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Mom, can I join the chess club?



Tips to help kids choose an after school activity


Whether your child is just starting school, in the middle of middle school, or a freshman in high school, after school activities can enrich their days and allow them to try out new hobbies that could eventually lead to a possible career. But what if your kid says, "but, I don't know what to try." We've searched the web for the most popular after school activities out there. Here's a list to help start the discussion.

1. Volunteering teaches children how to be compassionate, gets them involved in their community and looks great on resumes and college applications.

2. Sports teach team spirit, encourages physical activity and improves coordination.

3. By joining a club, kids can try out new hobbies and meet others who enjoy the same things.

4. The arts teach your child to explore a talent they already possess or work on improving it if they enjoy it.

READ MORE: Help your child choose an enrichment activity

5. Joining the school newspaper or yearbook improves writing skills and allows them to learn how to work as a group. Kids get to learn about deadlines and then they have a true product of their work.

6. After school activities like "odyssey of the mind" allow kids to expand their learning, work on a group project and prepare for their presentation.

7. Attend classes outside of school to learn a new skill like karate or gymnastics. This teaches social, mental and physical skills.

8. Pursue a hobby of interest. If the above is not of interest, discuss other hobbies like fishing, building things, reading clubs or even hiking and gardening. This goes a long way to teach your child to fill up their free time with something productive.

READ MORE: Best enrichment programs in the Hudson Valley

9. Study abroad. For older kids, this can be an option. Colleges and perhaps some high schools may offer this. The benefits are endless: learn a new language, learn about new cultures, how other people live, and learn to appreciate the "global community."

10. Investigate after school options for kids at your church. Sometimes there are projects that kids can get involved with such as gardening, office work or other odd jobs.