We’re back to a semi-regular form of life and that means keeping the kids busy and entertained after school. Naturally, you should think about your child’s interest to find out what extracurricular activities might work best, but sometimes it helps to have a few ideas to get the wheels spinning. Something like, say, this list of 30 extracurricular activities for kids.
These run the gamut from sports to the arts to music to theater to everything in between. Childhood is a great time to find out what starts your fire. But the only way to find out about this thing is to explore all kinds of different things. Maybe you are raising a karate kid. Maybe you are not, but how will you know if they are never exposed to karate? Ditto with ballet. Until a child has had a chance to learn the first, second, and third position, they may not know it’s the thing they want to do more than anything else, if not forever. at least for now.
Perhaps the most important thing is to remember that everything has its season and take the strain off the activity. This fall, maybe it’s time to take a painting class from Bob Ross. But let your child know that being a mini Bob Ross doesn’t define him. They can try something else in the winter. Variety, as extracurricular activities for kids teach, is the spice of life.
An early introduction to the arts can inspire a child’s passion for the humanities. Get them started early with a Parks & Rec class or a private painting class.
Evgeniia Siiankovskaia / Moment / Getty Images
Folding paper requires concentration and good fine motor skills, all of which children need to develop. But the payoff is when they find out the amazing things they can create with this Japanese tradition.
Whether it’s learning to sew by hand or getting started with a sewing machine, there are many fabric stores offering sewing lessons for all ages.
Call it soccer, call it futbol, call it whatever you want, just give your kid a chance to play this internationally beloved game. By participating in a soccer team, they will learn discipline, exercise and just have fun.
For any kid curious about baseball, the T-Ball is a great place to start. The games are very slow so the kids have a chance to really do well, have multiple bats and plenty of time to practice leading the basics.
Ika84 / E + / Getty Images
Even if your child can’t throw the ball even near the hoop, that doesn’t mean they’re not ready to join a basketball team. With practice, they can improve their hoop dreams.
Do you have a child fascinated by medieval times? Do they dream of being a knight? Bring that dream to life by enrolling them in a fencing team.
You may be surprised to learn that there are lacrosse teams available for children as young as four years old. If they can run and hold a stick, they’re good to go.
Do you have a future Michelle Kwan in your hands? Get her to the rink as soon as possible.
Many parents dream of their children becoming classical music prodigies. And while it might not be in the cards, introducing them to stringed instruments can start as young as five.
Register at your own risk. If your child enjoys hitting things and you want to channel that energy into percussion instruments, it can be helpful to have a large playroom where you can set up their equipment.
The banjo has gained popularity in recent times and especially among children. Many cities now offer banjo lessons for children and adults, so you can learn to play together.
Vadim Serebrenikov / EyeEm / EyeEm / Getty Images
The Queen’s Gambit inspired a renewed interest in chess, and if it finds a place in your home, you can encourage your child’s interest in the game by finding tournaments and clubs in the area.
Children interested in the tactile arts might find themselves gravitating towards a leatherworking class. Many manufacturing centers offer courses like these.
Your child doesn’t have to wait until high school workshop class to develop their love of woodworking. To find a course, contact the arts department at your local university or community college.
Yoga for children
Help your child stretch and relax with children’s yoga. Many yoga centers now offer classes only for children.
This after-school club brings children together to complete community service projects, arts and crafts activities, and activities to earn badges.
Jeff Greenberg / Universal Images Group / Getty Images
Learning about nature, community and friendship is what Girl Scouts are all about. Find a club in your town to register your daughter.
Do you have a little sous chef on your hands? Help them develop their culinary prowess by taking them to a cooking class or finding them private lessons with a local chef.
Learning a second or third language can open so many doors. And the sooner a child can learn, the better.
Dancing allows children who have difficulty staying still to move freely and express themselves. Jazz lessons are a great way for them to explore their body and their rhythm.
Shoes alone are what intrigue most children. But once they learn the steps of “Shuffle off to Buffalo,” they’ll get hooked.
If your child can’t help but move when they hear a beat fall, take them to a hip-hop dance class right away.
Ballet offers children not only an introduction to a beautiful dance, but the language of ballet also opens a window on the French language. So think of the ballet class as a two-person class.
This Japanese martial arts system is not only a form of exercise, but also a way to build a child’s confidence.
FatCamera / E + / Getty Images
Little swimmers can channel their fishy abilities while learning about healthy competition when they join a swim team.
Do you have a neighborhood vegetable garden? Find a local master gardener to lead a group of children in weekly classes on plants and their care.
Ride a horse
Whether it’s dressage or western riding, being around horses can have a profound impact on children. This has been found to be especially true for people with special needs.
4-H clubs have been around since the early 1900s and continue today as a way for children to learn leadership skills, often by raising livestock and developing farming skills.
With these ideas, you can start to understand what interests your child and get them involved in all kinds of fun activities after school.