After-school activities provide kids with the opportunity to develop positive habits, develop skills and interest, and reduce stress and anxiety.
After-activities should be fun and not just about doing homework. After spending time at school, children would hate it if they have to spend the entire afternoon with the same books.
However, if the activities are fun as well as educational, where the kids get to play interesting games once they are done with their homework, then kids will definitely be excited about after-school programs.
As a parent you need to realize that splashing color on pages, laughing at jokes, playing games are really the things that children look forward to after spending time at school and after they are done with their homework.
After-School Activities are important but they should not be drudgery for your children. Kids should ideally have a bit of everything such as games, painting, music, sports, and so on.
As parents you should look for after-school programs and activities that your children will look forward to attend.
If these programs are able to blend educational values with fun activities then children will really look forward to attending after-school programs.
So which after-school activities kids love to engage in?
It has been observed that after school activities such as sports, games (playing with toys), art and craft activities (making things, drawing, painting), creating arts (drama, music), stem activities, are the things that children love to do after they are back from school.
Spot the Differences Activity
Spot the difference is a simple, yet fun game that makes a child concentrate, think, and learn to notice the details.
So the next time you find a ‘spot the difference’ game in the newspaper, do ask your little one to take a look at it and find the answer.
You will find plenty of ‘spot the differences’ pictures on this site, which you can share it with your child.
If you have a computer printer, you may print out the pages and let your child mark the spots where they see some difference. If you don’t have a printer, just expand the image on your computer or phone and look at the pictures together.
Brain Activation during the Spot the Differences Game
Spot the Differences is a simple and popular game in which an observer compares a pair of similar pictures to detect the differences between them. Functional activation of the brain while playing this game has not been investigated.
We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the main cortical regions involved in playing this game and compared the sites of cortical activation between a session of playing the game and a session of viewing 2 identical pictures.
The right posterior parietal cortex showed more activation during game playing, and cortical activation volume correlated with game-playing accuracy. This cortical region may play an important role in awareness of differences between 2 similar pictures.
Activities for kids (3 to 5 years)
Here are activities for kids under 5 years old that will help them develop focus, concentration and engage them creatively.
For most of these activities, in case you do not have the printout of the outline of the picture, you can draw it using pencil and then let your child complete the activity.
Drawing and Coloring
Draw the National flag and color it.
Draw a flower and color it pink.
Draw a Cake and color it.
Draw a river and a boat on it. Color the picture.
Draw a rainy scene and color it.
Draw a Traffic Signal and color it.
Draw your face and color it.
Color Orange. Draw a Sun and color it Orange.
Color Brown. Color the bar of chocolate using a brown crayon.
Parts of a plant. color the plant (provide outline) and write the names of its parts.
One and Many. Draw the shapes (one square and many circles) and color them using crayons.
Open and Close. Draw a flower on the closed box and your favourite toy in the open box using your favourite color crayon.
Shape Hexagon. Draw and color a hexagon using your favourite color crayon.
Grain pasting – National flag. Apply glue on the flag and then paste grains on the flag to make it more colorful.
Sources of water. Paste pictures of any four sources of water. Write their names.
Air and water pollution. Paste two pictures showing air and waste pollution.
Pasting famous people: Paste pictures of any four famous people (pick from the KG books).
Color brown. Tear brown glazed paper into small bits and paste them on the tree trunk. Then color the tree using a green crayon.
Shape Cylinder. Paste the pictures of five cylinder – shaped objects.
Pet Animals. Apply glue on the fish (provide outline) and stick pencil shavings on it.
Homes of Animals. Paste ice-cream sticks to make a Kennel for the puppy.
Seasons. Paste pictures of different seasons – Summer, Rainy, Winter, Spring.
Cotton Pasting – Winter Season. Apply glue on the body of the snowman (provide outline) and stick cotton wool on it. Then, stick 3 ‘small circles’ for its eyes and nose.
Thick and Thin. Stick cotton wool on the thick candle and crushed newspaper on the thin candle.
School. Paste the mentioned shape cut-outs to make a school. Squares – 3, Triangles – 6, Rectangles – 3.
Shape Hexagon. Tear different colored papers and paste them on the hexagon (provide outline) to make a quilt.
Family. Paste a photograph of your family.
Shape Pentagon. Use 5 pieces of straw (2-inch long) and paste them to make a pentagon.
Shapes. Paste 1 big rectangle, 3 triangles. 3 circles and 8 thin strips made of colored paper to make a rocket.
Parts of the Body. Paste pictures of any 5 parts of the body.
Favorite Toys. Paste a picture of your favourite toy.
Shapes. Paste 1 square, 1 circle and 4 rectangles, made of colored glaze paper to make the body of a child.
Thumb Printing: Dip your thumb in yellow watercolor and imprint on the picture of a Banana or a Mango.
Thumb Printing – Color Brown. Dip your thumb in brown watercolor and imprint it inside the image to color it.
Thumb Printing – Insects. Dip your thumb in your favorite color and imprint it on a blank page. Draw eyes and legs to make them look like insects.
Finger Printing – Ant. Dip your finger in red watercolor and imprint it on the sheet. Draw eyes and legs to make an ant.
Hand Printing: Draw a Peacock. Apply blue, green, red and yellow water colors on your hand and imprint it on the sheet. The thumb will be the head of the peacock; draw eyes, legs, and crown to make it look like a peacock.
Hand Printing – Color Purple. Color your hand with red watercolor and then with blue to make the color purple. Press your hand on a blank space (on paper) to get the hand imprint.
Hand Printing – Color Red. Dip your hand in red watercolor and imprint it on the sheet.
Fist Printing – Rainy Season. Dip your fist in grey watercolor and imprint it to make clouds. Then, dip your finger tip in blue water color and imprint it to make rain drops.
Decorating the Shape Cone. Decorate a birthday cap (outline of it) using the material of your choice.
Sponge dabbing – Color Orange. Dip a sponge in orange watercolor and dab it on the image to make a flower. Color the stem using a greener crayon.
Okra Printing – Shape Pentagon. Dip a cut end of Okra in watercolor and print it on the paper to make flowers. Then draw the stems and leaves using a green crayon.
Buy Activity Books for Kids
Now you can buy activity books for kids online. You can choose from a wide collection of Fun and Learn activity books to inculcate varied skills in your child.
These activity books help keep toddlers, preschoolers and young kids engaged, learning and practicing fine motor skills. These kid’s activity books are full of fun ideas and arty projects, from children’s puzzle and sticker books to coloring books and more.
Some of the activities that are included in these books:
- Matching the Pairs
- Connecting the Dots
- Complete picture and colour it
- Colour the picture as instructed
- Join the numbers serially and colour the picture
- Solve crossword puzzle
- Differences between two pictures
- Getting out of a maze, reach a treasure through a maze, and so on
- Arrange jumbled words
- What’s the time
Buy Activity & Craft Books For Kids books online from leading online bookstores. These are packed with hours of fun for your toddler.
Learning activities for kids during holidays
During holidays, instead of taking kids to movies, shopping, etc, parents should get their kids to do the following activities:
1. Go to the nearest bank and show them the functioning of the banks, how ATMs work and what is the benefit of it.
2. Take time out and visit orphanage, home for the aged and explain to them about those places.
3. Take them to the rivers, seas, oceans and teach them how to swim.
4. Give them saplings and ask them to plant them and water them and see them grow. Encourage them by saying that they will be presented with gifts for their good deeds.
5. Perform blood donations in front of them, and explain to them the need for it. Be a hero (role model) for them.
6. Take them to government hospitals and show them the difficulties the patients are going through. Tell them how difficult it is to go through this process of pain if you are met with an accident.
7. Take them to your hometown/village and let them spend time with their grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins. Let them experience the affection and good times of being with the family. Show them what is agriculture/farming and the difficulties a farmer goes through in providing the food that we are eating and that we should not waste food.
8. Take them to the nearby police station, court, jail. Explain them the punishments rendered to the inmates because of their wrong doings. This will make them aware of the bad things they should be away from.
9. Make them sit by you and ask them what their needs are and satisfy some of the useful ones and explain them which ones are essential and which ones are not. Give them a feeling that you are there for them.
10. Take them to all the places of worship without restricting to any single place. Take them to churches, temples, mosques, etc., Based on how much you know of each place explain it to them.
Finally, they should understand…”Being Happy is more important then being successful…”
Funtoyworld is a family-managed website with me (Ben), and my wife doing most of the work. We are proud parents of two wonderful kids and love reviewing toys. We have a firm but friendly “democratic parenting” style and offer several practical suggestions backed by extensive research. Our own experience with raising two children prompted us to share our knowledge. Read more.