Resources to Help you Find After-School Activities for your Children
With the school year starting up again, many parents are looking for after-school activities for their kids. To aid in this process, this week’s blog post focuses on some resources for exploring after-school activities for children of all ages.
Free Activity Search Tools
If you live in the Austin area, there are several free activity search tools that will help take the pain out of searching for local activities for your children:
A new start-up launched this year, Juicebox Hero helps parents find after-school programs (as well as childcare). Only state-licensed child care providers are included on their website, where parents can search for childcare and activities in Central Texas based on a variety of filters, including zip code, child’s age, program hours, and curriculum. Parents can save their searches and their favorite options, as well as share their searches with a friend or parenting partner. Additional features are in development. The basic search service is currently free for parents.
Another relatively new resource, Kwaddle enables parents to search for after-school enrichment activities and summer camps for their children. Parents can search for camps and activities using a keyword, such as soccer or arts or STEM, and by zip code. Searches can be further narrowed by filtering for dates, hours, ages, and price. Parents can build a schedule as they search and have the option to share their information with friends. The search service is free for parents.
Nurture My Child’s online, searchable database of Austin-based classes (as well as childcare, camp, and school options) can be filtered by a variety of categories such as after-school, arts, special needs, math/science/technology, and so on. Classes can be filtered by age and by zip code and parents can save their searches. The service is free for parents to use, and if parents choose to login with their Facebook accounts, they can see items that their Facebook friends have added to their lists. This feature helps parents see and potentially choose activities that their kids’ friends are also doing.
Other Local Enrichment Activity Ideas
Your local YMCA is always a great source of potential enrichment activities. Click here to find your local YMCA by zip code.
Many school districts offer enrichment courses before and/or after school on local campuses, as well as after-school care programs. Check with your local school district for details.
If your child would enjoy working in a team environment with other similarly aged kids to solve creative challenges, check out Destination Imagination (DI)! From their website: “The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process. Teams may showcase their solutions at a tournament.” Click here for information on finding or starting a team in your area or ask your local school administration if they have a DI team for your child’s grade.
Another good activity option, especially for teens, is to look into volunteer opportunities. Generation SERVE, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to "engage children in volunteerism and empower them to make a difference in their communities," has a special program for teens that links them to local organizations that are in need of volunteers. Through the Generation SERVE Teen Service Days program, each month teens can volunteer for local nonprofits alongside other teens without a parent or guardian (Generation SERVE also has a Family Volunteering Program). Click here for more information about teen volunteer opportunities.
Here’s to enriching your family with ease! Please reach out if you ever need help researching activities for your children. I can do the custom research, set up the schedule, and even register your children for the activities!
Enriched Family is a unique, custom research and consulting business dedicated to providing families with the information, tools, and systems they need to live more organized and joyful lives. Services include: Custom family-focused research (child care, education, health and wellness resources, camps, and enrichment activities), family organization solutions (stuff and systems), and productivity consulting for busy professional parents (planning and prioritizing, productivity coaching, and time management coaching). I offer a free, 20-minute initial phone consultation to all new clients to discuss matching your needs and priorities with my services. I invite you to check out my services and click the "Let's Get Started!" button below to contact me with any questions.
(Please note, the above post is provided for informational purposes only; the information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but there may be omissions, errors or mistakes, and no guarantees are made.)