Putting the ‘Extra’ in extra-curricular – Exploring the range of fun after-school activities for your child

After-school activities newmarket

It’s not just what kids learn in the classroom that counts. The right after-school program can bring many benefits for your child, with the opportunity to turn spare hours after school into productive learning time.

Choosing a program outside of school offers your child the chance to improve social skills while getting to know a different community of kids in a new environment. It’s also a great way to build confidence and make learning fun. And with a wide-variety of programs available locally, parents have plenty to choose from when looking to find the right fit for your child (and your family).

STEM Minds
There’s no denying STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are seeing significant growth. STEM Minds in Aurora is on a mission to inspire kids ages 6 to 14 to innovate, have fun, and develop confidence through engagement in STEM programming. Programs include robotics, programming, wearable technology, 3D design, and more. Visit stemminds.com to explore.

JOYRIDE150 Indoor Bike Park
There’s no need to worry about the spring showers dampening your child’s chance to ride. Joyride150 Indoor Bike Park in Markham is a place where kids of all ages can improve their skills and get a feel for the bike riding lifestyle. The giant warehouse-style facility features a cross country trail (with log-overs, rock gardens, climbs and descents), skinnies, a pump track, foam pit, half pipe and so much more.
Visit joyride150.com for information on hours and upcoming events.

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Girls Inc.
This non-profit youth organization is dedicated to empowering girls and young women to seek the highest quality of life possible. Girls Inc.’s after-school program for ages 12-plus offers a safe and energetic space where girls can learn and simply be themselves. Here is a chance to explore physical literacy, leadership activities and to build new friendships. Find out more at girlsincyork.org.

Aurora Cultural Centre
Creativity is always flowing at the Aurora Cultural Centre. Children can awaken their inner artists through the centre’s after-school classes and workshops. They’ll get to learn about the great creative minds of the past, while experimenting with a variety of materials to connect with colours and discover how to use composition, shapes and lines to evoke emotion. Register at auroraculturalcentre.ca.

Marquee Theatrical Productions
Marquee Theatrical Productions—an award-winning community theatre group located in Aurora—offers a variety of educational classes focusing on dramatic and musical theatre for students ages 4 to 18. Workshops are centred on teaching acting and improvisation, voice instruction, dancing, stage movement and theatre etiquette. Find out more at marqueetp.com.

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Harmonic Melodies
Harmonic Melodies promotes cognitive development and improvement through progressive music educational programs. The after-school program runs daily, with the option to choose either a full-week or part-time plan. Music lessons include group violin, musical theatre, group woodwinds, choice, and group guitar/ukulele. Visit harmonicmelodies.ca to register.

Learning to type correctly is an essential skill today, but Qwertynomics is about more than just typing. Through providing engaging lessons, games, spelling and speed tests, the program also teaches literacy skills, proper grammar/punctuation, and the ability to communicate thoughts and ideas better and faster. Find out more at qwertynomics.ca.

Towns of Newmarket and Aurora
The Towns of Newmarket and Aurora both offer a range of different activities to choose from, with the purpose of encouraging your child to get active, be creative and discover new skills. This includes programs around hip hop, ballet, swimming, basketball, yoga, power skating, fencing and more. Discover full program details at newmarket.ca/ThingsToDo and aurora.ca/ThingsToDo.

Some families may decide their kids shouldn’t be in after-school activities at all, and that’s okay too. No matter what option you choose, only a parent truly knows what is the best fit for their child. And as you can see, there’s certainly no shortage of options.

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