Effective After School Activities

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When there are so many activities on offer, and each one looks as good as

the next, how do you gauge the worth and effectiveness of these

activities? Sure, you want an activity that junior enjoys. But, we really

cannot afford to waste time on pleasure for pleasure’s sake, do we? There

needs to be a grain of gold somewhere in there. Given below is a list of

characteristics that any good after school activity must possess.

Clarity in objectives and goals is the first important thing. What does

the course offer? How does it propose to achieve the results? How many

kids make up a batch? Ask questions. After all, when you are dishing out

the dough, you really need to understand what you are getting in return.

A good after school activity will provide lots of opportunities for the

young to increase their level of understanding of complex concepts. This

is true of recreational activities too. Learning to pitch a ball, or dance

to a tune – regardless of the activity involved, the child should be

encouraged to grapple with and conquer new concepts. This not only keeps

boredom at bay by challenging the child, but also builds up his

self-confidence. Development of academic, personal and social skills is

one of the prime aims of an after school activity. As the skills develop,

the child’s self-esteem also increases.

After school activities are all about boosting a child’s sense of

competence. Good and effective after school activities promotes the

resilience of youth and encourages them to grow stronger, be it mentally,

emotionally or physically.

Safety is one of the first requirements of an after school activity. The

staff should be qualified, adequate and alert. Never put your child in a

program where safety is a matter of accident instead of a matter of

priority. The staff should be friendly and should have a positive

relationship with the child. Therefore, the program should have

professional and trained staff that loves to interact with children. The

program should maintain a cooperative and supportive attitude and a

structured environment. Participation and collaboration as opposed to

competition and antagonism must be encouraged.

Some programs involve the children in planning activities and making

decisions. Adults often forget to get the opinion of their children. By

giving the children an opportunity to voice their opinion, programs become

fun activities that children are motivated to participate in. Young people

thrive when they are listened to, respected and allowed to contribute

their mite.

Routine evaluations are an important part of after school programs. If the

child does not benefit from a class, don’t waste time being

over-optimistic. Try something new.

You are now ready to look for the perfect after school activity for your

child. But don’t let us forget that having fun is also an important part

of growing up. The child deserves a few hours of pure delight. Remember,

all work and no play, ……

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