Learning and development aren’t always things that happen in school, a lot of a child’s development can happen outside of school hours. After school activities are a fantastic way for children to carry on their development outside of school while having fun. 

There are so many after school activities that children can participate in, and they all have different benefits. Sporting activities can improve their physical development, artistic activities can help them work on their creativity and some after school activities can be a great benefit to their academic achievement. 

Some schools, libraries and other local bodies will arrange after school clubs and activities for children to take part in. You can also look into planning after school activities at home for your children.  So let’s take a look at some after school activities for kids and they can be a benefit to children in their learning and development…

After school activities – which ones are the best for your child?

Simply put, the best extra curricular activities for your child would be things that they enjoy doing and possibly show an aptitude for. Does your child enjoy music, drama, dance, art, or maths? 

Enjoyment is easily the most important quality for any after school activity for your child. When they’ve had a long day in school, most children will want to have fun. And we know that making learning fun for children is the most effective way to make information stick with them and keep them engaged. That still applies as they get older and move on to secondary school learning.

So let’s take a quick look at some after school activities that your child might be interested in… 



Art covers a broad spectrum of activities from painting to performance. It can be a much-needed outlet for children’s creativity and help them build confidence and develop observational skills. Arts can also be a fantastic way for children to experience some relaxation without feeling any kind of academic pressure to do well, all they have to do is engage their imagination and create. 



Learning a language can really open doors for children after they finish school by opening up exciting career pathways. Taking up language learning as an after school activity can help children perform better in classroom language learning. But learning a language can also be a really enriching activity for a child, beyond academic performance. It can open up their minds to other cultures and help them develop empathy for people from different walks of life. 



Like art, music is a real opportunity for children to express creativity and have fun with learning. Music allows children to exercise some early independence by choosing which instrument they want to learn based on which one they most like the sound of. Studies have shown that children that take part in music as an after school activity for enjoyment perform better in English, maths, science and also languages.



While all schools will teach children physical education, sports outside of school allow your child some independence in choosing which sport they want to focus on and help with physical development. Beyond keeping children fit and healthy, as an after school activity sports can help children develop socially as they play with a team, develop a healthy sense of competition and develop fast thinking and understanding of rules. 



Science, technology, engineering and maths, commonly referred to as STEM, are crucial skills for children to learn. Getting them involved in an after school STEM club can really help make those skills a bit more exciting and engaging to learn, and add that social layer that helps with children’s development.



Some children prefer quieter after school activities, and that’s perfectly fine. Whether they like to read independently or as part of a school or library book club, encouraging your child to read after school will improve their grammar and vocabulary. But the real benefit for reading as an after school activity is it really allows children to unwind and get lost in their reading. For just a short while after school, children can block out the rest of the world and get lost in a good book.

The main benefits of after school activities 

There are a lot of benefits to after school activities for kids, from being able to unwind from their school day to improving their academic performance. After school activities can provide children with lifelong skills and learning habits. 

Here are some of the main benefits of after school activities…


A healthy and productive way to unwind

When it comes to blowing off steam and relaxing after school, after school activities provide children with a productive alternative to something like sitting on the sofa watching TV. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a quiet afternoon and evening in front of the TV from time to time, but with extra curricular activities children can benefit from unwinding while learning new skills. 

Joining a club or taking part in sporting activities after school can make a huge difference to children’s physical and mental wellbeing. Doing something active and productive after school gives children a necessary outlet, which can be really beneficial if they’ve had a bit of a challenging day in school. In that way, after school activities can teach children about the importance of healthy coping mechanisms when they’re having a difficult time. 


Relationships, teamwork and social skills

A lot of after school activities involve socialising. Any kind of after school club will help children work on their social skills, particularly if that club involves cooperation or competition. Sports for example see children playing together in teams and also playing against other teams, developing healthy competition as part of their social development.

Getting your child involved with after school clubs from an early age will teach them lifelong lessons about making friends and the importance of working towards goals as part of a team. It’s something that’ll be useful in school as they work on group projects and as they move on to the world of work as they get older.


Building confidence and self-esteem

One of the great things about after school activities for kids is that they get to choose what they want to do. It helps children exercise some independence, which in turn builds on their confidence and self-esteem as they get better at something that they chose to practice. 

Similarly, it can teach children a valuable lesson in picking themselves back up when something doesn’t work out as they might find that the activity they chose isn’t for them. Admitting that something isn’t for them after putting time and effort into it can be a little scary, but overcoming that hurdle can actually be a huge confidence booster. Not only did your child have the confidence to put themselves out there and try something new, but they also had the confidence to admit it wasn’t for them and to keep looking for something that’s more fitting for them – that’s something to be celebrated. 


Exploring their creativity

Getting creative is all part of the fun with after school activities. While in school children might feel a little pressured to perform well academically, extra curricular activities are something just for them to enjoy. It allows them to really explore their creativity as they’re not held back by fear of getting answers wrong, or frustration that they might not understand something in time for their exams.  Even in areas other than art, children are encouraged to tap into a creative approach to learning a new skill or practising an existing one with after school activities. Exploring that creative side can be a skill in itself, something that children can take into their school learning and their problem solving approach. 

After school activities for kids – getting the balance right

After school activities can be a huge benefit for children. The activities allow them to develop socially, physically and creatively while also teaching them new skills and learning habits that they can apply in school. But, it’s important to get the balance right when it comes to extra curricular activities, ensuring that children are getting some time to just relax outside of school.  


Putting academic studies first

Just as after school activities can have a positive impact on a child’s performance in school, it’s important to not allow them to get in the way of academic studies. If you or your child’s teacher recognises a dip in their performance in school after your child takes up an extra curricular activity, it might be worth looking into ways to fix that. 

You could try setting up an after school activities timetable for your child. This will help instil good time management skills into your child, while also ensuring that they’re putting just as much time into their school work as they are into their extra curricular activities.


Make sure they have some downtime

The importance of doing nothing from time to time can’t be understated. While you probably want to make sure your child is always learning, stimulated and entertained, sometimes it’s okay and actually beneficial to just let them rest a little.  While your child may really enjoy their learning and extra curricular activities, if they’re doing too much out of school it can start to have an impact on their performance in school. Sometimes between the schoolwork, the homework and the after school activities it’s okay to let your child just be a child for a bit. That way they can rest up and recharge ready for more learning and creativity. 

Tuition as an extra curricular activity

After school activities can be a fantastic way to support a child’s learning in school, particularly in subjects that they might be having difficulty with. Online tuition can be a good after school activity for children that need a little bit of learning support. 

At Explore Learning we get to know your child and the way that they learn most effectively. That way our talented tutors can turn learning into a fun and engaging after school activity that can help your child with areas of difficulty in their learning, or provide an additional challenge if they need it. 

If your child needs an extra helping hand after school, why not try our maths and English tuition

Achieve real progress

and unlock the joy of learning.

Learn more

Cancel anytime

No joining fee

In centre or online

Memberships to suit you

Cancel anytime

No joining fee

In centre or online

Memberships to suit you

Cancel anytime

No joining fee

In centre or online

Memberships to suit you

netmums recommended
mumsnet rated
Education Investor Awards 2019 Winner Private tutoring company
Sunday Times best big companies to work for 2019
Cyber Essentials Certified Plus
2019 Business Excellence Winner - Best After School Tuition Provider - UK - Explore learning

Your nearest centres

Sorry, we don't have any centres within {{distance}} miles

image alt text from CMS

Explore learning online tuition

We also offer online tuition to flexibly fit into your family’s life.

Results from outside {{distance}} miles

Please select a centre

Showing {{count}} closest to '{{postcode}}'




{{distance}} miles

Select this centre

Search again

Please enter a valid postcode or location