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A Dozen Great After-School Activities

Even after the school bell rings, the day still holds many opportunities for learning. Planned after-school activities are a great way to engage kids and keep their brains working when they aren't in a classroom setting. Below, check out our picks for childcare centers, parents and other caretakers. For teachers looking to mix things up, these ideas could even work in the classroom.

Buzzfeed offers plenty of after-school activity ideas. Here are just a few:

  1. "Dress Up" Stories: Have your students write and act out their own mini-production. Assign a theme, book, movie or other topic, and see what they come up with. 
  2. Rainbow Foam: This fun science experiment will be a crowd favorite. It only takes 10 minutes to create and is a great sensory activity. Get the recipe here
  3. Ice Cream in a Bag: Have students conduct their own delicious chemistry experiment. 
  4. Fight Local Hunger: Let students give back to the community by decorating non-perishables for the local food bank. Another option is packing individual bag lunches for the homeless. also offers a list of after-school activities and games for kids of all ages. Here are some great ones:

  1. Design a Comic Strip: On a rainy day, have kids reflect on a play, book, or other written work and then invent their own characters and storylines. This gets their creative juices flowing and helps them build pride in their work. 
  2. Become a Scientist: Get students outside with a notebook and pen. Have them spot an animal (bird, insect, squirrel, etc.) and monitor its movements. Kids brush up on their observational skills and learn how to record data. 
  3. Recycle Objects: Transform a cereal box into something fun and use the project as an opportunity to talk about where the box came from and how it was made. Or, organize a clean-up--go to a local park or playground and help keep the community beautiful. 
  4. Play Improv Games: Transform "Who's Line is it Anyway?" into a PG-rated, fun exercise. Assign students secret roles and have one student try to guess who or what the other students are pretending to be. Have kids pick up an object and figure out how many things he or she can act out with it. 

Pinterest offers a multitude of after-school activities ranging from science experiments to games. Here are our favorites:

  1. Learning with Water: Teach about the the composition of water by making a needle float on the water's surface. Try making "rain paint," a homemade water fountain and more.
  2. Thunderstorm Science: Create convection currents and make your own thunderstorm with blue ice cubes, red food coloring, a plastic container and water. This will impress students and teach them how convection currents relate to the weather. 
  3. Writing Activities: Find fun and interesting topics for students to write about, whether it is a grocery shopping list, comic strip or short story. 
  4. Sand Play: Take kids to the playground or down to the local park and get their hands in the sand! Try activities such as writing in the sand, creating sand slime and more. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor
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