Why After-School Socialization is So Important for Kids

One of the biggest benefits associated with afterschool programs is the additional opportunity for socialization they provide. Kids are able to get together in a safe, supervised, positive environment to learn and have fun together. They’re able to share their interests, get closer to their friends and meet and befriend new people as well.

But beyond making new friends and strengthening existing bonds, what exactly is so important about afterschool socialization?

Giving children a place to learn and grow

There are a number of studies that have been published over the decades about the number of kids who go home afterschool to an empty house, or who otherwise have nowhere to go after school. The percentage of these so-called “latchkey” kids ranges anywhere from 14 percent to 24 percent, depending on which study you’re looking at.

Parents, psychologists, law enforcement and educational professionals all have long considered the time between the end of the school and the arrival of parents home from work to be the time of day at which kids are most at-risk for risky behavior. One study indicates that the time between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. is the peak time of the day for juvenile crime, which can include use of drugs or alcohol, smoking cigarettes and having sex.

Even students who avoid those risky activities but go home to an empty house are not as likely as kids with a parental presence in the home at time to do their homework. This makes those afterschool hours a sort of lost time, a missed opportunity for them to continue learning, growing, and developing skills that will play a big role in their future successes.

Afterschool programs, then, give these kids an environment where they can spend time with friends in a safe, supervised setting. Enrichment activities that are a part of these programs can include a wide variety of games and activities that get kids up and moving, give them a chance to exercise their creativity, help them continue learning and developing their young minds or simply allow them some unstructured free time.

Cranium Clubs exists to provide schools with high-quality afterschool activities. These activities come fully prepared and packaged, and are designed to be both fun and educational.

If you’re interested in learning more about what makes afterschool programs so vital in the growth and development of young students, we’d be happy to tell you more. Contact us today to discuss bringing Cranium Clubs enrichment activities into your school.

Joshua Chernikoff