After-school club activities are important for the overall development of students. They offer opportunities for socializing, taking risks, making decisions, applying logic, exercising team work and more. There are various types of after-school activities that students can engage in depending on their liking and area of interest. Most of these activities even aid in improving their academic performance in addition to polishing up other aspects of their personalities.
Following is a list of various types of after-school activities that students can engage in:
- Career Centric Activities: Students are encouraged to explore their skills and interests and develop them via interactive and voluntary activities. The programs consist of job shadowing, mentoring and training opportunities.
- College Readiness Clubs: Youngsters are prepared for high school graduation, post secondary education and for careers. They are taught to make short and long-term goals and are also taken for college tours.
- STEM Activities: Stress is laid upon understanding the theory and connections of scientific themes. The activities comprise of Engineering Design, Science of Sports, Food Chemistry, Energy and Electricity.
- Photography: Various forms of photography are taught to students e.g. digital, alternative process, black and white and color photography. Local and regional photography contests are held for categories like fashion and style, filters, editing and more.
- Financial Literacy: These activities aim to help students learn how to create budgets, financial management, saving, investing and more. The skills learnt in such clubs help youngsters make sound financial decisions as adults.
- Fine Arts: The focus is on recognizing and developing skills such as painting, printmaking, drawing, mixed media, sculpturing, collage making and so on. Usually select works of participants are displayed at the National Fine Arts Exhibit and other national events.
- Study Assistance: Students have access to homework assistance, learning activities, tutoring and more. They are encouraged to become self-directed learners over time and propelled to complete their assignments on time.
- Brain Games Clubs: These clubs consist of modules whereby students are encouraged to brush up their Math and reading skills with the help of creative expression, projects, discovery, group work and more. A project-based learning approach with theme-based fun activities is used to develop higher-order thinking skills.
- Social Service Clubs: These clubs help the youth discover their innate gifts and use the same for the welfare of the society and for personal development. Stress is laid upon interpersonal skills, community responsibility and work ethics through service and volunteer projects.
- Other Clubs/Activities: Character development clubs, teen clubs, league sports and fitness programs, discussion clubs, personality development clubs, skills mastery and resilience training, self esteem enhancement programs, leadership programs and more.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas
organize an array of after-school activities for kids in Killeen, TX. To know more about types of after-school activities, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX - 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.
Things learnt at an early age tend to stick with us for a life time; thus the emphasis on incorporating healthy lifestyle habits at a young age. Children are highly receptive to the messages they get from adults in their lives. Over time, habits and actions take a seat in the subconscious minds, making them hard to break. So, the implications of lessons regarding healthy lifestyle should be implemented at an early age.
Healthy lifestyle habits should be promoted at an early age due to the following reasons:
- Solid Foundation For Life: Beginning early lays the foundation for life-long habits that are easier to sustain. Children, who are physically active, eat healthy food and snacks and are well-rested keep up with the same habits as adults and find it easier to adopt them under all circumstances.
- Prevents Obesity: Making kids conscious of how different eating and lifestyle patterns impact their lives, carves a path for a life free of weight issues. If these habits can be made second-nature, they will never have to struggle with being overweight and dealing with the health implications thereof.
- Prevents Illnesses: Lifestyle diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart ailments, diabetes and the like can be kept at bay during adulthood if healthy lifestyle habits are inculcated early in life. Being conscious of food and activity choices as a child forms the perfect base for a healthy body as an adult.
- Increases Confidence: A child who eats well, is physically active and sleeps well has higher chances of growing into a confident individual. The child enjoys high self-esteem, performs well academically, socially and emotionally. Such kids have a lower tendency of seeking attention and validation from others as they are sure of themselves and their decisions.
- Healthy Choices: Steering your child’s preferences for food towards the healthier side teaches them an important skill of making the right choice when it comes to what they ingest. At a very young age, a child learns the value of making healthy eating choices and the negative effects of junk food; this prevents cravings for junk food as he grows.
- Academic Success: Kids who are physically active are more likely to attend school regularly and perform better in studies. They also have superior motor coordination as compared to their sedentary peers. They have higher concentration levels, better memory, faster grasping power and more. Such kids are also less prone to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety as they grow.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas
offer healthy lifestyle programs for kids in Killeen, TX. To know more about reasons to promote healthy lifestyle at an early age, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX - 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.
Mental growth of kids involves dealing with emotional and social aspects of their personalities. To facilitate mental growth, it may be helpful to engage kids in activities aimed at the same. Such activities help kids regulate their emotions and improve social skills while having fun at the same time.
Here are some things to keep in mind when choosing activities for mental growth of kids:
- Fun: The activity should be one that is full of fun in order to keep a child interested and engaged. For example, guessing games, fun rhymes, water activities, reading themed books, drawing, painting and more.
- Realistic: When making a choice of mental activities for your child, keep your goals realistic. The activity chosen should be in tandem with your child’s abilities in order to get best results. The best way to gauge whether an activity is realistic for your child is to pick one that is age appropriate.
- Instructive: Even though the aim of these activities is to encourage children to be independent, an activity should send a clear message of not crossing certain boundaries of behavior. A child should be able to understand that every action will have a consequence.
- Effective Praise: To get the most out of an activity aimed at mental growth, it is important to praise every little progress a child makes. This encourages the child to expand his horizons even if it calls for taking some risks.
- Safety: Even though it is completely okay and normal for your child to feel scared of engaging in some activities, it is important to ensure that the activities chosen are safe and undertaken in a secure environment. Look out for signs of fear like nervous mannerisms, change in sleeping and eating patterns, etc., as these may be indicative of a need to change the activity.
- Memory And Concentration: For a mental health activity to be effective, choose one that aims at improving your child’s memory and concentration levels. Examples of such activities are games like picture bingo, brain boxes, number string, etc. Such games help a child strengthen his retrievable memory and enhance auditory memory.
- Active learning: Look for activities that promote active learning as opposed to passive learning activities. Active leaning activities engage and challenge a child’s capacity to think and learn with the help of both imaginary and real life scenarios. Such activities should consist of investigative, purposeful, pre-planned and some spontaneous activities. The key is to choose an activity that engages both mind and body.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas
offer a variety of after-school activities to improve the mental growth of kids in Killeen, TX. To know more about how to choose right activities for mental growth of kids, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX - 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.
Nutrition, physical activity, less screen time and good sleep are the pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Implementing each of these in the daily life of children can bring about a positive shift in their academic performance. As per a study published in “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health”, (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(1), 243), a direct link has been established between lifestyle changes and an upward trend in cognitive control and academic performance in high school students.
Let us further elaborate this by looking at the ways in which a healthy lifestyle impacts the academic performance of kids:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas offer a variety of programs to help kids in maintain a healthy lifestyle. The programs organized by the clubs include ‘ALL STARS’, ‘Passport to Manhood’, ‘SMART Girls’, ‘SMART Moves’, etc. The activities help kids in understanding the importance of a healthy lifestyle and improving physical activity. To know more about impacts of healthy lifestyle on academic performance of kids, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX – 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.
- Brain Function: The brains of children who eat a balanced diet comprising of all essential nutrients are likely to perform to a higher capacity. Deficiencies in iron, zinc, vitamin B, C, A, calcium, folate, iodine and other vitamins or minerals lead to lower dopamine transmission in kids, impaired mental concentration and inhibited cognitive capabilities.
- Behavior: Children with a healthy lifestyle are willing to learn and have higher attendance at school. Malnutrition, high sugar consumption, junk food and other poor habits breed behavior problems in kids that affect their willingness to go to school and learn. For kids to exhibit their best behavior they should sleep on time, be physically active, and eat required amounts of protein, fat, complex carbohydrates and fiber.
- Physical Activity: Children who are physically active at school and at home have higher chances of performing well in academics as compared to their peers with sluggish lifestyles. Active students usually have better memory and concentration, lower dropout rates and less disciplinary issues, which result in better academic performance.
- Sleep: Consistent sound sleep is critical to a child’s academic performance. Sleep disturbances and inconsistencies affect student’s mood and well-being. Students thrive academically when their brains are well rested; they have better concentration, more retention/grasping power and higher energy levels throughout the day.
- Screen Time: Limited screen time is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle these days; its benefits are better sleep, lower BMI and less aggression. These benefits are directly linked to better academic performance and completion of homework. As per the latest recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), screen time of children aged 2 to 5 years should be limited to one hour per day and consistent limits should be set for older kids (6 and up).
Learning is not limited to a classroom. A child should be allowed to bloom into his own persona by learning from each and every experience, both in and out of the classroom. It requires self-introspection, patience, and hard lessons to let your child learn from things and activities that interest him.
What Is Interest-Based Learning?
It is a mode of learning in which a child will learn new concepts and skills via activities that interest him. Doing so benefits a child in myriad ways some of which are:
- Improved attention span
- Better engagement
- Improvement in existing skills and abilities
- Development of fine and gross motor skills
- Social interaction
Types Of Interests
- Personal Interests: A child’s favorite things e.g. cars, dolls, clay, a toy character, etc.
- Situational Interests: A person, material or activity that attracts your child’s attention usually in the form of a new or unexpected situation
Here are some ways with which you can create learning opportunities for your children while working around their interests:
Books: “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”– Charles W. Eliot.
Introducing your child to books at an early age will do wonders in broadening his mental horizons and will also help you understand his interest in a better way. Books are a gateway to innumerable possibilities and opportunities for a child.
Play And Fun: A new concept in the realm of children is gamification. Game based-learning promotes deeper learning and non-cognitive skill development. Games are a thrilling and engaging medium for introducing children to new concepts and ideas.
Organization: A child who is overwhelmed with disorganized study material and other objects in his space will not deliver to the best of his abilities. Teach your child how to stay organized at an early age, as this will affect his willingness and motivation to learn.
Learning Styles: Explore the style of learning that is most suited for your child. Children can be visual, auditory, physical, logical, verbal, solitary or social learners. Keep tweaking learning styles until you find the one that your child enjoys the most.
Celebration: Celebrate every little achievement and success of your child irrespective of his performance. The key is to appreciate his efforts against his performance. Always shower kind words of encouragement at his triumphs, albeit small.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas offer a variety of learning opportunities to children in the form of innovative clubs and programs. A wide range of activities is organized by the clubs to improve the learning capabilities of children. To know more about creating learning opportunities around your child's interests, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX – 76541. You can also call at (254) 699 – 5808.
The transition from childhood to adulthood becomes smooth if good decision-making skills are acquired at the right age. Teaching kids how to make decisions is a valuable life skill as it allows them to find solutions to various conflicts throughout their life. Also, good decision-making skills promote responsible behavior among kids. Well-planned problem-solving activities and encouraging logical thinking support the ability of decision-making.
Ways To Help Kids Develop Good Decision Making Skills
Involving children in decision-making using the correct techniques will enable them to build their skills.
- Expose Kids To The Real World: Expose children to different consequences by showing live examples. It will help kids to understand the outcomes of a decision and base their decisions on logical reasoning.
- Allow Kids To Make Mistakes: It is important to allow kids to explore their thoughts and if during the process they make reasonable mistakes, that should be allowed.
- Know The Kid’s Interests: Motivate the child and help him to find out his interests. Quote examples of successful people to help children understand that hard work and dedication are the keys to succeed in their field of interest. They will learn to make positive decisions instead of taking shortcuts.
- Teach Kids To Know Themselves: Teach children to distinguish their own strengths and weaknesses so that they are able to take better decisions in life. Kids should be able to realize that they will not necessarily excel in all the given opportunities. Learning to accept defeat or setbacks and the decisions to take thereafter is essential for children.
- Stay Involved With Kids: Children should be encouraged to be a part of social organizations that will teach them important life skills. It will expose them to positive peer pressure and also enable the parents to understand their children better.
- Talk To the Kids: Open communication is vital for kids. It will enable the parents to bond with their children. A parent can anticipate the child’s decisions and warn him accordingly.
- Praise The Kids: Do not just focus on what the child needs to work on. Praising them when they do great things, helps reinforce their desire to excel and take decisions that will provide better outcomes.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas
offer various programs to develop decision-making skills in kids. For more details on ways to develop decision-making skills in kids, visit 703 N. 8th Street, Killeen, TX - 76541 or call at (254) 699 – 5808.