What is After School Program and it’s Benefits
Have you been looking for a reliable platform for your child’s after-school hours? Off-course, every parent wants to ensure effective utilization of time for their kids.
So what can be the best move, as a parent, to lead your child on the road of success?
Well, that’s a highly asked question these days and the good news is that you are just close to finding an answer to your query.
YES! An after-school program loaded with enrichment activities for kids that will be the best choice to make your child’s after-school hours worthwhile.
Sounds good? Let’s proceed!
What is an After School Program?
An after-school program comprises of various structured activities. Such activities are intended for multifold purposes, ranging from academic support and teamwork to developing advanced social skills among children and youth.
Such programs focus mainly on personality development, creativity, mentorship, confidence building, leadership skills, robotics, coding, mental math and the list goes on. With the advancing time, these skills are becoming crucial to an individual’s success in their personal, social, and professional life.
High academic achievements definitely fascinate everyone. But, a quality academic record without essential soft-skills may result in a compromised career for your child.
An after-school program provides a substantial platform to develop such high yielding skills among kids and youth of various age groups.
Why to Choose an After-School Program
A study at the University of California, Irvine, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Policy Studies Associates, Inc. found that participation in a quality after-school program leads to a significant gain in test scores and work habits. It also reduces behavioral problems among students.
A recent survey by After School Alliance states that Hispanic parents admit, benefits of after-school programs extend from allowing them to keep their jobs by 87%, keeping their kids safe by 74%, increase learning opportunities by 73%, and increase physical activities by 78% among other benefits.
YMCA of the USA, America’s teens survey states that teens not participating in after-school programs are three times more likely to skip classes than participating teens. They are three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, drink, smoke and engage in sexual activity.
A survey by Policy Studies Associates states that Parents in New York City said, their child’s after-school program helped in balancing work and family life, 60% said they missed less work than before because of program and 59% said it supported them a lot in keeping their jobs.
Qualities of an Effective Program
An after-school program must aim at generating positive outcomes of the activities being organized. The program should be designed productively to make every second count.
The program must have some particular features to make it as effective as possible. Some of the features of a quality after-school program are mentioned here. Implementation of such qualities in the program will turn it to be worthwhile.
- Development of significant relationship among children and adult mentors
- Provision of an environment that favors strong social skills
- Developing a sense of self-worth among children to enhance their self-esteem
- Promoting inter-cultural harmony among the youth
- Providing freedom with minimal strictness to let kids explore their potentials
- Developing critical thinking and problem-solving skills among kids
- Arranging captivating activities to make kids love the learning process
- Developing team working capabilities and leadership skills among children
- Provision of academic support to children when needed
- Evolve creativity among children to make them think out of the box
List of After-School Activities for Kids
Kids love to learn, what fascinates them. Hence, the program head must focus on selecting the kind of activities that engage the child. This practice will lead to more promising outcomes.
Here is a list of some of the activities that a child can opt for, at an after-school program:
Activities for Toddlers
- Finger painting: Finger painting aids in child’s development. It helps the body and brain integrate information. Finger painting is a relaxing and creative way to express feelings. Your kid can learn finger painting online on skillshare.
- Turning old items into a decoration piece: This is a fine way of productive recycling where your child will learn, how to make the best use of apparently useless items. You can get more recycling project ideas at redtricycle.
- Make fun objects with china clay: Kids always love to mould clay in a playful manner. This develops a sense of creativity among them as they design various arts using colorful clay combinations. Youtube is the best source of your kids to learn this creative art.
- Arrange a lunch together: Food helps in bringing people together, school’s food programs make your child feel more connected to school. It supports healthy eating habits among the kids.
- Visit a nearby zoo: Visiting a zoo, is something that’s always exciting for the kids. A research by University of Warwick states that trip around the zoo provided significant increase in scientific learning about animals and habitats. Supplementing zoo visits by educational presentation by zoo staff this enhanced learning almost double than self-guided visits.
- Painting & Sketching: Painting & sketching are the most loved activities among children. Research shows that art activities are important for brain development among children. Such activities help them to learn through their senses. This playlist has lots of painting ideas for your kids.
- Making a colorful calendar: Such an activity helps kids, learn about days, dates, months and years. By adding various colors to important dates exhibiting certain events makes them memorize these events well.
- Play word guessing games: Where word guessing games are a fun activities for kids, they also make them more curious. Such games aid in enhancement of vocabulary among children which helps them throughout their lives.
⇒ STEM Education ⇐
Activities for Kids
- Designing school-themed crafts: This activity makes your child develop more interest towards his school. Such crafts can be used to display in school for decoration purpose to encourage the kids effort. School themed crafts ideas can be found here.
- Illustrating a story: Illustrating stories is a highly entertaining activity particularly for teens. Following various stories and illustrating them visually through actions, enhances learning process of teens.
- Academic help for fellows: Students often need academic help at various moments. In an after-school program, there should be a time for academic activities where students can seek help from each other.
- Play Cards: Playing cards is way more than a game. This not only promotes socialization among individuals but also makes their mind sharp. Want to learn how to play cards? You can watch it here.
- Play chess: Chess is a board game based on strategy. Playing chess develops analytical capabilities among individuals as they develop various strategies to beat the opponent. This video tutorial will teach you, how to play chess.
- Educational and informative trips: The benefits of educational trips are numerous. Such trips are an exciting way of inculcating students with immense information about various domains. This also helps them learn History and Geography.
- Writing a creative story: Writing creative stories is trending these days. This activity is a fine way of developing creativity among individuals. This also helps them in learning vocabulary and languages.
- Cultural activities: Cultural Activities help in bringing various cultures together. This leads to an inter-cultural harmony among the attendees. Such activities promote a sense of unity in diversity.
- STEAM activities: STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) activities played an important role in developing critical thinking and problem solving skills by working on real life problems.
Activities for Adolescents
- Visiting tourism spots: Visiting a tourism spot is always an exciting opportunity for youth. This lets them explore new horizons and enjoy in groups. For such an activity, it is good to consider some spots and ask for the interest of attendees to finalize the destination.
- Healthy games as Soccer, Basketball, Cricket: Such games are a great way to learn teamwork and play strategically in groups. These games also make the participants physically active and healthy.
- Martial Arts: Young individuals love going for martial arts. Its not only a healthy activity but makes individuals learn self-defense and become more strong. This quick guide can help you learn martial arts.
- Go on a hike to some nearby trails: Hiking is a great way to enhance health status of an individuals. Particularly for young individuals, hiking to some nearby trails not only makes them healthy and fit but also reduces stress.
- Book reading challenge: A famous quote says “Readers are leaders”. Research says that regular reading enhances brain connectivity, vocabulary & comprehension. This tends to reduce stress and contributes to longer life.
- Volunteer work for community: Such an activity leads to development of humanity among youth. This makes them more generous to the society and helps them learn being a fruitful component of the community.
- Make informative quizzes: Quizzes not only enhance knowledge, but they help in developing thinking abilities too. Quizzes with limited time to answer makes them more sharp and critical thinker.
- Yoga exercise: The benefits of Yoga exercises can never be denied. Yoga exercises are great way of physical & mental relaxation among youth. This leads to releasing stress and making them more productive in their active hours.
- Calisthenics: Calisthenics is the new trend among youth to develop a healthy and strong body. Calisthenics comprise of activities, that lead to developing a strong body and become enduring to hard circumstances. Here is a list of best calisthenics exercises as a beginner.
- Robotics: Reports shows that an estimated 20 million jobs will be taken over by robots by 2030. Those who remain necessary to the workforce in that predicted future will either be the developers of these robots, or people skilled enough to work alongside them. So how do you prepare your kids for the future of robotics? That’s why teaching robotics is important for the bright future of your kids.
- Coding: Coding is not only the best tool to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills to kids, but it is also among the highly paid jobs.
- Mental Math: Math is the core of all the advancement in the world and mostly kids do not enjoy it because they think its boring because of the teaching style. Mental Math is the fun and interactive way of teaching math to the kids to boost their problem solving skills
The list goes on. You can find more and more activities based on the interest of attendees. What matters is to ensure maximum engagement in the program to generate promising outcomes.
Benefits of an After-School Program
Through various aspects, after-school programs tend to equip children, teens, and youth with high yield skills of the future. This turns out to be a sure way of ensuring a promising future for them.
Some of the worth mentioning benefits of a quality after-school program are described below:
Productive Time Utilization
No one can deny the importance of time. A famous proverb says time is money. Hence, productive utilization of time is crucial to make the most out of every second. After-school programs are a sure way of productive time utilization. Instead of wasting their time in useless, harmful activities, children get to spend it on productive learning.
After-school programs provide an adequate platform for kids, teens, and youth to develop advanced social skills. Attendees get to socialize with their fellows, communicate with them, and learn to work together. This makes them more open to society and provides them a way to work in groups effectively. Interacting with friends and doing teamwork not only makes them more social, but efficient too.
An after-school program provides academic support to the children regarding their homework. Many students fail to get a favorable environment at home to get their homework done. Similarly, many students face issues in revising whatever they learned at school. After-school programs assist them in such a situation as they can learn from the teachers, mentors, or their fellows. This enhances their learning process as they find academic support at every needed step.
Learning with Fun
Learning is way more important than remembering a few topics or reading course books. Kids get more engaged in learning when they find it more fun. Most after-school programs ensure a stress-free environment for the attendees. Such a pleasant atmosphere full of creative fun activities for kids makes their learning a fun experience. Kids love this kind of fun learning process outside school hours, as they don’t have to worry about tests and exams.
Confidence is the key to success.
Many kids fail to develop strong self-confidence during their early school life. This is usually because of a strict environment, fear of failure, peer pressure, and lack of expression. For such students, after-school activities can be the best way to develop strong self-confidence. At after-school programs, children find a platform with no fear of failure, judgment, and no race of grades. Such programs provide them a chance to get engaged in fun activities with their friends. By playing their role in various activities, children begin to develop confidence over their potentials and capabilities.
Children consider after-school time as leisure time, to relieve after hectic school routine. Lack of supervision during this after-school time may result in their involvement in unproductive activities. To prevent such mishaps, an after-school program is the best choice to let your child enjoy in a productive supervised manner. This mainly relieves parents as they know their children are under safe supervision. Hence, such parents can focus on their jobs or business setup instead of worrying about their children.
After-school programs focus on developing essential traits, potentials, and skills among kids, teens, and youth, which lead to the development of a strong personality. Such individuals stand out in society with a worthwhile attitude and magnificent capabilities. Because, the time spent in an after-school program enhances their value through social as well as professional perspectives. These individuals tend to become successful in every aspect of their lives, with their luminary personality.
An after-school program can be the best choice you will ever make for your child. Such a platform will be a good source of evolving creative potentials among children and teens. This ensures productive utilization of time and equips them with high yielding professional skills of the future.