It’s the time of year when parents everywhere are looking for a good after school program for their kids. Some need programs to fill the gap between the time school ends and the time they get home from work. Other parents look for programs to enrich their child’s education beyond what the classroom can offer.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you’ve probably realized that there are many different types of after school programs out there. As a parent, it’s your job to sift through the ones that serve as babysitters only and the ones that provide your child with activities that attract their interests and get their minds moving.

Here are some types on how to choose a good after school program:

Look for a program that challenges children and keeps their attention. If a child is truly interested in an activity it can occupy them for hours. If it’s something they’re not interested in, they’ll drop it in a matter of minutes in search of something they like. Look for programs that have activities that allow them to think out-of-the-box and challenge them. This will not only keep them interested but will also spark creativity that will last well after the program is over.

Look for a program that helps develop social skills. After school programs should also help children develop social skills. Many times this happens when children meet others with the same interests. They share a common bond that can serve as the foundation of a new friendship. In the process, kids learn how to talk to their peers and interact with them.

Look for a program with a good teacher to child ratio. No matter what type of program you choose, you want to find one that has enough teachers to take care of the children. If you find a program with a teacher to child ratio of 1:10 or higher, you may want to move on. You have to think about how much attention that teacher will be able to provide each student. If activities are more involved you’re going to want a lower ratio so that your child is getting the maximum benefit of the program.

Look for a program with structure. While you want to find a fun after school program, you also want one with structure. If there is a daily plan, your child will not feel lost and will know what’s going on at all times. Many kids thrive better in a routine environment. Many programs can be fun, yet structured, at the same time. As a parent, you want to be sure the teachers in the program are always prepared and have activities ready for the kids.

At MakerKids, you’ll find excellent after school programs that not only challenge children but also allow them to think out-of-the-box. Through coding, robotics, and Minecraft programs, kids learn how to make their projects, while also gaining the social skills of learning how to collaborate with others. Our programs have a 1:8 mentor to maker ratio or better so that you can feel confident that your child is getting the attention they deserve. Children in grades 1-8 can take part in our variety of after school programs. Check out our after school programs online or call us at 1-844-MAKERKIDS to find out more.