Join the club
Now the nights are drawing in, it’s tempting to let your kids veg out on the sofa in an endless round of homework, YouTube, TikTok and playing on their phones or gaming consoles.
Perhaps now’s the time to start a new hobby, or to find a club or class designed to offer a combination of learning new skills, having fun and making friends. There are so many to choose from, be it sports or exercise classes, youth organisations, music or dance, martial arts or musical theatre…
Girl Guiding offers groups in different age bands. Rainbows take girls from ages 5-7, Brownies from 7-10 and Guides from 10-14, with Rangers being for girls aged 14-18. There are lots of games and activities as well as a socially-conscious element that often includes environmental or community projects. There are also activities such as camps and festivals that involve meeting up with other groups from different parts of the UK or from other countries. You can find out more or register your daughter at girlguiding.org.uk where they will match your child with the nearest groups.
Similarly, both the Scouts and the Boys Brigade offer age-banded classes for boys. For the
Scouts, this starts with Beavers, before moving on to Cubs, Scouts and Explorers. The Boys Brigade offers Anchors, Juniors, Company and Seniors covering ages 5-18. The Boys Brigade is often tied to local churches and includes a religious element in activities, while the scouting and guiding movement have become more secular over time. Find out more or sign
up at scouts.org.uk or boys-brigade.org.uk.
All the organisations still offer the opportunity to earn badges to add to the uniform, though the subjects have been modernised, so there are badges for everything from street sports and model-making to media relations and marketing!
Many groups have a waiting list to join, as it’s difficult to find adult volunteers to run the packs or troupes, so it’s worth considering if this is something you could help with.
Sports, Martial Arts and Music
Check with your child’s school or local council sports centres or halls to see what’s available locally. If your child is keen to learn a more unusual sport such as fencing or athletics, the sport’s organising body’s website is the
best place to start. Similarly, the schools may offer the best starting point if your child wants to play the bassoon or euphonium.
Dance and theatre
If your child is a born star, a consummate actor, aspiring rock god, or needs to build their confidence, then performance-based classes might be just the thing. These can really help kids come out of their shell. Aberdeen Performing Arts offer a range of drama and music classes for kids of all ages, which should start again soon. Keep an eye out on their website or social media feeds for updates. Stagecoach (stagecoach.co.uk) offer weekly drama classes for children aged 4 to over 15 as well as holiday workshops. They also offer a two week trial and have classes in the West and South of the city. Outwith the city, try rhonamitchell.co.uk for classes in Inverurie, or Dramatix (dramatixclub.co.uk) which offers classes in Laurencekirk, Portlethen, Gourdon and Stonehaven.
There are dance schools all over the city and shire, offering classes in everything from classical ballet to street dance, Highland dancing, tap, contemporary and modern dance and hip hop. Classes start with tiny tots in tutus from around the age of 2 1/2. Danscentre offer classes especially for boys, while Academy Street Dance Studio (academystreet-dance.com) have all types of dance and musical theatre classes in the heart of the city.
You may need to experiment until they find something they really enjoy, but it could be the start of a life-long passion.