How do you pick the right after-school activity for your child?

With ever-increasing options and all the potential benefits associated with extra-curricular activities, it is easy to become overwhelmed. Our founders, Banu Akca and Zeynep Guney, have put together their tips on making the right choices to keep your kids happy and engaged.

1. Talk to your kids

Understand their interests and ask for their preferences and agreement before signing up. There might be a mismatch between your desires and theirs and that’s ok. Don’t push them into something they don't want to do; present the option, explain the benefits, and encourage but never force them. It’s also ok to try different things and stop some along the way, they can always specialise as they get older.

2. Consider your child’s character

Identify what you want them to achieve and if it suits their personality. Is the aim to relax and have fun after a busy school day or to excel in an area they are already strong in? Do you want to boost their confidence or teach them to become a team player? Try to balance your goals and be cautious of having too many challenging activities at once.

3. Make sure the logistics and timelines work

There is no point in signing up for an activity that you know you won’t make on time and stressing everyone out. Younger kids especially might already be tired after a school day so make sure that they’re physically and mentally ready for the activity. Consider weekend options if necessary.

4. Get feedback from other families

Recommendations always help, so ask other people who send their child to the same activity. Understand why they were or were not happy, what the teacher’s style is like and whether it would be a good fit for your child. For kids, it is often about the teacher more than the activity itself.

5. Evaluate the price and time commitment

Think about whether it is suitable for your budget and consider any additional costs. Do a trial before committing and ask what the options are if you need to drop out for some reason. Check the make-up class policy in case of absence.

6. Stay and watch

If possible, attend some of the sessions to see how the class is run and how they’re doing. If not, talk to your child after every session to make sure things are going smoothly and discuss any potential issues.

7. Congratulate your explorer

Show them how proud you are for trying new things or stepping out of their comfort zone, it is a big step. Your child might not be the next Mozart or Ronaldo but what matters is that they are trying their best, keeping themselves active and happy.

8. Don’t fill every hour

Remember to make room for family time, as well as “just being kids” playing at home or the park. Unstructured play is just as important for developing skills as after-school activities.

On UrbanCircle you can easily navigate through activities, be it sport, music, dance or academic support, based on your child's age, interest and what you as a parent also see beneficial for them to engage in.

UrbanCircle provides you with vetted, trusted and qualified experts in their field so you can be sure your child is well taken care of during their extra curricular activities. After browsing through your options, reading other parents reviews and making your decision you can easily book online, on demand and hassle free. To make it even more convenient for you, we are available to answer any questions you might have during the process.

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