In the current economic climate many schools are being forced to cut out extracurricular programs from the school day such as art, music and to a lesser extent P.E. or Sports. This is devastating for our children as they are missing out on very valuable educational opportunities and access to gaining lifetime skills and appreciation for the Arts and physical fitness. Now granted, I don’t think we could ever expect to replace School Arts, Music or Physical Education programs in an after school setting. I remember going to visit the symphony with my 4th grade Music Teacher as one of my all time favorite memories from my elementary school years. I do think, however by offering after school programs, with an emphasis in Art, Music, and Physical Education that we can help to maintain that “spark” in children and open their eyes to what kinds of experiences are available to them!

Here are some ideas below about how to incorporate Art, Music & physical education in the after school setting. If you need more ideas about how to plan your club take a look at my article on planning your first after school club.

Music Club Ideas

1)   Hand bell Club- You can purchase a set of hand bells for kids that are color coded for the different notes they play. I found a set at Lakeshore Learning. The set came with color coded cards to play different songs such as “Mary Had a Little Lamb” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” You can start by teaching children about musical notes, note values, and scales and move on teaching how to play songs with the hand bells. As a special event at the end of the club event parents and friends to a Hand bell recital.

2)   Karaoke Club- If you have a karaoke machine, or even just a boom box and microphone you can host a karaoke club.  The children can practice, and you can hold a concert for them at the end of the club session.

3)   Music Appreciation Club-Teach children to appreciate music. This can be accomplished in many ways. You can teach the kids to identify some classical music and then play a game of “Name that Tune.” They can listen to various styles of music and paint or draw about how it makes them feel. You can teach them about rhythm and have them clap or dance to different beats. Also, if you have access to a musical instrument set you can teach them to identify various instruments by sight and sound, and have children take turns playing the instruments.

Art Club Ideas

Teach children about various artists biographies and allow them to create art based on their styles. Make sure to allow for some time for children to create artwork base on their own artistic styles. At the end of the club hold an art gallery to showcase the children’s artwork.

Examples of artists you can showcase:

  • Charles Schulz- kids can create their own comic strips inspired by “Peanuts”
  • Georgia O’Keefe- flower paintings
  • George Seurat-Kids can create pictures using pointillism or images that look completely whole but looking more closely are created with series of dots instead of connected lines.

Sports Club Ideas

Some Sports Club would benefit from having a great Coach. Talk with your parents/staff to see if anyone may be interested in coaching a sports club once a week or even once a month. If they are not available for a long term commitment perhaps you can have them come for the last (special event) session to perform a Demo or be a Guest Speaker.

1)   Jogging Club- You can teach the importance of stretching and warming up. As a special event you can hold a jog-a-thon, and let the children help choose a great cause to earn funds for.

2)   Basketball Club

3)   Football Club

4)  “Yoga for Kids” Club- Many DVD’s or cards are available that teach fun yoga moves to kids

5)   Dance Club

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