• PLAYDAY

A Curated List of NYC Afterschool Programs for Kids of Every Age

Updated: Apr 14


Afterschool programs are a great option for busy parents.They’re a safe and educational space where kids can explore their interests, like sports, music, art, or cooking. Some afterschool programs even help kids with their homework.


To ensure your kid benefits fully from these programs, it’s important to enroll them in an afterschool program that matches their learning capabilities and interests. If it's too easy or too complicated, they’ll find it boring and it will start feeling like a chore.


Here is a list of NYC afterschool programs for kids of every age.


Afterschool Programs for Preschoolers in NYC


Preschoolers are still in the developing process, so it’s advisable to go for programs that encourage growth. Good examples of such programs include.


Grown-Up & Me ART Classes

A toddler showing off their painted hands in an NYC afterchool program

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This activity is designed for kids under four years old, and caregivers are encouraged to attend the classes for support.The art program encourages and nurtures the kid’s inner spirit by giving them an opportunity to tell their story through drawing, painting, and collage.

These activities are designed to boost cognitive development, sensory and motor development for young learners.


Grown-Up & Me Music

A girl playing a guitar in a PLAYDAY Grown-Up & Me Music

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This class is designed for kids below the age of four. Educators play unfamiliar and familiar songs, new instruments, and different sounds to allow kids to explore all music genres. This class aims to expand their musical experience and their imagination.


The program also provides a safe and fun environment for kids to bond with their parents. All parents and caregivers are encouraged to attend the music class to learn the likes of their little ones and continue nurturing their talent at home.


Afterschool Programs for First Graders in NYC

This is the sweet spot where kids start developing personal interests and having preference. It’s, therefore, good to choose programs that allow them to explore their interests without too much managing or pressure.


Here are programs that support this.


Drawing and Painting

A boy drawing in an afterschool PLAYDAY drawing session

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Is your toddler always doodling? If yes, enrolling them into this drawing and painting program from PLAYDAY will help improve their skill, and ultimately enjoy it more. At the beginner level, kids are taught simple painting activities using hands, a brush, and a roller. As their skill advances, they are exposed to other complex activities such as marble painting, spin art, and experimenting with mixed media.

Culinary Arts

A girl preparing food together with a professional chef in a culinary arts afterschool program in NYC

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The GO! Chefs is a cooking and nutrition education curriculum that teaches children and youth (6-18 years) all basics of cooking nutritious food. This program is a good place to show your toddler that eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.


All students are taught to make food using fresh fruits and vegetables to encourage them to make healthy food choices.


Afterschool Programs for Grades 2 through 5 in NYC


At this stage, kids have advanced their skills. It’s time to give them something a little challenging to boost their imagination.


Here are programs that match this description.


Little Architects

Two learners designing a wall hanging in an afterschool program in NYC.

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The little architect’s program is perfect for little scholars who are interested in trying complex things like creating house designs. This program encourages kids to express their fantasies through simplified architecture. The activities include drawing elevations, sections, and plans of their dream tree houses, amusement centers, shopping malls, and cruise ships.


As a bonus, kids get to present their ideas to their classmates and parents, which improves their public speaking skills.


Acting & Creative Drama Classes

Two toddlers acting at a Children’s Acting Academy afterschool program event.

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For our future actors, the Children’s Acting Academy is the place to be. The whole program takes six weeks, but you can also enroll your kid for a week if you’re just testing waters. In this program, kids are taught how to behave logically and naturally on stage. Learners are also taught relaxation techniques, which really come in handy for actors with stage flights.


In addition, kids will focus on exercises that improve their creativity, focus, imagination, and how to express themselves.


Getting an Appropriate Afterschool Program for Your Kid


Afterschool programs are all helpful, but if you really want to add value to your child’s education, choose a program that’s designed for their age. This will ensure they’re challenged to grow and still relate to the material they’re being taught. They will also enjoy interacting with their agemates.


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