit will definitely be great fun for them!
14. Tell me a story
Materials required: A glass, paper, pencil
That is aLight activity for preschool kidswhere you can just create small pieces of paper and write random words like blue, rainbow and so on on them. Then put all the cards in a jar and let your kids get a card every day after school. Then they have to make up an imaginary story using the word mentioned on the sheet. It's a great way to improve your kids' imagination and storytelling.
15. Sort the color of your room
Materials required: Anything
Parents will love this activity. Not only will it teach kids the names of different colors, but also how to organize their rooms. For example, you can ask your kids to put all the one-colored items in their room in one place. Your kids can learn to clean the room and color names.
16. Swimming with dinosaurs
Materials required: Children's pool
capabilities: arm strength
Is it about 50° outside? Here's how you can get the kids' pool out of your garage and fill it with water bubbles for your kids to play in.
Materials required: Cooking set for children
capabilities: Roast meat
Order a children's candy kit for your preschooler and let them prepare delicious treats for them. This activity can help you bond with your child and instill your passion for cooking. Baking, which is a science, will also help you understand proportions, accurate measurements, and why certain chemical combinations produce certain results.
18th fashion show
Materials required: Your wardrobe
capabilities: tightening, colors and engine
Are you blessed with energetic children? In this case, you can open her wardrobe and let her create an amazing fashion show. It may mess up your wardrobe, but it will enhance your kids' creative ability, imagination, confidence and self-esteem, so you can create fond memories with your little ones, which is certainly worth it.
19. Plant a seed
Materials required: A vase of flowers, a seed
You can give your child a vase of flowers and a flower seed. Then you can teach them how to sow a seed and feed it to make it grow into a blooming flower. With this activity, your child can learn to care for others. You can teach them how flowers bloom after good care.
Related reading: How to make camp experiences fun and enriching for kids
20. Cabbage Trial
Materials required: food coloring, water, empty bottle, cabbage leaves
This fun extracurricular activity can turn your preschooler into a little scientist. For this activity, add different food coloring to pots filled with water and place a cabbage leaf on top. This experiment shows your child how leaves absorb water.
21. Rainbow Brot
Materials required: bread slices, food coloring
capabilities: color recognition
Sometimes it's okay to let your kids handle their food. For example, you can give your preschoolers a slice of bread and some food coloring to make a rainbow colored lunch box bun.
22. Wheat Tone
Materials required: flour, food coloring
Playing with clay improves your child's hand and finger position. So instead of buying clay from the store, you can use whole wheat flour and food coloring to make clay at home. Just knead the dough with different food coloring and let your little packets make clay toys.
23. Build a fortress
Materials required: bed sheets, home textiles
After school, you can build a fortress out of sheets in your living room and let your child nap in it. You can decorate the fortress with various home accessories such as tea lights, plants or your child's favorite toys. This activity is the best way to wind down your little one for a short nap.
24. Sing a song
Materials required: Anything
Does your child have trouble speaking words? If so, involve them in activities that allow them to speak more. Of course, singing along with your child is the best activity in this situation. Without realizing it, your kids can learn to say difficult words by singing rhyming songs with you. Sing with your child for a few minutes after school; who knows, you might be holding the next American Idol in your hands right now.
The best extracurricular activities for elementary school students
Elementary school students are more mature and understanding than preschool and kindergarten children. You can try more advanced activities with elementary school students to develop their academic skills. At this age, your child can also tell you what extracurricular activities they are most excited about.
Some of the best extracurricular activities for elementary school students are listed here.
25. Teach your brothers
Materials required: Anything
You can guide your elementary school students through their younger siblings' homework. This can help them review their own lessons and bond with their siblings. In addition, you will also get free time to relax.
Materials required: socks, buttons, yarn
You can help your childCreate a sock puppetwith cute buttons and colorful yarn. Then your kids can perform their special puppet show and develop their stage skills at festivals or family dinners.
27. Covered sack race
Materials required: old bags
capabilities: Physical strength and competitiveness
You can invite your kids' friends over to your backyard for a fun sack race after school. Grab some snacks and organize a fun sack race competition at your home.
28. Make your own ice cream
Materials required: Ice cubes, zippers, milk, sugar and all ice cream flavors
Taking your kids out for ice cream after school is the best way to reward them. But you can turn ice cream into a fun activity by showing your kid how to make ice cream in a ziplock using some ice cubes and a mixture of half and half and sugar.
29. Plan a movie night
Materials required: SameAnimated film for children, Snacks
capabilities: planning and responsibility
Give your child the responsibility of planning a family movie night. Let them choosefamous children's filmand snacks for fun family time. This can make your child responsible and teach them to be responsive to other people's needs.
30. Read a story
Materials required: Good children's books
Elementary school students have an advanced level of reading. You can read all big words. Then you can ask your child to read a new bedtime story every night. This can help youimprove your child's reading skills.
31. Dried leaves and flowers
Materials required: leaves, flowers, salt, airtight jar
here is another oneScience experiment for kidsto develop your interest in science. You can show your child how salt absorbs moisture and creates dry leaves. Simply place fallen leaves and flowers in a salt jar. The salt will absorb all the moisture within a few days, making it dry.
Related reading: The best science kits for kids that will make your child love science
32. Pajama Parties
Materials required: pajamas, sleeping bags, junk food
Encourage your children to organize a sleepover with friends. This activity increases social skills and develops sharing habits among primary school attendees.
33. Plant seal
Materials required: Various vegetables such as okra or cauliflower, watercolors
capabilities: Creativity and Botany
Kids will have so much fun seeing how they can create awesome prints by dipping vegetables like okra in color.
Materials required: Colored paper, safety scissors
capabilities: Hand an
Elementary school students are old enough to use scissors. So you can enroll your kids in online origami classes to learn how to make cool things with paper.
Related reading: The best 10 minute crafts for kids to do at home
Materials required: Calligraphy books
You can order some calligraphy books to help your kid develop beautiful writing skills to excel in school.
How to choose appropriate extracurricular activities
Any type of extracurricular activity is important for improving your child's academic skills and can even teach a new art form. You can develop many hands-on skills in your child by using the right after-school activity ideas.
When choosing the best activities, simply consider your child's age and passion. Also, don't forget to votefun activities for kids.
There you have already explored thirty-five of the best after-school activities for kids. So choose the right one and keep your child busy after school.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are extracurricular activities for?
After-school programs can help children and youth develop socially, emotionally, cognitively, and academically, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and create a safe and supportive environment.
Why should schools offer more extracurricular activities?
Consistent participation in after-school programs has reduced dropout rates and helped close performance gaps for low-income students. Regular participation in after-school programs can also help older youth reduce risky behaviors and build academic and work skills.
Should extracurricular programs be mandatory?
Extracurricular activities for childrenlike language leagues, sports and many others should be mandatory as they all offer excellent opportunities to interact with others and improve your social skills. When applying for a job in the real world, networking is more important than your grade point average.
How Many Extracurriculars Should You Do? Strong applications tend to have between 8 and 10 extracurricular activities. This sounds like a lot, but many activities are seasonal, so it's possible to fit, for example, three to four sports into one year.Is 5 extracurriculars good? ›
How Many “Normal” Activities Should Students Have? The Goldilocks “just right” number of activities is 5 or 6. This is a good amount because it's achievable for most students without being overwhelming.What are the ideas for extracurricular activities for kids? ›
Popular activities include sports, scouts, art, theater, music, and community service. Many children also join school-affiliated organizations (like student council), competitive academic clubs (like Model U.N. or math club), and affinity groups that help connect kids with shared identities.How many extracurriculars should a 12 year old have? ›
Children should not have activities every day of the week. Many people agree that three is a good maximum. If a child is at that maximum and wants to add a new activity, then ensure that they drop one.Do you need 10 extracurriculars? ›
Do I need ten extracurricular activities? No. Just because there are ten blank spaces and filling in each one is as inexplicably satisfying as finishing a plate of meatloaf you didn't even want, it does not mean that you should participate in more activities to fill out all ten spaces.What is considered weak extracurriculars? ›
The most common “weak” extracurricular profile is simply one that is nonexistent, or bare-bones. Admissions officers want to accept students who will be involved in the campus community, and a student who has no extracurriculars, or only a couple casual involvements, is not a desirable candidate.How many hours of extracurriculars is too much? ›
No One-Size-Fits-All Answer
In reality, only six percent of teens meet the definition of “overscheduled,” spending 20 or more hours a week in extracurriculars, according to research from Yale University. Five to seven hours per week is the average. But how much your teen can handle is a personal matter.
While grades and test scores are important, colleges also want to see the person you're becoming and the skills you've learned outside of class. They want to know what makes you unique, and the extracurricular activities you participate in will help you stand out.Is it OK to have no extracurriculars? ›
It's possible to get into college without extracurriculars, especially when applying to non-selective schools with an open admissions policy where the only requirement is a high school diploma or an equivalent. Some high school students think that they have no extracurriculars when they really have.What activities do children enjoy? ›
- Making playthings from household items.
- Bubble socks.
- Build a den.
- Ice finds.
- Water painting.
- Drawing with chalk.
- Drawing outdoors.
- Scavenger hunt.
Fosters time-management skills
Fink has found that getting involved in extracurriculars can also help teach the kids time management. “Sometimes a kid wants to do a lot of different things, and it may look like too much to us,” she says. “I think there's some value in letting them try it and see how it goes.
Extracurriculars help to develop positive habits for better early development of a child. In addition, some extracurricular activities can set a pathway for the general health and well-being of a child to carry along throughout their lives, such as: Time management skills. Community development.Is 4 extracurriculars good? ›
Ideally, you should pick two to three areas of interest (in case some don't pan out, there are couple of backups) and make long-term commitments (three to four years) in three to five extracurricular activities. Development of leadership skills in your extracurricular activities is essential.Is 11th grade too late for extracurriculars? ›
If you are well into your senior year of high school, it might be too late to pursue extracurriculars for college application purposes, but it's never too late to develop new hobbies and foster new passions.How many extracurricular activities should an 8 year old have? ›
Your 8-year-old now
But there are so many options out there, it can be hard to decide what to sign up for. Don't overbook. Most kids this age do best with no more than three extracurricular activities: One social (like scouting), one athletic (soccer), one artistic (piano lessons or painting).
- Volunteer in your community. Many students embrace volunteering as a way to show dedication to their community on their college applications. ...
- Volunteer online. ...
- Jobs count as extracurriculars, too! ...
- Pursue a passion project.
Putting your most important activities first is the way to go. This may flow in something close to a reverse chronological order since the activities that most demonstrate your passion, leadership, and abilities are likely ones that you stuck with over the years.Does the order of your activities list matter? ›
Short answer: it doesn't matter.What is a Tier 1 extracurricular activities? ›
TIER 1: In Tier 1 extracurriculars, a student has participated in an activity at the (inter)national level, or attended a prestigious enrichment program. These types of activities demand a very large time commitment from the student, so we only expect ONE Tier 1 activity from a student.What do good extracurriculars look like? ›
Academic Activities: Examples include quiz bowl, debate, model United Nations, pre-college programs, study abroad programs, and mock trial. These activities demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning beyond the classroom and an interest in furthering your education.
There is no formula for gaining admission to Harvard. Academic accomplishment in high school is important, but the Admissions Committee also considers many other criteria, such as community involvement, leadership and distinction in extracurricular activities, and personal qualities and character.How many activities is too many for kids? ›
There's no magic number of activities. For some kids, even one intense activity like sports or theater might turn out to be too many. Other kids can handle several without getting stressed. Check in with your child to see how they feel about their balance of activities.When should you quit extracurricular activities? ›
When each activity starts to take up substantially more of your schedule, the total time commitment can become overwhelming. At this point, it may be time to consider quitting one or more activities in order to focus on others. Another important reason you might quit an activity is for your personal health.Can extracurriculars make up for bad grades? ›
Use Extracurricular Activities to Bridge the Gap
They give weight to any application and they will become even more important if you're trying to make up for bad grades. Consider volunteering, tutoring students in studies you excel in, joining clubs, participating in sports, and more.
Your junior year grades are essential: it's the grade a college will look at most, along with your senior year. Your grades predetermine your academic performance for your final year. Your GPA and the “sturdiness” of it matters.Do colleges look at 9th grade? ›
Pretty much every college will see your teen's grades from the first year of high school as part of their transcript review. Even universities that emphasizes tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade grades when they evaluate applicants for admission will still see ninth grade marks on transcripts.What percentage of high school students participate in extracurricular activities? ›
Nationally, 83 percent of all children age 6 to 17 participated in at least one extracurricular activity, including clubs, sports, or lessons.Do companies care about extracurriculars? ›
Aside from being able to show your individuality and display your interests proudly, extracurricular activities can give recruiters an idea of skills and personal qualities that can be an asset to their companies. An extensive list of extracurricular activities in your resume may be tantamount to a feather in your cap.Can you get into Ivy League without extracurriculars? ›
Ivy Leagues are not looking for applicants who have participated in dozens of extracurriculars, and they discourage dabbling in many activities. They prefer you dig deep into a subject, dedicate significant time to it, and use this experience to help the school propel you into a world-changing career.Is Kumon an extracurricular activity? ›
Bonus – The Kumon Math and Reading Program
It's also a program that helps many students gain time management skills which allows them to focus on their extracurricular skills that they're passionate about in addition to their school work.
While laughter is the expression of the joy of a child, we can assure you that your company, your attention, respect, confidence, and security, is what propitiates the real happiness of a child, since they feel loved and accepted.What extracurricular activities boost confidence? ›
But extracurricular activities are a great way for kids to focus on their strengths and passions instead. These activities can build up a child's confidence. They can help kids improve their social skills, develop their interests, and inspire them to try new things.Do extracurricular activities in school matter? ›
Extracurricular activities provide a channel for reinforcing the lessons learned in the classroom, offering students the opportunity to apply academic skills in a real-world context, and are thus considered part of a well-rounded education.How much do parents spend on extracurricular activities? ›
On average parents spend 10-25% of their money on extracurriculars for their children. Here are some great tips we discussed on Fox 4 with Lauren Przybyl. Watch the video below to learn how to lower extracurricular costs without letting your kids lose out!Why do kids need activities? ›
Extracurricular activities help kids develop the social skills that they will need as adults. They provide opportunities for leadership, cooperation, and peer interaction.How do extracurricular activities help social skills? ›
There is strong evidence that extracurricular activities increase self-esteem and positive social behaviors among children and adolescents1, 2, 3. Extracurricular activities are also a suggested strategy to increase social support systems, develop social skills and relationships, and enhance neighborhood cohesion4, 5.What are Tier 3 extracurricular activities? ›
Tier III: Tier III activities are low-level leadership positions at a local school level (e.g. Treasurer of Spanish Club, Vice President of ASB, Assistant Production Head for Theater Group, etc.)Which schools care most about extracurriculars? ›
Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, and Yale indicate ECs are very important. Brown, Barnard (Columbia), and UPenn indicate ECs are important. No Ivy indicates they are not considered. The main takeaway is all Ivys consider them in the college admissions process.Do extracurriculars affect GPA? ›
While extracurriculars land on the middle rung of the importance ladder and cannot substitute for good grades and solid test scores, several studies indicate that students who participate in extracurriculars have better attendance, achieve higher SAT scores, and have higher GPAs than students who opt out of after- ...Do colleges look at 11th grade? ›
Most college admissions committees consider your 11th-grade transcript to be the most important. Because students typically apply during senior year, it's the last full year of records colleges will see, although many colleges also ask for a transcript of your first-semester senior year courses.
Pre-high school accomplishments are really not relevant to the college admissions process. Admissions officers are focusing on what you did in 9th through 12th grade. In general, they do not care to see what you did before you started high school.Do colleges care about freshman year extracurriculars? ›
So, do colleges care about freshman year? The short answer is yes. Colleges want to see how much progress you've made throughout your high school career. They also want to see how much you've been willing to challenge yourself — both academically and in terms of extracurricular involvement.Is 5 extracurriculars too much? ›
Children should not have activities every day of the week. Many people agree that three is a good maximum. If a child is at that maximum and wants to add a new activity, then ensure that they drop one. Build in space for downtime.How many extracurricular should you have? ›
Ideally, you should pick two to three areas of interest (in case some don't pan out, there are couple of backups) and make long-term commitments (three to four years) in three to five extracurricular activities. Development of leadership skills in your extracurricular activities is essential.How many extracurriculars do you need for Ivy? ›
How Many Extracurricular Activities Do Ivy Leagues Want? For most students, two or three extracurricular activities is manageable while balancing a full course load, depending on the commitment involved in each.Can I get into college with few extracurriculars? ›
Extracurricular activities are not the most important factor in a college application. Coursework and GPA, for instance, bear more weight. However, this is not to say that extracurriculars have little or no impact on the admissions decision a student ultimately receives.What is considered a good extracurricular? ›
Academic Activities: Examples include quiz bowl, debate, model United Nations, pre-college programs, study abroad programs, and mock trial. These activities demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning beyond the classroom and an interest in furthering your education.How much do extracurriculars really matter? ›
Participating in extracurricular activities like clubs, sports, or a job can foster new interests and help you discover more about yourself. Admissions committees also review the extra-academic activities listed on your college application to help decide whether to give you an offer of admission.What if you have more than 10 extracurriculars? ›
Don't worry if you have more than 10 activities you want the admission counselors to know about. Many colleges allow you to upload a full extracurricular resume as part of your application. Alternatively, you may be able to find ways to reference additional extracurriculars in your supplemental essays.What is a good extracurricular for Harvard? ›
The “Creative and Performing Arts” extracurriculars at Harvard range from musical groups (a cappella, orchestras, big band jazz ensembles, etc.) to theater and film groups. Harvard even has a few improv comedy clubs on campus. These groups each put on multiple performances throughout the academic year.
What Extracurricular Activities Does Harvard Look for? There are no particularly “best extracurricular activities for ivy league applications”. It could be anything from creative writing to swimming to theatrics to cooking to cinematography, as long as it shows some exceptional talent.Can you get into Ivy League with C's? ›
Since all Ivys use a holistic approach to admitting students, it's entirely possible that someone with a good reason could get admitted with a C or multiple Cs.Can I get into Harvard with no extracurriculars? ›
Extracurricular activities are an essential part of the application process for students hoping to get into Harvard. Harvard is looking for students who are more than just academic achievers. They seek outgoing leaders who can positively impact their campus and the world.How many activities is too much for kids? ›
There's no magic number of activities. For some kids, even one intense activity like sports or theater might turn out to be too many. Other kids can handle several without getting stressed. Check in with your child to see how they feel about their balance of activities.