What to do during those hours between school dismissal and bedtime? Sure there’s homework to complete but you know what they say about all work and no play. Take advantage of playtime to make sure your kids learn about sportsmanship, discipline, and how to move their growing bodies by enrolling them in a sports class or having them join a team.

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We can’t all be “soccer moms.” In fact, if your children aren’t already on a team, you’re probably too late to make this season. Be prepared for the next season by contacting your local league, which you can locate in the directory at ClubSoccerSoCal.

This comprehensive website was created by a group of soccer moms and dads for other parents who need information about the sport for their children

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Parks and Recreation

The City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation offers low cost supervised after-school activities at more than 180 recreation centers. In addition to general interest “After School Clubs” and “Teen Clubs,” depending on the location, you can enroll your child in sports (flag football, basketball, gymnastics, etc.), dance (ballet, hip-hop, folklorico – even belly dancing!), or art (painting, ceramics). Some park recreation centers even offer cooking classes.

Search for activities by park, zip code or keyword here

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One of the best activity bargains in town can be found at local branches of the YMCA. For about the same cost as an individual membership at a commercial health club, with a family membership at the Y everyone in your household can enjoy sports and enrichment classes all in one place (without the hassle of driving everyone all over town).

East Valley YMCA:
5142 Tujunga Ave.
N. Hollywood, CA 91601
More Info

6901 Lennox Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91405
More Info

North Valley:
11336 Corbin Ave.
Northridge, CA 91326
More Info

West Valley:
18810 Vanowen St.
Reseda, CA 91335
More Info

Santa Clarita:
26147 McBean Parkway
Valencia, CA 91355
More Info

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Individual sports are also a good choice for kids in the off-season. Children get the physical activity and social time they need while they learn discipline and lay the groundwork for many team sports. Besides, they’re fun.

Gymnastics is the classic building block activity, and here’s a little secret: All the running, tumbling and trampoline jumping offered in a recreational gym class will tire out even the most active child (at least, until she gets used to the routine).

Southern California is home to several world-class gymnastics facilities which all have recreational programs for boys and girls of all ages. These include:

Gymnastics Olympica
7735 Haskell Ave.
Van Nuys, CA 91406
More Info

GymJam Academy
26515 Reuther Ave.
Santa Clarita, CA 91350
(661) 251-3390
More Info

Josephson Academy of Gymnastics
8640 Hayden Place
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 287-9886
More Info

All Olympia Gymnastics Centers
12500 Beatrice St.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
(310) 301-8066
More Info
5034 Parkway Calabasas
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 222-0189
More Info

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Martial Arts

Whether it’s called karate, kung fu or tae kwon do, martial arts give children a workout while teaching them discipline and respect. And judging from the number of martial arts studios in every neighborhood in the city, a lot of parents agree. Here are a few that have received high ratings from parents on Yelp.com:

Dawn Barnes’ Karate Kids
Locations throughout the city: Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Calabasas, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Westlake Village.
More Info

LA Budo Mile High Karate
1809 Manhattan Beach Blvd
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 798-2010
More Info

United Studios of Self-Defense
12147 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 980-1809
More Info

Donna Schwartz Mills blogs at SoCal Mom.

Comments (3)
  1. LA Wild Geese says:

    Don’t forget Gaelic Football, the all round game.

    Check out our website Wild Geese Gaelic Football and click on Youth for more information.

  2. Graciella says:

    Highly suggest for all to share with your families and friends, L.A’s healthiest, recession friendly New Trend, Empanadas Party! just a napkin, a Nonna’s Empanadas, a glass of your favorite drink and… ready to continue studying, party or just continue working! on 8570 W 3rd St, across Cedars and Beverly Center 2 blocks west of La Cienaga. You’ll Love it!. http://www.nonnasempanadas.com

  3. Catherine Lee says:

    The United States Youth Volleyball League is a growing non-profit organization that provides children from the ages of 7 to 15 a chance to learn and play volleyball. We have programs all over California, one in Nevada, one in Maryland, and one in Pennsylvania.

    Please visit our website at http://www.usyvl.org

    Spring registration is now open!!

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