Boost Creativity With These Outside-the-Box After-School Activity Ideas

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Boost Creativity With These Outside-the-Box After-School Activity Ideas 

Extracurricular activities give kids with autism an avenue to explore interests, develop friendships, and build crucial skills. But what if your child is disenchanted with conventional after-school offerings? Try these suggestions from Smile4Autism for something new and exciting.

 

Dive into STEM

 

While conventional academics may make up kids' core learning goals, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is a priceless addition to their studies. STEM sometimes includes art as well, creating a well-rounded bundle of educational paths that can lead to everything from learning to code to developing solutions to real-world problems.

 

Many different clubs and activities center on STEM. Parents may find local classes on learning to code, mathlete competition opportunities, and science extracurriculars, among other options.

In addition to searching for STEM opportunities, seek clubs and activities for each discipline to increase the odds of finding the perfect fit.

 

Skip Mainstream Sports

 

Sports can be great for kids, but signing up for competitive sports can be limiting. If your child isn't interested in or skilled at soccer, baseball, football, or basketball, they may not find the right fit in after-school sports programs.

 

Try activities outside of conventional sports to expand your child's horizons. For example, a bouldering club could introduce your child to rock climbing in a low-stakes way. A bowling meetup could generate good fun and healthy competition.

 

Consider your autistic child's interests and see if there's a recreational sport or other non-competitive fitness activity they may enjoy with peers. Or, try a solo sport they can engage in anytime.

 

Encourage a Thirst for Knowledge

 

Another invaluable trait you can pass on to children has to do with every human being’s natural thirst for knowledge. You can model this by letting them see you read, watch documentaries, and go back to school, whether that’s to take a night class in something that interests you or even pursuing a business degree. In addition to modeling positive, proactive behavior, this may help you achieve your own goals and dreams, increasing their thirst for success.

 

Start a Blog

 

Many kids become interested in blogging after reading others' blogs or finding a subject they are passionate about. Starting a blog gives kids a chance to express themselves and expand their technical abilities.

 

Whether with a group or on their own, kids can dedicate time to creating a blog to hone a range of skills, per Campus Press. Blogging requires language arts development through writing, internet research skills, and technical skill building.

 

Kids can blog for fun, or they can grow a following and later monetize their writing work. If your child is a beginner when it comes to navigating the web, look for courses for them to try before going it alone. Many online courses offer basic instruction that kids can build on when left to their own devices.

 

Let Teens Guide Activities

 

Letting teens loose to pursue their interests and even manage younger kids can be nerve-wracking. Yet encouraging leadership in kids sets them up for success in many areas of life. Equip your kids with the safety skills they need, then provide opportunities for them to take charge.

 

For example, even young teens can learn babysitting basics, including first aid and CPR, and begin babysitting for elementary and under kids. Or, your child may lead a group that involves same-age and younger peers pursuing a hobby or activity together. Mentorship, tutoring, and camp counselor prospects are also a good fit for the natural-born leader in your family.

 

Teens Can Become Entrepreneurs

 

For kids who are interested in creating their own learning (and earning) opportunities, entrepreneurship might be the perfect fit. Teens can spend after-school hours starting a new company and building a business. One of the first tasks they’ll need to tackle is coming up with a catchy business card with essentials like their contact information and logo. These days, it’s easier than ever to do this by creating your business cards online. It’s as simple as choosing a template and personalizing with your young entrepreneur’s choice of colors, font, and graphics.

 

Though some startups will require a bit of up-front funding, many low-cost opportunities are accessible for teens, notes Verywell Family. For example, teenagers can start a tutoring business with very little overhead, save for perhaps a website. Teens who start a business will learn about accounting, customer service, marketing, and more, all while making money.

 

Children learn best by example, which means this could also be a good chance to give your own life a healthy and energetic upgrade. Conventional sports and after-school clubs may serve many students, but if you're looking for something different, these ideas give you and your autistic child a great place to start.

Author:  Elijah Dawson