Want to keep the kids busy in the afternoons once they go back to school? We panned the after school rivers to find you NYC’s golden options, where kids will learn skills beyond reading, writing and arithmetic – think skateboarding, computer programming or nature exploration – and have a lot of fun all at the same time. Not to mention, after school programs improve students self-esteem, leadership skills and even test scores. Here are nine of the best to sign up for before classes start.

Peewee Home-Ec

Most of us didn't take sewing lessons until middle school, but kids as young as age 4 can learn to sew, and maybe they should. When was the last time you put a hole in your pants? At the Fashion Class, located in the heart of the Garment District, kids ages 6 to 12 learn to use a sewing machine, sewing safety and how to cut and pin fabric. The future fashion designers begin new projects bi-weekly, with increasing levels of difficulty, and even use their own measurements so the projects are wearable. A fashion show event, complete with a lucite runway, caps the 13-week session.

What: Fashion Design and Sewing

Where: The Fashion Class, 21 West 39th St., 4th Fl., Midtown

When: Sept. 6-Dec. 14; Mon., Tues., Thurs. or Fri.; 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m.

Ages: 6-12

Cost: $580 for 13-week session, including materials

Have you enrolled your kid in an after school class for fall? Tell us all about it.

–Anna Knoebel