“I’m bored!” these dreaded words get me every time. One way to combat boredom is extra curricular activities. I so look forward to soccer season when my son is wore out from practice and actually enjoys relaxing in the evenings!
There are many other reasons to get your children involved with extra curricular activities. It can help them to develop social skills, it helps to keep them out of trouble, builds self esteem, and helps to limit screen time.
A lot of people think that extra curricular activities only consist of sports or the school marching band and yes those are great options, but there are so many more! Even if your child isn’t athletic or musically inclined you can find something they are interested in.
Start With School – Of course there are tons of athletic programs such as soccer, volleyball, baseball, track, etc. A lot of schools also offer extra curriculars that you might not even think of like science club, gardening club, and drama club, audio visual (film). Your child may even want to get involved in the school paper, debate clubs, or student council.
Local 4-H clubs – 4-H clubs are great and they are generally free or very inexpensive. They have all kinds of 4-H clubs from robotics to farming; this year my son is joining a 4-H club to learn archery! Check out 4-H.org to see what kind of clubs are offered in your area.
Local Community Centers and Recreational Parks – Community centers and recreational parks are great resources. They usually provide different sports programs and activities for kids. Check out your local centers to see what activities they have available.
Swim centers – We have a few swim centers in our town where we can just go to swim and relax or get your child involved in different swim programs such as swim team, diving lessons, and life guard training.
Local Library – It’s easy to forget about your local library during this age of technology, but most of them have some great programs and clubs and the best part is they are usually FREE!
Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts – This is a wonderful way to get your child involved in the community and outdoor adventures. They don’t just focus on wilderness survival and camping either; my son learned some neat things in Boy Scouts as well as real life lessons such as budgeting, community service, and even some sign language.
Music Lessons – If your child’s school doesn’t have a band, but they are still really interested in music see about some private music lessons. There are a few places in my town that offer everything from singing lessons to drum lessons! Check out your local music stores and see what they have to offer.
Dance – I loved dancing when I was a kid! Dancing is great exercise and so much fun. There are tons of different dance troops; everything from hip hop to ballet.
Gymnastics – Don’t forget about your local gymnastics clubs! Gymnastics will help your child with balance, flexibility, strength, coordination, and much more!
Cheerleading – Cheer is a wonderful team sport and yes it is a sport! Cheerleading takes hard work and dedication; it really is a great option and your child can do school, recreational, or competitive cheerleading.
Martial Arts – This one is a great character builder! Your child will learn about training their bodies as well as their minds.
Church Extra Curricular Activities – Most churches offer activities for kids. Your child could simply get involved in the youth group or perhaps a program like Awanas or Royal Rangers (Christian based clubs for kids).
Volunteer – Volunteering may not be your typical idea of an extra curricular activity, but getting your child involved in the community holds all the perks any extra curricular does. Check with your local library, animal shelter, soup kitchen, etc. There are tons of volunteer opportunities even local park/coast cleanup days!
Start your own club – If your child shows a special interest in a certain subject and there isn’t a club for him to join maybe he could start his own! This would be a great opportunity to develop leadership skills!
Did I leave anything out? Share your extra curricular activity ideas below!