10 Enticing Activities For Afterschool Programs Loved By All
After-school programs are a fantastic resource for any family. They allow kids to go and have fun, while also growing both academically and socially. When choosing after-school program activities, aim for ones that support physical health, academic success, and social engagement
There are many options you have when choosing activities for afterschool programs, which support these factors. Some like sports will foster healthy living, like STEM activities will foster learning, and others like community service can help with social engagement.
In this article, we will cover ten different after-school program activities that both kids and organizers will love! If you want to create a stellar afterschool program, then you won’t want to miss out on these great ideas!
Play Fun Active Games with The Kids
One of the most fun things you can do is to engage kids in active games that do not necessarily require much skill or athletic ability. These will promote physical health among a majority of, if not all the kids; even those that may not be interested in traditional sports like soccer. Here are some ideas for games to play:
For students, as we mentioned this is a great way to keep up physical activity. For the people running the program, it is a great way to get the energy out of the students, helping them to calm down for less active activities later or when their parents pick them up.
Host Games for the Athletes
For the athletically inclined students, offer afterschool program activities that fit their skills too. Kids that are athletes love their sports and take any opportunity they have to play them. Make sure that the games aren’t too hard though so that others can join if they want. Some games you can play include:
- 21 (Basketball Game)
- Traditional Basketball
- Flag or Touch Football
Just like the previous section, these are great options to help students get their energy out.
Offer Non-Physical Games Too
Along with games focused on fun and physical fitness, make sure to offer nonphysical games too. This is especially important for students who may not be able to engage in the other games. For example, you could offer board games like:
Card Games Like:
- Go Fish
Or family-friendly videogames like:
- The LEGO video games
Offering diversity and inclusivity in activity choice is important. That way, no kid will feel left out. It also makes it easier on the organizers, as they have multiple games for the kids to be involved in. This will help to minimize complaints from the students over not wanting to play a particular game.
Have Toys on Hand
Make sure to have a lot of toys on hand too, especially for the younger elementary students. It is a good idea to have things like LEGOs, Kinects, dolls and dollhouses, and action figures. That way, students have an even wider variety of choices in what they can do for fun.
For students, this offers them something fun to do outside of structured games. It can also fuel creativity, as they will be able to build their own creations and make their own stories. For organizers, it allows for some time to get busy work done while the kids are distracted with the toys. Just make sure to still oversee them while catching up on that work.
Make STEM Fun
There has been a push for STEM in recent years because there is a need for more people in the field and there is growing importance regarding 21st-century skills such as technology literacy.
Since this is an after-school program though, make sure to keep it fun. One thing you can do to make STEM fun is to run simple experiments with your students. Some ideas include:
Allow the kids to participate, to increase their engagement and interest in what is happening. Also, make sure to explain why things are happening as they run the experiment.
This is great for kids because it fosters that needed interest in STEM. There are many great opportunities in this field, so creating interest at a young age can open great opportunities for them in the future. For the organizers, it is an inexpensive way to show interesting scientific concepts.
Create Opportunities in the Arts Too
Although STEM is important, allowing students to try their hand at the arts can be important too! You can allow them to paint or draw, letting their creativity flow onto the canvas. You could also host an arts and crafts hour, letting them create anything from clay statues to friendship bracelets. With modern technology, students could even create their own movies! The possibilities are endless!
The arts are important because it is, “associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.” So, it connects back to STEM, helping students see more success in this field. The world needs artists too, so sparking that interest is also important for young students. For organizers, it offers a more low-key activity for when the students need to be calmer.
Encourage Students to Read
Another academic-based activity that you can do with the kids in the afterschool program is to have them read. For younger kids, you can read to them, having them follow along. Make sure to read in an engaging way. For example, give a unique voice to each character. Another idea is to implement a reading buddies program, where an older student pairs with a younger one and they read a book together.
For the students, this will help with reading comprehension. Aside from reading comprehension, the reading buddies program can give younger students a role model and help older students develop emotional skills like patience. For the organizers, reading buddies may be particularly useful. Like our section on toys, it can give you time to catch up on other work since you are not engaging with students directly. Just make sure to still monitor the activity though.
Engage Students in Community Service Activities
When thinking of activities for afterschool programs, community service activities may not be the first thing to come to mind.
Admittedly, it would be hard to involve students in something like a beach cleanup. But there are still ways you can get students to get engaged in their community. They could send a letter to a soldier, bring in cans of food for homeless shelters, and maybe even write thank you letter to volunteers at the program.
This will instill a sense of the importance of community within the students, hopefully giving them the drive to help their community in the future. For organizers, it can be a simple way to teach kids the importance of caring for those around us, ultimately fostering a positive community in the program.
Learn About Cultures through A Pen Pal
If you want your students to learn about other cultures, taking part in a pen pal program is a great option. Depending on who their pen pal is, they can learn about another culture within or outside of the country. This cultural awareness is great for anyone to have! Having them engage with someone outside of their social circle can also plant the seeds for important social skills later in life, especially when they move out of their hometown away from those they know.
In addition to cultural awareness, it also helps to build up strong writing skills, which are especially helpful to have as the child moves up into middle and high school. For the organizers, this can be used to encourage parents to enroll their children in the program.
Have a Field Trip
For a special occasion, you could have a field trip. This could be, for example, to a local museum, aquarium, or park. This is a bit more difficult than the other activities because you will need to notify parents and get their permission.
The solution to this issue is Curacubby. With Curacubby we offer a simple communication system that easily helps teachers, organizers, and parents stay in contact with each other. Our app also offers easy access to important elements like attendance tracking and registration.
Kids will love this because it will shake up the normal after-school routine, offering something new and exciting. It is also a great way for organizers to broaden the kid’s horizons, especially if they are taken to a place like a museum.
Afterschool programs are a great place for kids to come and have fun, engage with their peers, and further their education through engaging activities. To make your afterschool program an exciting place that kids look forward to coming to, don’t forget to use some or even all of the activity ideas that we have brought up in this article!
Also, remember to use Curacubby to make things such as communication, registration, and attendance easy within your program!