Where to Find After-School Activities for Your Child

Do you know where to look for after-school activities for your child?

For children today, there are many after-school activities to choose from: sports, music, dance, scouting, and much more. No matter what your child may be interested in, there’s probably a program nearby to accommodate their interests.

Finding that program, however, may be harder than it sounds. Here are some placed to look for after-school programs for your child.

School

If you’re looking for an after-school program, one of your first considerations should be the proximity of the activity to the school. A program close to school will make it easier for you to get your child from school to the activity and home afterward. Obviously, you want to save as much time and gas money as you can while allowing your child to participate.

The first place you should check is your child’s school. Many schools, especially private schools, offer after-school activity programs. If your child participates in sports, for example, the practices are usually held after school. This makes it convenient for both you and your child.

Even if your school doesn’t offer the kind of program you are looking for, you may get some questions answered by knowledgeable staff members. Teachers or activity directors may know about local programs that are close to the school.

The local PTA or parent’s club may be an excellent resource for finding activities. Sharing resources and ideas with other parents will open up a world of opportunities for your child.

Community Centers

Your city or town may have a community center, parks and recreation department, or recreation center. No matter what it’s called by, it can be a great source of ideas. Usually operated by the city, community centers offer classes, organized events, and meeting facilities for hobby groups. Call your city government to find out where your local community center is.

Community Colleges

Many community colleges offer extended education programs for members of the community. Many of these classes and activities are geared specifically for younger children. Call your local community college to find out about offerings and schedules.

Church Youth Groups

Many churches offer youth group activities on a weekly or monthly basis. Not only will participating in a youth group build social skills, it may be a good opportunity to experience a lot of different activities. An active youth group may go camping, skiing, fishing, paintballing, or any other imaginable activity. Exposure to many different things allows your child to make more informed choices.

Community Organization

Many community-based organizations offer a program of activities for children. Most communities have a YMCA, a 4-H program, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts or similar programs. Call these groups individually to find out about their programs.

Newspapers

Your local newspaper may publish a list of clubs and social groups. A quick call to the number published will put you in contact with the leader who can answer your questions about the activity and the appropriateness for your child.

Even if the newspaper does not publish a list of groups, you can usually find advertising for any number of programs and activities. Look in the local, community, education, or family section for the most related ads.

Home

After-school activities don’t necessarily need to take place outside of the home. You can create your own program for your child. Arts and crafts or hobby activities work in this format. You might even get together with other parents to offer the activity on a rotating basis, so one parent doesn’t have the burden of setup and cleanup every time.

When looking for an after-school activity, there are many resources in your community. Your city or town may have all of these or many more. Asking questions of other parents will usually help you find out about quality programs in your area. And you should always have your eyes and ears open for new ideas – you never know when they will present themselves.

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