Ages & Stages | Child development for after school classes


Ages & Stages 

Upskill as an after school teacher by planning your OSCAR activities around the developmental stages of each age group to better support happy, healthy kids.


Age 5-7: Busy Bee  

Young children aged 5-7 years are curious, fun and busy. They like the process of "doing" more than the end product, so don't worry when that neat craft you've spent an afternoon making together doesn't hold their attention once it's finished. Hands-on experiences are very important, as the ability to set and achieve goals over time has not yet developed—your 5-7 years olds teach every after school teacher how to live in the present! 

Children this age are very concrete thinkers who translate words literally. Give instructions that are simple, clear, and broken down into manageable steps they can remember. These children are still learning to control themselves and their bodies in group situations so give them lots of rules to help them out...and be aware that if they are following the rules, they will notice and "tattle" on those who are not! 

Encourage cooperation not competition in your OSCAR activities, as 5-7 year olds do not have the cognitive, emotional and social maturity to separate themselves from the result, e.g. "If I lose I am a loser". Competition can easily undermine self worth at this age so keep things friendly and helpful instead. 


Age 8-10: Individual Identity 

Thoughts and feelings and questions, oh my! Well-developed language enables 8-10 year olds to really express themselves, and building communication skills should be actively encouraged. Forming and maintaining friendships is an important but complex skillset that is being learned at this age, requiring a lot of support.

Cooperative and easily motived, these children generally want to please adults, however, their greater understanding of rules will lead to questioning them...and finding loopholes!

8-10 year olds can set goals and maintain interest in projects over a prolonged period. They want more independence while also still wanting the input and guidance of an after school teacher

After school classes should positively explore their individuality, growing interest in other people and awareness of diversity.


Age 11-13: Peer Power  

Friends and "fitting in" becomes of utmost importance from 11-13, with friendships and cliques formed around mutual interests and values. Feeling accepted can be more important than following rules or doing what is right, and there is a sense of invincibility that can prevent an appropriate assessment of consequences. 

Kids this age are generally very self-conscious, and often have an internal "imaginary audience", either as the star of the show or, more likely, a laughing stock. They feel that everything about their behaviour and looks is noticed and judged by others (and in their peer group they can be right).  

Attitude" is normal and taking a light-hearted, humorous approach can work well to deflect it. Though still requiring guidance and support in your after school classes, this age group wants to be seen and treated as mature individuals. The challenges of adult debate, humour and abstract thinking are appreciated and will validate their growing sense of self


Need some behind the scenes help for every age and stage?

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