Give the kids an extra dose of fun this year and sign them up for something engaging, active and entertaining to do on the side.
So what kind of kids’ classes or after-school activities should you consider? Something sporting, something musical or something else entirely? And what about fun classes for babies or toddlers?
Here’s a few of our favourites. There’s something for every kid, no matter how big or small.
1. Swimming lessons
Learning to swim is one of those skills that every Aussie kid should have. Not just because it’s fun, but because it’s life-saving too. Kingswim has kids’ classes for babies from 12 weeks of age, right through to graduate level swimmers at its 20 centres across the country.
Their programs are Swim Australia registered and all teachers hold nationally recognised qualifications. Plus, they offer a free trial so your child can try before you enrol. Enrol in lessons before 28 February 2019 and get a free Kingswim towel OR swim bag.
2. Little Learners
Do you have a child who loves to learn? Give them a head start with Begin Bright, which runs nationwide programs for young learners, starting from two to 12 years old. Their school readiness program is especially popular and can help your little one nurture their love of numbers and letters. And the best part for littlies is it doesn’t even feel like they’re learning – it’s just a whole lot of fun. For primary aged children, there are fun and engaging educational programs to help give their school learning a boost! Taught in small groups by qualified teachers, they’ll give your child the confidence they need to succeed and develop a lifelong love of learning.
Special offer: Enrol now and you could win your term fees back! Use the Promo code MumCentral at the checkout to enter. Offer valid until 1 March, 2019.
3. Music fun
Did you know kids under six create over one million new neural connections per second? Woah, pretty staggering, isn’t it! Making music is ‘super food’ for a child’s developing brain. It engages areas involved in speech, listening, movement, intellect, socialisation, emotions and creativity – and all at the same time. No-one knows this music-brain connection better than Mini Maestros, who have devised their music classes especially to nurture whole-brain development for 0-5s.
So your tots will think it’s all about the music, the fun and the games, but you know they’re building brain bridges for down the track too! Enrol in their fun, active and educational classes today and receive a complimentary “At Home” Educational Activities ePack. Mini Maestros also have COME and TRY Demonstrations at many of their regular venues so you can see if your little one likes it before you enrol.
4. Learn a language
Kids are never too young to learn a second (or third or fourth!) language – and at Asian Language School, learning a foreign language is not only engaging, but a class that kids can do from the comfort of home! In fact, it’s actually easier for kids to learn a language than it is for adults, so starting early with these virtual classes makes sense. There’s also plenty of benefits to learning a second language, including better performance at school and better multi-tasking.
Avoid all the running around, drop-offs and pick-ups with online learning. Parents can relax at home while the kids soak up their language lesson from native-speaking teachers using their computers. Chinese and Japanese classes are available for kids aged 6 to 15 years old. You can even score a trial lesson to try it out. Perfect for some educational (and very useful) fun!
From January 2019, NSW school children can claim $100 off each year from a Creative Arts registered provider when they learn a foreign language.
5. Time for tennis
If it’s a constant battle between kids over who gets to play with the tennis balls, it might well be time to let them battle it out on the tennis court. It’s game, set, match and a whole whack of fun with ANZ Tennis Hot Shots. And we can’t even begin to tell you all the good things playing tennis does for hand-eye coordination.
The ANZ Tennis Hot Shots program is the perfect way to ignite a lifelong love for tennis and get them started on their tennis playing journey. Plus, active kids are healthy kids and all that …
6. Play cricket
Got a little bowler on your hands? Get them into junior cricket! Play Cricket is your first port of call if your child is interested in cricket. And it sure beats lazing on the lounge watching it on the TV.
There are several different programs for kids ages 5 and up including their Junior Blasters, Master Blasters and Junior Competition programs, scattered across the country. They also offer Senior cricket and indoor cricket programs too.
7. Little Athletics
For kids with extra energy, strength and speed, Little Athletics is an awesome kids activity to look into. It’s for kids 5-16 years of age and gives your little star a chance to train and compete in a wide range of Athletics events such as high jump, running, hurdles, shot put and more.
There are over 500 Little Athletics clubs right around the country, all of which operate slightly differently but run on the same mantra – Family, Fun and Fitness.
8. Mini sports
To give your tot a chance to test out a number of sports, you can’t go past Ready Steady Go Kids! It’s Australia’s leading multi-sport activity for children aged 1.5-6 years with programs across Australia.
The program gives kids a taste of several different sports over a six month period. Your little one will learn the fundamentals of soccer, tennis, basketball, hockey, golf, AFL, rugby, athletics, cricket and T-ball, all in a non-competitive environment. That means plenty of exercise, but no tears. Win-win.
For younger kids who love to bounce, head to your nearest BOUNCE centre for a KinderGym class. These are strictly for three to five year olds and let kiddies bounce off all that energy in a fun, stimulating and safe space. Of course, there’s lots of bouncing, but preschoolers will put their balance, climbing, tumbling and other skills to the test too.
The instructors are all qualified gymnastics coaches too – and the program itself has the official thumbs up from Gymnastics Australia – so tots will pick up some important gym and coordination skills along the way.
10. Ballet and dance
If your sweetie loves to twirl, whirl or simply move to the beat of her own drum, then KinderBallet is a great choice. It’s aimed for kids aged 2 to 5 and offers an introduction into classical ballet through imaginative and creative movement.
Not only is it fun for little dancers, but it’s also too cute to watch from the sidelines! So much tu-tu sweetness! There are Mummy (or Daddy) and Me classes for the tiniest tots and then the children progress to dance classes without a parent as they grow.
More Fun Activities for Primary School Kids
Extra-curricular activities are not only great for building kids’ confidence and helping them find (and grow) their passion, but they can also be a great way to teach them about commitment, teamwork and dedication.
Plus, they are ideal for building social skills and self-esteem and provide kids with the chance to be proud of their accomplishments. Choose wisely and you might also find an activity that tuckers the kids out so they’ll fall asleep at bedtime without any fuss!
There are plenty of other local and state-run clubs and organisations to consider, including dance programs, soccer, netball and footy teams, drama, choir and musical courses, coding and STEM clubs and so much more. Do a quick search in your area to see what’s available.
More Fun Activities for Preschoolers
Even if your little one isn’t in big school just yet, there are still plenty of great activities out there for them to try. The best thing about activities for preschoolers is that they usually are a weekly thing so they can fit into your routine, get you both out of the house and give both you and your little one some social stimulation. Here’s a few more to consider for your tot:
Local libraries often have free story time programs while plenty of yoga studios offer Mummy ‘n Me classes. Ask around and see what else you can find. And be sure to check out these 101 Things To Do With Your Kids Before They Grow Up for more ideas on entertaining kids of all ages and stages.
A Note on Government Issued Sports Vouchers
We get it, extra curricular activities can be expensive but help is at hand!
Did you know that there’s a state government initiative to help buffer the cost of kids sporting club registration fees? The rules do vary from state to state. But generally speaking, kids who attend primary school and are in years Reception/ Foundation to Year 7 are eligible to claim up to $100 off membership/registration fees if their club is a registered provider.
Not all states are on board as yet, but do check below to see if your kids are eligible for a grant, after all, every little bit helps! Let the dance, cricket, swimming, netball or football begin!
- South Australia – Sports Vouchers
- Western Australia – KidSport Vouchers
- Northern Territory – Sport Voucher
- Queensland – Get Started Vouchers
- New South Wales – Active Kids Vouchers
- Tasmania – Ticket To Play
Have a blast getting out and about with the kids and watching them trying something different, developing a love for something new or simply continuing on with activities that they love!
For more ways to get the kids ready for the new school year, make sure to browse our Back to School category. It’s crammed with everything you need to know.