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Fun & Educational After School Club & Activity Ideas

Many schools offer a dazzling variety of after school clubs - often run thanks to the goodwill of very busy teachers. Ideally, they should be interesting, fun and enjoyable for children and teachers alike. Of course not everyone is inspired by the same things! With this in mind we have gathered together no less than 38 suggestions for extra-curricular activities! Read on for some great and varied ideas...

Posted on Tuesday 11th July 2017

Eco club (NEW)

With the recent television programmes such as Blue Planet 2 and Drowning in Plastic – help the children in your school to become more aware of the impact that our waste – in particular plastic has on our environment. What can you do in your school? Make children feel empowered to make a difference! Get members of the club special ECO School badges so that they feel part of the club.

  1. Could you change un-recyclable milk cartons to the old fashioned milk bottles?
  2. Could you encourage litter picking in school
  3. Encourage the sorting of waste within the school environment – could each class have a paper bin and a general waste bin?
  4. Children could be encouraged to collect milk bottle lids – which in most areas cannot be recycled – and create a masterpiece with them.
  5. Have a large recycled junk project – why not make an igloo from milk bottles if in the autumn/winter months?   
  6. Perhaps you could start composting left over food waste?
  7. Start growing your own vegetables. 
  8. Could the school have a wind turbine or solar panels to supply the school with electricity?

Litter picking club (NEW)

Encourage children to don high vis vests and litter pickers to tidy up the school and immediate local area. Teach children to take pride in their community. Perhaps a trip to the local park – picking litter as they go. Discuss the impact that the dropped litter has and how it makes them feel. Who can pick the most litter? Can the children identify the different materials – paper, plastic, metal – can they also sort it for recycling? Risk assessments must be made for this activity with washing of hands, wearing of gloves and the use of litter pickers and high vis vests.

Construction club

Children of all ages love Lego and Knex. Encourage large projects in groups or simply encourage small individual models of the children’s choice. Parents could perhaps donate tubs of Lego to the school for this? Or simply check Ebay for large tubs of second hand Lego.

Storybox club

Create a story in a shoe box. Each child can choose their favourite story and re-create it in a shoe box – changing the story if they wish. Or, simply create a small world scene in a shoe box. Read our blog post: Creating the world of a book in a story box for detailed instructions.

Story Shoe Box by Lottie Makes

Make a Roald Dahl Dream Jar 

A great club or activity for literacy week or to celebrate Roald Dahl and all his stories. Click here for information and detailed instructions.

Gardening club

Great for the spring/summer months – plant seeds, learn about the different parts of plants, composting, worm gardens. Make a bug hotel with pallets.

School garden club

Photography club

Budding photographers could get out and about around school photographing the school garden or wildlife. Why not add a webcam to a bird box and see what happens? Share this with the whole school. Incorporate into a children’s version of the school newsletter (mentioned further down!)

Cooking club

Make biscuits, pizza muffins, fruit kebabs etc. There are many free recipe ideas on the internet. Make frozen yogurt and fresh fruit lollies and sell them at snack time in the summer months. 

Yummy Muffin Pizzas Tesco Eat Happy Project downloadable resources

Science club

Perform simple science experiments for the children to observe and get involved in.  Try: ‘Popping rockets’ (view the blog here for instructions), ‘Erupting Lava’, make sticky putty, go outside and create a mento geyser, make a tornado and fountain inside a water bottle, grow crystals. Demonstrate micro-organisms at work. How clean are your hands and the surfaces of your classroom? Use special glitter bug gel or powder. Ask the students to rub the gel on their hands. The students wash and dry their hands as normal. When placed under a UV lamp any areas not washed properly will show up – as if by magic! Ask children to record findings and reasons for what has taken place. Plant seeds in CD cases. Always think safety and wear goggles, gloves and white jackets where appropriate. View our Science experiments blog post here.

Choir/Singing club

Calling all singers and entertainers! Enter your school to perform at Young Voices – the largest school choir concert in the world – held each year. The club could also perform Christmas carols at your school’s Christmas fair or perhaps at an old folk’s home. 

Hama beads

Super simple and helps with fine motor skills. Make Pokémon balls, Minecraft shapes. The possibilities are endless, particularly with all the shapes available to use. Ebay is the best place for these!

Craft club

From beaded name zippers to egg box flowers, choose a craft to suit the age. Air dry clay modelling – make one week, paint the next. Mini canvases make a great starting point – provide paints, collage items and glue and let the children create mini masterpieces. Make Pom Pom critters or peg dolls – click here for instructions.

Film club

A simple movie with snacks makes a very popular after school club. Donations of £2 per child could be requested which would include a drink and snack. Any proceeds could go to school funds or other after school activities.

Board games club

Children love to pay games, but with so many now choosing electronic devices over good old fashioned board games, it is great to encourage them time to put their ipads/tablets aside and have a more communal experience! Snakes and Ladders, UNO, Monopoly (and many others) can be great fun and educational too!

Storytelling club

Grab a large comfy chair and make a comfortable area for the children with rugs and bean bags. Use the Mr P crackling fire on the projector idea! – perfect for winter time. Settle down for a classic story. Great, especially if there is no time in the day for story time. Perhaps make a pretend campfire one week with a glowing centre and all sit around that? Or, weather permitting, sit outside. Perhaps the head teacher could read a story one week and have other ‘guest’ readers!

Reading club

Drama club

Encourage confidence and individualism by created a drama club. Put on an end of term show for the school and parents of the children involved.

School newsletter

Encourage budding reporters and photographers. Use and gain IT skills to put together a monthly newsletter that children have created. Interview children, teachers and parents. Create articles about recent school visits or residentials.

School Parliament club (NEW)

Empower children within the school to make a difference. 1-2 children from each class can be elected each year to help run the school – giving the children of the school a voice on how the school is run and to suggest improvements. Children could help with providing ideas, lunch menu choices, snack time options, after school club events.

Colouring club

Children can draw their own patterns or pictures to colour or use pre-printed sheets to. Twinkl are great for printable activities!

Loom band club

If the children are particularly good at these, perhaps they could be sold at summer or Christmas fairs – proceeds going to school funds or put back into after school club funds.

International diversity club

Cook recipes from around the world – ask teachers or parents from other countries to help here. Watch BBC videos/DVDs on other locations and cultures – ‘Wild China’ and ‘Incredible India’ are good ones.

Animation club (NEW)

Have you heard of Scratch? View our blog on how it works here. Teach basic animation techniques, including how to animate still photos (iPads have software that do this along with free apps such as Stop Motion or iMotion).

Children love to create short stop motion animations with animals and characters. Use lego figures and buildings that the children have made. 

In this example we made cork characters and a craft roll castle, then simple took photos after each small movement, combining them to create a video. Children can also get creative by adding music, sound effects, an intro and an end piece.

The example below, shows an inspiring stop motion project by 8 year old Oliver who loves creating his own mini stop motion movies. This one he created for a winter themed creative homework but just shows what can be achieved with an iphone or ipad with free Stop Motion APP and some imagination and creativity.

Programming skills club

Use our ever popular Bee-Bot and Blue-Bot to programme the little robot along a mat or course.

Rapid Maths club

Additional help and support with timetables perhaps? Make it fun and  play lots of games. Check out our Maths blogs here.

Spelling club (NEW)

Teach new skills for learning spellings. Give children additional time to learn their spellings, to learn what the words actually mean and in what contexts they can be used. This club may also take pressure off parents.

Letter writing club

Create partnerships with schools in other countries – email them first, use friends or relatives who may work in schools in other countries – use your links! Children can then write to the pupils in other schools – perhaps sending photographs of their work if they like.

Sign language club

If you have someone who knows sign language why not pass on some simple words? View our Finger spelling blog here.

Business club

Ask parents to come in and talk about their roles at work – police officers, firefighters, nurses and doctors make good examples, but there are all kinds of jobs children may not have heard of too.

Pet club

Visit the PDSA website and education centre for free resources. Does your school have a pet hamster, gerbil or guinea pig? Perhaps now is the time to get one. This club would see the children cleaning their cages, playing with them and learning how to look after them. Being around and caring for animals has been shown to have a positive impact on children’s wellbeing.

Sports club

Football, rugby, cricket, rounders, or just simple sports day type games – 3 legged races, skipping, quoits, hurdles etc.

Classroom door decorating club

See our Pinterest board for some lovely ideas and inspiration!

Reading Rockets club 

Children can enhance their reading skills by having a dedicated time to sit quietly and read with support if required. Children could read aloud to each other too if they wish. Read our blog post with 13 ideas to get children reading.  

Swimming club

Perhaps you may be able to develop links with a local pool. 

Music club (NEW)

Perhaps run after school sessions for learning an instrument – it could be as simple as a recorder or guitar or you could form a school band! Children could perform background music for the school nativity and end of year assemblies – think ‘School of Rock’ – what could you and your children achieve?!

Den building club

Fantastic if you have a forest school or suitable outdoor area, but can also take place indoors. Provide resources such as crates, cardboard boxes, sticks, planks, material and pegs. Consider whether you have contacts with rangers or outdoor adventure loving parents who may like to help.

Stone painting club 

Children can collect their own stones. Use markers pens or acrylic paint – use ‘Mod Podge’ glue to seal. Smaller children could use felt tips.

Forest school club

Get children outdoors to search for frogs or other minibeasts, build dens, or play ‘Hide and Seek’. Play in a mud kitchen  and make potions and concoctions.

We hope this list of ideas has given you some inspiration to go and set up clubs in your own school. Keeping children entertained, active and eager to learn doesn’t have to cost a lot, all it takes is your imagination!