Top After-School Activities for Young Children
Give your kids something to look forward to after the school bell rings! Sign them up for some extra-curricular fun to keep their minds and bodies active during the school term.
Now that the school term has begun and life has snapped into “routine mode,” perhaps it’s time to consider ways to keep your kids motivated and break the monotony a little. After all, taking part in an after-school activity or two is fun and keeps their minds sharp and active, plus it’s much better than sitting in front of the telly until dinner-time.
We’ve compiled a list of places around town that run these fun-packed courses and grouped them according to the respective nature of the activity. Remember, there’s no point forcing your child into an activity they won’t enjoy. If they are artistic, suggest a painting or pottery class to them; if they’re sporty why not enrol them in touch rugby or football? Steer them towards choosing something they’ve got an interest in, or something they’re already good at, so that they get a kick out of it and bring a bold confidence to the table.
For children who are artsy and bursting with creativity and whimsical imaginations, an arts ‘n’ crafts course may be the answer. Little projects involving drawing, painting, sculpting, crafts, pottery and paper mache can really kickstart their flair, open up their minds and encourage them to express their inner thoughts and feelings.
Aside from being super fun, art enriches fine motor skills in young bubs and stimulates their creativity, allowing them to think outside the box and view the world through different lenses. So, check out these activity centres below and see if any of their workshops makes your child’s eyes light up!
Located in Ap Lei Chau, Little Picasso is a bright and roomy studio where littles ones as young as 3 can get their hands and smocks covered in paint. Founder and art teacher Lindy Moran runs children’s workshops all year round and her hands-on approach encourages her mini-pupils to just let loose and translate their feelings into artwork.
With ‘art houses’ all over Hong Kong island and the New Territories, Anastassia’s offers drop-in workshops and courses that explore all sorts of artsy fun. Kids can try their hands at anything from sketching and painting to watercolours and clay sculpting. Drop the youngsters off at Stanley Plaza for Anastassia’s popular Park Your Kid art program on Sundays, so you can catch your breath and chill over that much-deserved iced coffee you’ve been dreaming of all week!
As the name suggests, The Pottery Workshop is a quirky art hub on Hollywood Road where young, budding potters gather to make beautiful ornaments and ceramics from scratch for Mum’s fancy crockery collection. TPW’s team of talented art instructors will demonstrate to kids (aged 6+) how to transform a lump of clay into a curvy vase or a cute soap-dish, and walk them through the processes of scoring, painting, glazing and firing.
Since opening in ‘91, CreativeKids has been running programs for children aged 1 to 17 years. Students are sorted into classes according to their age group, and shown how to create masterpieces via different mediums, tools and techniques.
For the more active types who always have loads of energy to burn, there are so many options for all kinds of sporty activities. You’ve got to wear them out after school so they can get a solid night’s sleep and feel fantastic every morning and ready to seize the day!
The benefits and development kids can gain from playing sport are endless, and being in a sports team is a great way to make new friends and obtain teamwork skills and a boost of confidence. Take a look at the following places that run sport and exercise activities for the young ones!
The first children’s rugby workshop in the region for babes under 5 presents a structured programme that teaches them how to play a (very) toned-down version of the sport. Just imagine the skills they can obtain from this activity; footwork, teamwork, balance, co-ordination, catching and so much more!
The large but tight-knit team of instructors at Multi-Sport coach workshops where kids get to bounce on trampolines, swim, play all sorts of ball games and fitness exercises and more. Since opening in the early 80s, Multi Sport have been a favoured establishment for extra-curricular activities particularly amongst the expat community. The workshops fill up pretty quickly so you better enrol your child soon!
Here’s another activity centre that holds a range of sports workshops for kids aged 18 months and up. Games include rugby, basketball, swimming, gymnastics, football and more. They offer a free trial class for any sport your kids may want to join, so they can sniff it out before committing.
Tinytots’ workshops also cater to young ones between the ages of 18 months and 5 years. Aside from soccer, your child can join classes that teach basketball, rugby and other mini-sports. These classes also intertwine an academic element that teaches the little athletes (under 3) basic everyday things like how to identify colours, shapes and body parts and how to count and tell left from right. The older kids will gain enhanced complex motor skills, social and leadership qualities and much more.
Unlike the workshop centres above, Rolly Pollies is a spacious foam gym designed for children (aged 6 months to 6 years) to run wild, somersault, do flips, bounce around and just let go and embrace their youth! Sounds like just a great deal of fun, but actually they are improving their strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and agility - just to name a few!
For those of you with youngsters who are natural-born divas and constantly belting out songs and dancing around the house, encourage them to sign up for a performing arts program. They’ll fit right in amongst their fellow stars and get to learn dance routines and perform for audiences. You never know - they could be the next Michael Jackson and all they need is a chance to trigger it and shine!
Similarly to the art workshops, dance and drama-related activities allow a child’s creativity and self-confidence to flourish, and the triumph of performing helps them overcome any fear or anxiety of social interactions and environments which will really go a long way. Here are some popular recommendations for workshops that focus on singing, dancing, musicals, plays and more.
For the past 17 years, Kid’s Gallery has provided young kids with the opportunity to explore the creative arts umbrella and develop an appreciation for different forms of expression. With four branches across Hong Kong, kids can take a stab at activities like musical theatre, ballet, tap dance, singing and even public speaking.
Founded in 1999. Faust's classes and drama workshops have become a favourite pastime amongst many kids and adults with a passion for drama, acting, singing and that rush from being on stage. The workshop activities include fun drama exercises to introduce everyone and get rid of the initial awkwardness, followed by getting in groups and creating a play together to perform for the others. The workshops, which are led by experienced drama teachers, cater to kids aged 3 and up, and are quite large with usually 14-18 students per class.
Conveniently located in upper Central, Red Shoe offers classes specialising in ballet, jazz, hip-hop, breakdance and contemporary. If you’ve got a tiny, aspiring ballerina, they might be interested in Red Shoe’s Kindi Ballet course for 3 to 4 year old boys and girls. They’ll get to learn all the classics pliés and barre moves, while strengthening their posture, balance, discipline and making life-long mates.
Like Red Shoe, Southern School of Dance also offers classes for ballet, tap, contemporary and modern for kids aged 3 and upwards. As they are quite a large school with around 600 students, their classes are divided up and take place at three separate venues (Wong Chuk Hang, Sai Kung or the Hong Kong Cricket Club) so you can drop your child off at the one nearest to you.
This final batch of activity centres don’t necessarily focus solely on arts or sport, but offer a wide variety of fun workshops. From yoga and music to jazz, languages and even cooking, your kids are well and truly spoilt for choice! Having all these choices are positive as your kids can hop from workshop to workshop and discover new interests and hobbies that they may even carry with them into their adolescent and adult years.
These workshops aim to enrich all aspects of optimal development in children including cognitive and sensory skills and peak physical competence. The cooking courses will teach them about the importance of nutrition and how to design dishes that are nutritionally rich and healthy. Have a browse around these centre’s websites and see what appeals to your bub.
Little Yogi Hong Kong
Both of these places run children’s yoga classes for small groups of toddlers and young children. While the Little Yogis studio is based in Wong Chuk Hang, Gecko Yoga’s classes are held at different locations all around Hong Kong. As everyone knows, the benefits of introducing yoga into your life are countless so sign the kids up, and buy them a mini-mat each.
Aimed at little ones as young as 6 weeks (accompanied by Mum or Dad) up to older kids aged 6, SPRING targets motor and cognitive development through their expert-designed programmes. There are a multitude of activities to choose from: Mandarin, cooking, jazz, ballet, drama, sport and music, plus other sensory and neurological programmes like KindyRoo and Discoverer. Check out their website for detailed descriptions of all the courses they have on offer.
Perhaps the biggest centre and ultimate go-to for people (of any age) looking to fill up their free time, YWCA offers a plethora of courses that dabble in all kinds of disciplines. There are even courses designed for newborns! Whether your kids love sports, cooking, arts, dance or music there’s something for everyone.
Slot your little one into a class with other tots their age to brush up on their Mandarin. With centres in Central and Discovery Bay, young students will soak up all the essentials through singing songs and playing games at supersonic speed (as young kids do)! Just take them to a few lessons and before you know it, they’ll be bilingual.