When you’re looking for after-school options for your child, don’t only consider sports. Dance, music, singing and playing instruments, drama and visual arts inspire creativity and build self-confidence. Group and individual lessons can help children hone a craft and develop a passion.

Sign Them Up for Theater

As children grow, they may lose their joy of playing imagination games. One way to help children continue valuing their imaginations, despite emerging self-consciousness, is to introduce them to theater at a young age. Take them to children’s theater productions, encourage participation in age-appropriate theater at school, and sign them up for children’s acting workshops in your community. Workshops may be offered through studios, at professional theaters or through your school district.

Enroll Them in Dance

When we think of dance, we may picture diva ballerinas or overly meddlesome mothers, but dancers learn many helpful, practical skills that carry over naturally into everyday life. And dance performed regularly and intensively is both a sport and a multi-sensory art form that may raise your child’s self-esteem. Ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, acrobatics and hip hop are the most common forms of dance you will find offered at your local dance studio.

Let Them Sing

Encourage your music-loving child to try using her own voice. Singing is healthy physically, psychologically and socially whether your child’s singing is pitch-perfect or not. Elementary school choir is a good place to gauge a student’s interest in group singing. Take your child to concerts, whether her interest is in classical, jazz or rock music. Encourage her to audition for musicals at school, look for community youth choral groups or investigate the possibility of voice lessons.

Hand Them a Paintbrush

If the arts and crafts table at school is your child’s favorite place, now is the perfect time to further his love for visual arts. Painting, drawing, collaging, sculpting and a multitude of other art forms teach perseverance, relieve stress, boost self-esteem and give kids a new way to see the world around them. Visit local art museums, take in special exhibits and provide him with quality art supplies. Look into lessons at a local studio, community center or school.

-Christina Katz

Recent Posts