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After School Fun for the Kiddies


Extracurricular Ideas to Keep Kids Happy and Engaged


School can be stressful. There's a lot of new things to learn, and sometimes that can be a recipe for frustration. As parents, it's important that we realize the importance of play and being allowed to explore creativity to a child. Researchers agree that when it comes to extracurricular endeavors, a minimalist approach is best. You may want to sign your kid up for all the hot after school programs, various lessons, and sports teams. But you also need to listen to your child. After feeling the pressure to perform all day in school, sometimes the thing they want the most when they get home is to be allowed to perform to their own standards and engage in activities that they find enjoyable. With that in mind, have a conversation about what types of things interest your child the most, and what they find the most fun. From there, you can find activities that still allow your child to have fun, explore their talents and goals, understand themselves better, and have some measure of control over their world.


For Aspiring Little Chefs

Many children love playing with toy kitchens and food when they're younger. As they get older, why not invite them into the real kitchen and help them get creative? Learning to cook actually has a slew of benefits for children. For starters, it can help them learn how to follow directions, teach fine motor skills, foster cooperation, and illustrate the importance of communication. It can also help teach them math and conversion skills when it comes to measuring. This is also a great way to begin teaching your child the importance of proper nutrition while how to make beloved family recipes passed down through the generations. If your child is a bit older, and more serious about their love of cooking, consider some after school cooking classes aimed at kids. If you want to add a bit of science fun into the mix, we love this Kitchen Science set available at Centrepoint.


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It will help you put an academic spin on things and delight them with fun experiments in the process.


For the Sports Prodigy

For those little ones who love racing around engaging in sports, there are a lot of ways you could go about choosing an extracurricular activity that is right for them. You could of course go with signing them up for an organized sports team. Being a part of a sports team is a terrific way to teach your child important skills like making decisions based on the team and the bigger picture. It has been proven to also enhance empathy, feelings of responsibility, improve strength, and teach a healthy level of competitiveness. The exercise your child gets playing will also help keep their minds fresh, focused, and able to retain information better. There's even some evidence that children with ADHD and dyslexia also benefit from sports, as it allows them to consistently encounter new challenges and learning moments. If organized sports is not quite your child's thing just yet, encourage play and exploration of the sport by engaging them yourself. Buy a ball and have fun in your own garden or at the park. Or, start a play date with like minded friends from school. That way, the children can guide the game without adults driving much of the direction. Centrepoint has tons of great sports equipment for your child to really explore what interests them most. This football set is perfect for practice kicking those goals.


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For the Budding Artist

Many kids love to color, paint, or express their creativity in some artistic way. Coloring and painting has shown to be a massive stress reducer, even in adults. If your child is showing a proclivity towards the arts, you can of course always sign them up for a painting or drawing class. You might also consider a pottery class. This type of activity has shown to have an almost extreme calming effect. Not only will your child be memorized and focused on the task of shaping the clay, but the feel of it is also great for sensory reasons. Even children who are considered “hyperactive” are typically calmed and soothed by the act of making pottery. It also improves focus and coordination. If classes aren't their thing, consider stopping by Centrepoint and picking up some basics. Crayons, coloring books, paints, brushes, paper, and glue are a great place to start. Challenge your child to draw or paint a series of things or places. Centrepoint also has some great DIY craft sets that will allow your child to make their own items and get creative doing so. For example, we love this make your own owl necklace set, and this make your own soap set.


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Swim Time!

Swimming has a myriad of benefits. Aside from learning how to swim, classes can help teach your child awareness about safety while around any body of water. As well as how to react during a potential emergency situation. Swimming is also a fantastic way to get your child exercise without them even really realizing it. It will even help to hone those movement and motor skills. Whether you take your child for personal lessons, or hit the pool together and teach them, swimming is a terrific extracurricular activity. You might want to consider some arm floaties while your child is first learning to get comfortable in the water. These floaties from Centrepoint will help your child build confidence in the water, while learning a new skill.


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This will in turn help your child build confidence out of the water as well.