Virtual clubs and classes for kids: Prague afterschool activities go online

Explore online versions of some of Prague's most popular English-friendly courses

Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas

Written by Elizabeth Zahradnicek-Haas
Published on 05.11.2020 15:41 (updated on 13.11.2020)

With the exception of kindergartens, schools began closing down in October in the Czech Republic due to the rising coronavirus numbers. While a return date has been discussed but not agreed upon by the Czech government, many parents continue to juggle remote learning, home office, and household duties.

After-school activities, once an important part of the educational experience here in the Czech Republic, have also been forced to close down indefinitely. Many have moved into the virtual classroom, clubhouse, and art studio giving parents a reprieve until schools open their doors once again.

Adam Stewart, founder of Prague Youth Theatre is confident that children's clubs and extracurricular activities will thrive post lockdown and until then says it’s incredibly important to keep kids engaged.

“Children and young people have suffered terribly from the restrictions the pandemic has caused and we're sure families will be keen for their children to return to some kind of normality as soon as possible,” he told us.

Theatre lends itself well to the online realm and PYT, which ran virtual lessons for six weeks during the spring lockdown, has returned to offering online performance workshops.

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“Throughout this time our aim is to keep lessons as fun and productive as our regular in-person sessions -- whether we're leading one-on-one exam classes, small groups or performance rehearsals for up to 25 students,” said Stewart. 

The group has also been hosting virtual quizzes, watch parties, and talent shows for families during the lockdown. Even if you haven’t signed up for their classes yet, the PYT blog offers an incredibly thorough list of Creative Resources for Kids at Home (bookmark it now!).

Radka Fricová of the International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague (ISMFA) told us that music matters now more than ever and hopes to see new students join their virtual classrooms.

“Music, dance, and fine arts have helped us cope with these challenging times,” she said.

ISMFA offers musical education not just for those students with their eyes on a professional career but to those who simply want an introduction to the joys and rewards of the fine arts.

Virtual music theory classes at at International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague (ISMFA)
Virtual music theory classes at at International School of Music and Fine Arts Prague (ISMFA)

Students of a wide range of ages can take online lessons in a variety of musical instruments and ballet and access music ateliers and visual arts. The school launched virtual music theory courses in October.

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Two Hour School packs elements of British/International education into a lively afterschool program for students and also offers classes in English as a foreign language. It is has taken its classes online due to the current COVID measures.

The school’s founder John Ogden, had a lot to say about how to keep kids engaged.

“Have a timetable accessible somewhere but don’t stick to it slavishly. Allow some flexibility but also cross off things as they are completed. Allow your child to see how they are progressing through the plan.” 

He also suggests parents build time with their kids into the schedule if you are all at home (his own family has discovered cooking together as a quality-time activity). 

Two Hour school is currently offering online materials and following up with students via Zoom. Parents can contact them via their website for more information and to customize a personal plan for students.

Jaime Freeman of Martial Arts Academy Prague agreed that giving students a dose of normalcy in their schedule is an important goal during the pandemic.

“In uncertain times it helps to focus on things we can control. Taking care of our physical health is more important than ever and being disciplined in keeping our bodies healthy has incredibly positive effects on our mental health.”

Their Taekwondo for kids and adults presents the opportunity to focus just on training for the duration of a class, leaving behind the worries of work, school and the pandemic.

A newly added KickFit program has been added to their schedule to offer something to people who may not be interested in traditional martial arts, but are still looking for a great workout they can do from home. Find the details on their website.

Do your kids have a favorite online class or activity?