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.

For Your Future Henry Ford

Imagine your little engineer building a LEGO mini-me and watching it come to life. In RoboFun's PreRobotics class, kindergartners experiment with science while learning to build motorized LEGO creations. The 90-minute classes get incrementally advanced for older kids, incorporating computer programming, game design and stop motion animation.

What: PreRobotics

Where: RoboFun, 2672 Broadway, Loft A, Upper West Side

When: Sept. 8-Nov. 10; Mon. or Wed., 3:45 p.m.-5:15 p.m.

Ages: 5-7

Cost: $450 for 10-week session

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

–Anna Knoebel