101 after-school activities for kids (2022)


Child care101 after-school activities for kids

Whether the kids are looking to chill out or burn energy, there's an after-school activity here for everyone.

101 after-school activities for kids (1)

Kayla Mossien

101 after-school activities for kids (2)

After-school activities do wonders for a child’s development. They’re linked to improving social skills, grades, overall coordination, sense of self and relationships with adults other than their parents. Activities of all kinds can also give kids a chance to be themselves, free of the structure they face at school.

Need a little inspiration when it comes to after-school activities? Here are 101 things to do after school. The kids will thank you!

Get crafty

  1. Make school-themed crafts, like a pipe cleaner notebook or a pencil vase.
  2. Design and make friendship bracelets.

  1. Make a time capsule. Choose special things from this year, month or even just today and put them away in a shoebox to open at a future date. Include a note in the box explaining why you chose each item.
  2. Knit.
  3. Finger painting is fun at any age.
  4. Make “daisy chains” with the cutest weeds in the warmer months.
101 after-school activities for kids (3)
  1. Sew a homemade kite. Next: Make it fly!
  2. Illustrate a story.
  3. Draw a sidewalk mural. Take a photo of the best ones so you can keep track of the masterpieces.
  4. Choose an old item around the house that’s no longer useful, paint it and turn it into a decorative piece. (i.e, an old guitar that doesn’t work, a broken clock, an old water pitcher, old tires, etc.)
101 after-school activities for kids (4)
  1. Mold old crayons into cool shapes.
  2. Hammer color from leaves into paper.
  3. Make a fun calendar with colored countdowns to holidays and other exciting events. (Ex. the next family vacation, an upcoming birthday party, etc.)
  4. Get a blank picture frame (or one you’ve repainted) and glue pieces of fun all over it — buttons, miniature toys, shells, pebbles, bottle caps, anything! Then find a nice photo to put in it.
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  1. Print photos, get colored paper, glitter, markers, glue and start a scrapbook — or even just make one scrapbook page.
  2. Make and play with rainbow soap foam.
  3. Buy clay at your local craft store and mold fun toys and objects.
  4. Make sand art in a bottle with colored sand.
  5. Turn baby food jars into snow globes.
101 after-school activities for kids (6)

Play, make up or go to a game

  1. Play cards. Gin rummy never goes out of style and will help children learn numbers.
  2. Play hide-n-seek, an oldie but goodie
  3. Attend a local college or high school sporting event.
  4. Play an imaginative or “make believe” game in the backyard.
  5. Put on a puppet show. If you don’t own puppets, make some.
101 after-school activities for kids (7)
  1. Choose a theme (like pirates or cowgirls) and do your chores in character. Get imaginative! For example, pirates doing laundry would probably check the pockets for treasure.
  2. Play charades.
  3. Play dress-up and make up a story to go with your costumes.
  4. Play a word guessing game. Write out several words, movies or characters on sticky notes. Each person attaches one to their forehead (no peeking at the word!) and asks yes-or-no questions to figure out what the card says. (Ex. Am I an animal? Do I live in the jungle?)
101 after-school activities for kids (8)
  1. Pick a random item in the house, and challenge each other to create a funny, TV-style infomercial to convince you to buy it. Pretend this object is new on the market and no one has ever heard of it. It’s fun to try to “sell” a sticky note, a pair of headphones or a toaster.
  2. Play checkers or chess.
  3. Play a trivia game.
  4. Do a 3D puzzle.

Build something cool

  1. Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep a log of what types of birds pay a visit.
101 after-school activities for kids (9)
  1. Build a blanket fort.
  2. Build a treehouse.
  3. Set up an obstacle course in the backyard or living room.
  4. Draw “roads” for toy cars on butcher paper or use painter’s tape to create some on the living room floor. Grab blocks to build houses and make a whole town.
101 after-school activities for kids (10)
  1. Make fairy houses for the backyard.
  2. Take something apart, like an old appliance or electronic device (clock, remote control, etc.), and figure out how it works. Bonus: Try to put it back together!

Make some treats

  1. Put on a neighborhood bake sale.
  2. Research yummy and healthy after-school snacks, and then schedule when you’re going to make them.
  3. Watch a tutorial on how to make sushi. Then make the rolls for dinner.

  1. Whip up some homemade ice cream.
  2. Pick a “food of the week.” Incorporate that food into at least one meal every day. Make it a healthy option. Use this as an opportunity to expand a child’s palette and find new recipes for the family.
  3. Bake cookie bowls, and then serve ice cream in them while they’re warm.

  1. Make dinner together. Teach kids about measuring ingredients and choosing foods that go together to make a meal. It’s like a science lesson!

Explore and exercise

  1. Hike and explore nearby trails.
  2. Practice amateur photography. Kick it old-school and equip a budding photographer with a disposable camera and an “assignment” for the afternoon. The excitement continues when you get the roll developed and see what they came up with. (Bonus: This can parlay into another afternoon activity: making a photo collage.)
  3. Explore the nearest public or botanical gardens.
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  1. Take a trip to a free museum.
  2. Have a scavenger hunt that incorporates subjects the child is learning about in school.
  3. Take walks every Monday to make plans for the week ahead.
  4. Do kid-friendly yoga.

  1. Head to the batting cages.
  2. Become an expert at mini golf.
  3. Go rock climbing together, which helps develop endurance, balance and flexibility.
  4. Take photos of things in the park and create a collage. Do a new one every month so you can keep track of how the seasons change.
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  1. Take a tour of the neighborhood and research local historic spots.
  2. Go on a hayride during the fall.
  3. Find a song you love and choreograph a dance to go with it.
  4. Walk the dog. Don’t have one? Take the neighbor’s dog for a stroll.
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  1. Go on a bike ride. Follow a new path every time.
  2. Stroll through nature. In the fall, collect leaves. In the spring, forage for flowers to make a spring bouquet.
  3. Walk along a beach that’s open.
  4. Go geocaching, which promotes teamwork and time in nature.
101 after-school activities for kids (14)
  1. Visit the zoo.
  2. Go for a walk in the park, and count how many dogs you see. Keep a tally, and try to guess the breed of each dog. If you’re feeling friendly, ask the owner the breed to see if you’re right.
  3. Go roller skating or ice skating.
  4. Draw a map and create a treasure hunt, either in the house or outside.
  5. Go outside and count how many different types of trees and plants you can see in the neighborhood. Try to name them all, and look up the ones you don’t know.
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  1. Do kid-friendly Zumba at home. Play fun music and do exercise-dance moves. Let the kids make up some of their own moves to teach you.

Have a get-together or find a group

  1. Search sites like Meetup.com for kids’ after-school playgroups in the area or groups that focus on activities for kids.
  2. Join an after-school reading group at the library.
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  1. Schedule a weekly get-together with kids in the neighborhood. Have them over for crafts or backyard games. Rotate houses each week to split up hosting responsibilities.
  2. Take an online coding course with other same-age kids.
  3. Help organize a block party with classmates.

Do good for the community

  1. Volunteer in your community.
101 after-school activities for kids (17)
  1. Visit an animal shelter.
  2. Host a school supplies fundraiser, which will help teach kids about the importance of time management, planning and giving back.
  3. Tutor someone younger.
  4. Find out what your local food bank needs most and organize a food drive in your neighborhood. Drop donations off at your local food bank.
101 after-school activities for kids (18)
  1. Start an online or in-person group with kids in your neighborhood that’s dedicated to anti-racism. Read books together and discuss, design lawn signs or organize a fundraiser for a cause that supports justice and anti-racism.
  2. Perform random acts of kindness. Leave it up to the kids to decide what this means to them. Maybe it’s dropping off a home-baked treat at an elderly neighbor’s house or leaving an uplifting note or picture on a stranger’s car or doorstep. The options are endless.
  3. Offer local services to neighbors and friends, including car washing and lawn mowing. Encourage kids to provide these services for free as a way to give back to the community.

Flex your literary and learning skills

  1. Creating a reading challenge, see if the child can read a certain amount of books within a specific time frame and award prizes for milestones.
  2. Act out a book your child is reading in school.
  3. Write a letter to a relative.
  4. Research your family tree and relate it to what your child is learning in history class.
  5. Learn sign language.

  1. Write a poem.
  2. Order a rocks and mineral set, which is great for kids who like hands-on learning. You may discover you have a budding geologist at home.
  3. Pick a song your child knows well and re-write all the lyrics together to make it funny.
  4. Pick a movie or story and write an alternate ending.
  5. Write a short story.
101 after-school activities for kids (19)
  1. Make up quizzes for each other to take. You could ask questions to see how well you know each other or fun trivia about geography, history, science, etc.
  2. Print out a blank map of the U.S., and see if you can name all of the states correctly. For older children, add state capitals, too!
  3. Pick different cultures from around the world to learn about. Focus on one each week, and try foods from that culture, learn about their holidays, etc.

Tell stories or just talk

  1. On the way home from school, ask your child to tell you the two best parts and two least favorite parts of their day. When you get to the negatives, try to help your child find a silver lining or a bright side to the bad parts. Here are tips for getting kids to open up about their day.
  2. Make a vision board of your child’s accomplishments in the past year, and brainstorm new goals for the upcoming one.
101 after-school activities for kids (20)
  1. Take out the baby photos, share with your kids and tell them stories about when they were born.
  2. Take out your baby photos and show your kids what you were like when you were young.
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(Video) Learn Valuable Life Skills From After-school Activities | Ella Ai Zhong | TEDxYouth@GrandviewHeights


How many after school clubs should a child do? ›

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.

How many activities should an 8 year old have? ›

Your 8-year-old now

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). Some educators recommend only one or two activities at a time.

How I spend my time after school hours? ›

I enjoy eating every morsel of food because I feel tired when I return. In the school, we continuously write down notes, recite the lessons and perform physical exercises as instructed by our mentor. After eating, I go to the playground with my friends.

What activities do you do after school? ›

Engaging after-school activities for home
  • Learn to code. As a kid, I loved video games and board games (more to come on both) and was a heavy baseball card collector. ...
  • Create a movie. My son is obsessed with Toy Story. ...
  • Keep math skills sharp. ...
  • Game. ...
  • Build with LEGO. ...
  • Clean and organize. ...
  • Gather and donate. ...
  • Read a book.
16 Aug 2021

How much extracurricular activities is enough? ›

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.

Can kids have too many activities? ›

However, it is possible for a child to be too involved in too many activities. And too many activities can lead to serious consequences like depression and anxiety.

How many extracurricular activities is too many? ›

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.

Why after-school activities are important? ›

Afterschool programs can support social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe and supportive environment for children and youth.

What are the children's favorite activities? ›

The 15 Best Activities for Children to Help Them Learn Through...
  • Sand. ...
  • Water Play. ...
  • Play Dough. ...
  • Dress-Up and Role Play. ...
  • Doll and Character Play. ...
  • Drawing and Painting. ...
  • Blocks, Jigsaws, and Shape Sorters. ...
  • Music, Dancing, and Singing.

Do kids really need extracurricular 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 many activities should a 10 year old do? ›

The amount of physical activity children need depends on their age. Children ages 3 through 5 years need to be active throughout the day. Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 need to be active for 60 minutes every day.

How do I entertain my child after school? ›

After school programs and activities can let your child's creative instincts fly, improve their social spirit or get them active in fitness.
Some ideas include:
  1. Dancing.
  2. Drama.
  3. Art and craft classes such as ceramics.
  4. Martial arts.
  5. Team sports.
  6. Scouts.
  7. Surf life saving.
  8. Swimming.
3 Mar 2020

What should I do after school daily? ›

  1. Have a Snack. This isn't strictly an after school activity, but your child's likely to be very hungry after a long day at school, having used both brain power and physical energy. ...
  2. Bake a Snack. ...
  3. Paint. ...
  4. Colour In. ...
  5. Go for a Walk. ...
  6. Exercise. ...
  7. Read a Story. ...
  8. Solve some Puzzles.

How do you spend your free time after school? ›

Choose any of the following activities and make the most out of your free time!
  1. Read a good novel, or a self-development book. ...
  2. Write/Blog/Live Tweet. ...
  3. Learn a new language. ...
  4. Take a course. ...
  5. Sharpen your brain and memory. ...
  6. Cooking. ...
  7. Star-gazing and astronomy. ...
  8. Volunteer.
24 Nov 2014

How do after class activities benefit students? ›

Here are six things a high-quality afterschool program can do for kids.
  • Create a sense of belonging. ...
  • Improve social skills. ...
  • Provide academic support. ...
  • Make learning more fun. ...
  • Provide safety and supervision. ...
  • Build confidence.

Is 6 extracurricular activities enough? ›

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.

Should you fill out all 10 extracurricular activities? ›

It is important to note that most accepted students to elite colleges fill in 8-10 activities on the Common Application. The exception is typically a student who has stellar achievement in at least one activity. Students should work to make sure their extracurricular list is diverse.

Do you need proof of extracurricular activities? ›

Dear Proof Positive: You don't need proof of your activities beyond what you've described. Colleges expect you to be truthful when you list your activities and awards on your application. Don't worry about getting letters from your advisors just to prove that you participated in certain activities.

How can kids be active all day? ›

Encourage kids to use their after-school energy to get active with friends, siblings, teams, or on their own.
  1. Walking or biking home from school.
  2. Playing team sports like soccer or basketball. ...
  3. Signing up for an active after-school program or rec center class, like swimming or karate.

How much should kids be active a day? ›

It is recommended that children and youth get at least 60 minutes a day of moderate-to- vigorous intensity physical activity. Reaching this goal is easy. Increase your child's physical activity by just five or 10 minutes every few weeks. The time they spend being active will eventually add up to 60 minutes a day.

Are extracurriculars a waste of time? ›

Extracurricular activities are no waste of time - in fact; they're a great use of time. You earn invaluable experience and memories with individuals who have similar interests as you.

How many activities should children be involved in? ›

It's a good idea to limit the number of activities that your children participate in one to two activities at a time. Also, make sure that adults working with your children are licensed, certified and safe.

How many is too many kids? ›

Since having five or more kids is generally the cutoff point for being considered a “large” family, here are all the ways your parenting will change once you hit that pivotal plus-five milestone.

Why students activities are important? ›

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.

Why do kids need activities? ›

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.

How can learning activities be improved? ›

15 active learning activities to energize your next college class
  1. Think-pair-repair. In this twist on think-pair-share, pose an open-ended question to your class and ask students to come up with their best answer. ...
  2. Improv games. ...
  3. Brainwriting. ...
  4. Jigsaw. ...
  5. Concept mapping. ...
  6. The one-minute paper. ...
  7. Real-time reactions. ...
  8. Chain notes.
2 Apr 2020

How can I improve my child's activity? ›

Make physical activity part of your family's daily routine by taking family walks or playing active games together. Give your children equipment that encourages physical activity. Take young people to places where they can be active, such as public parks, community baseball fields, or basketball courts.

How can you improve participation in activities? ›

How do I encourage participation?
  1. Foster an ethos of participation. ...
  2. Teach students skills needed to participate. ...
  3. Devise activities that elicit participation. ...
  4. Consider your position in the room. ...
  5. Ask students to assess their own participation. ...
  6. Ensure that everyone's contributions are audible.

What are popular activities? ›

Here's a short analysis of each one:
  • Running. Running is by far the most popular outdoor activity in the USA. ...
  • Fishing. Fishing is consistently a very popular outdoor pursuit in the USA. ...
  • Hiking. ...
  • Bicycling. ...
  • Camping. ...
  • Wildlife Viewing. ...
  • Hunting. ...
  • Skiing.
12 Sept 2021

What things make a child happy? ›

They're really life conditions, such as having enough nurture and love; a strong sense of attachment to a parent or other primary caregiver; confidence and optimism about the future; physical health; a sense of belonging to something larger than oneself; and of course, basic needs such as food and shelter.

What creative things can kids do? ›

Here are some ideas to get your child involved in dramatic creative activities:
  • Start a dress-up box. ...
  • Make simple puppets and put on a puppet show.
  • Take turns making up a story. ...
  • Video a play or performance. ...
  • Play games that involve guessing and acting, like charades and Pictionary.
11 Mar 2022

Do extracurriculars keep kids out of trouble? ›

"They are then better able to resist unsafe behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, gang involvement, and criminal activities." According to research, middle school students who regularly participated in after-school programs reported reduced use of drugs and alcohol, compared to those in the low supervision group.

Can kids be too busy? ›

Signs That Kids Are Too Busy

Every child is different, but overscheduled kids may: feel tired, anxious, or depressed. complain of headaches and stomachaches, which may be due to stress, missed meals, or lack of sleep. fall behind on their schoolwork, causing their grades to drop.

What are 5 indoor activities? ›

Fun Indoor Activities for Older Adults
  • Tai Chi and Yoga. ...
  • Board Games, Cards, and Puzzles. ...
  • Arts and Crafts. ...
  • Knitting and Crocheting. ...
  • Cooking and Baking. ...
  • Watching Movies. ...
  • Reading. ...
  • Journaling.
10 Mar 2021

What do 12 year olds like to do? ›

Activities for 12-year-old Children
  • Make a comic book. Save. Creative writing requires imagination. ...
  • Do a DIY project. Save. ...
  • Learn to code. Save. ...
  • Learn a new language. Save. ...
  • Play a board game. Save. ...
  • Solve puzzles. Save. ...
  • Play card games. Save. ...
  • Take part in a STEM scavenger hunt. Save.
26 Aug 2022

Is 7 hours enough for a 10 year old? ›

3 to 5-year-olds need 10.5-11.5 hours. 6 to 7-year-olds need about 10.5 hours. 7 to 13-year-olds need about 10 hours. Even 18-year-olds need about 9 hours of sleep each night.

How much activity does a 9 year old need? ›

Laskowski, M.D. Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and adolescents age 6 and older get at least an hour a day of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity. Children should do vigorous activities, such as running or biking, at least three days a week.

What do you do after-school meaning? ›

Definition of after-school

: happening or done after the end of the school day after-school activities/programs.

What do students often do after-school? ›

Gallup's most recent Youth Survey* shows 44% of teens say they often do homework in the hours between school and dinnertime. Vying for second place** among teens' typical after-school activities are playing sports, watching television, and just hanging out, each mentioned by about one in five teens.

What do you do after students test? ›

17 Ways to Keep Students Motivate After Testing
  1. Teach a Lesson Outside. ...
  2. Take a Tour of Next Year's Classroom. ...
  3. Write Thank You Letters. ...
  4. Read Aloud a Favorite Chapter Book. ...
  5. Experiment with Technology. ...
  6. Play Some Strategy Games. ...
  7. Write Letters to Next Year's Students. ...
  8. Let Students Be the Teacher.

Why are after school activities important? ›

Afterschool programs can support social, emotional, cognitive, and academic development, reduce risky behaviors, promote physical health, and provide a safe and supportive environment for children and youth.

Are after school activities useful? ›

More specifically, researchers have found that quality after-school programs are an important contributor to children's physical activity. Beyond the bell, kids may be more willing to try new things, discover new passions and take positive risks. This, in turn, can lead to higher self-esteem and self-awareness.

What is a productive after school routine? ›

It may sound counterintuitive, but a nap may be the best way to be productive after school. A 15-20 minute nap can give your body a quick rest and make it easier to fight through the after-school slump.

What is the best thing to do after exams? ›

What now? 5 things to do after your exams
  • Start a blog or build a website. Have you got an interest that you always wanted to devote your life to, but you never managed to with your nose pretty much permanently buried in books? ...
  • Get work experience. ...
  • Learn a language. ...
  • Volunteer. ...
  • Do something you've never done before.
22 Jun 2022

What can you teach the last two weeks of school? ›

36 Ideas for the Last Weeks of School
  • Play class favorite games and sing favorite songs.
  • Build a class memory book.
  • Create a bulletin board of learning and events from the year.
  • Make a class coloring book of memories.
  • Create a class yearbook.
  • Invite former students in to share about the next grade.

How do you entertain yourself after a test? ›

20 Ways to Fight Post Standardized Test Boredom:
  1. Make a mental list of your five favorite words. ...
  2. How's the chair feeling? ...
  3. Stop and think about the sensations in your right big toe. ...
  4. Eye games! ...
  5. Leg stretches. ...
  6. Take a visual tour of your classroom. ...
  7. Count how many times your teacher walks by your desk.
25 Apr 2014


1. 9 After School Activities Kids Love
(Lincoln Method)
2. Creating an After School Program for Elementary Kids
(Classy Kids)
3. After School Programs
(California Department of Education)
4. Tips Every New Teacher Needs to Know When Teaching Young Children
5. Lights On Afterschool 101: Celebrating afterschool programs, students, and staff
(Afterschool Alliance)
6. 101 EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES phrases | English Speaking Practice | After School Activities
(Woodward English)

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