Balancing a career and family is no easy task, particularly when a family needs to budget for after school activities. While after school sports and clubs might be appropriate for a few days per week, families may require additional options that better suit their child’s needs and interests. Through Connecticut’s library, museum, and parks and recreation facilities, several other options are available for children and their families. Enrich your child’s learning experience outside of the classroom with the 10 best after-school programs in Connecticut.
Offered during the school year, the Studio@4 program has children ages 8 to 10 working with artists and educators to learn about art. This great after school activity is offered on Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and registration is required. The next session begins on September 6 and features printmaking. Daytime activities are also available throughout the summer and are offered for a variety of different ages.
For extended after school hours, sign up for daily programs running from the time school lets out until 6 p.m. Activities include homework help, physical education, cooking lessons, and community service projects. Three and five-day per week options are available for a variety of rates. Note that pre-registration is required.
Held at the Maple Street Elementary School, this 4-H after school program offers a club-like setting for children from kindergarten through fifth grade. The program is typically held three days per week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 2:20 until 5:20 p.m. Children work with mentors on STEM enrichment projects, leadership, community service, and team building. New London also offers a similar 4-H after school program.
Give your child the gift of a second (or third!) language with after school Mandarin lessons at the HuaXia Chinese School. Sign up for 32 weeks of classes, from September until June, that run from directly after school until 4:30 p.m. In addition to learning spoken and written Mandarin, children learn about Chinese culture and heritage as well as international mindedness and cultural acceptance. Children from kindergarten through 8th grade can register for classes.
Every Tuesday, teens should swing by the Mystic & Noank library for Wii gaming time with friends at 3:30 to 5 pm. Teens and tweens can enjoy free yoga class, also on Tuesdays, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. that focus on kindness and mindfulness. Numerous other summertime activities, like teen art at 2 p.m. and Friday night family movies, as well as after school options abound depending on the time of year. Be sure to check the events calendar online for fun, free activities for children and adults.
Libraries are such a wonderful resource, offering the community access to free books, movies, magazines, and educational events. For the kids, there is always something going on at Otis including after school activities. Children grades six and up can learn to code at the weekly Coding Clinic running from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Other children may enjoy the Tuesday afternoon, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Create It! Clinic, where you can create mixed media art; this is meant for children in grades kindergarten through eighth, although parents would need to accompany their children. Other daytime and after school activities are also available throughout the year, so be sure to check Otis’ events calendar frequently.
Parks and Recreation services are offered for each town and city throughout the state and include an abundance of free and low-cost weekly programs for ages baby to adult, and many of the programs are inclusive. These excellent town services include sports teams for children and teens as well as adult leagues. In addition, a huge selection of art and lifestyle classes is offered, ranging from Adaptive Painting to Water Color, Beginning Sewing, and HAM Radio. Many of these programs are offered after school, so check your town for possibilities.
Perfect for pre-schoolers, the Connecticut College Children’s Program offers wrap-around care for children up to the age of 6 from 3 to 5 p.m. Children get to enjoy small groups and be cared for by certified teachers as well as college students studying education. They also offer inclusion and 1:1 sessions.
Supplement your child’s love of art with after school art programs held at the Mystic Museum of Art. Numerous after school options are available and classes are held in age-appropriate groups ranging from ages 3.5–5, 6–9, and 8–12. Though no classes are specifically offered for teenagers, teens are encouraged to join adult classes and these include everything from photo editing to printmaking and figure drawing.
This excellent library has numerous teen-focused events and programs including college readiness programs and homework help throughout the school year. Monthly after school book clubs with snacks are also offered during the school year. Visiting the library is a perfect option for teens during the after school hours.