As a parent, we want the best for our children. Whether that means you feed them nutritious food to help them grow, or nurture their minds to benefit their development, we all do our best in different ways. One of the ways we can assist them to be the best they can be, and ensure they have fun, is to encourage extracurricular ideas. Depending on the age of your kids, this could be good for them mentally, emotionally, physically and even for college applications.
Regardless as to whether you live in a suburb, a city or the countryside, there are many activities that your children can try out, both at school and within the community. If you want to help your little ones find what they are good at early on, or encourage your older children to take on an activity that can help them flourish, this group of eclectic ideas should inspire you. Containing everything from academic clubs and sports to community activities and life skills, you and your child are sure to find something that fits.
Your kid doesn’t have to have an interest in science to love astronomy club. Sometimes, you’ll know from an early age that your child loves space, so astronomy club could already be on the cards. But, if they’ve tried soccer or gymnastics, dance or math club, this could be an alternative idea. Before long, you could have the next NASA astronaut on your hands.
Lots of kids go through a stage of attempting different sports and struggling to find the one for them. So, when you feel as if you’re all out of options, why not suggest fencing? Your child’s school may not have a fencing club or class, but chances are, there will be a class within your area or a private tutor at the very least. Fencing can be a lot of fun and will teach your child a lot of skills they need in life, like discipline and precision.
When we initially think of extracurricular activities for our children, it’s easy to stick to activities that the school offers. Instead, you could start to look into your local community. If you volunteer, it’s always a good idea to get your children involved from an early age too. That way, they will understand the good their selfless efforts have. Volunteering can also be great for college applications for older kids too.
Even though we don’t want them to, our children tend to spend a lot of time on the internet or playing video games. But you could use modern technology to your and their advantage. Blogging could be one way to channel your child’s interest into something productive. Great for teens and college applications, blogging about everything from books to business could show colleges that your child has great writing, marketing or design skills too.
Sports wise, you can look outside of the school as well as trying out some of the most common sporting clubs, like basketball and cheerleading. Tennis is always a great option to consider. Both a solo sport and a team game, not only will your child have fun, but the sport can be done competitively too and can even go on to be a career. If you’re hoping for a college scholarship for your child years down the line, tennis is also a great way to get that.
Not every child will express an interest in academic clubs from the offset – especially those that have a competitive nature. But, joining a club like debate could offer a wealth of benefits to your kid, no matter their age. Debate club teaches your child great skills that they can use in school, college and life, the networking opportunities are excellent and it looks great on college applications. It might even be worth starting your child off with debate as early as possible, that way, they can get to grips with the process and see if it’s a club for them.
Sometimes, social activism can get a bad name. But encouraging your child to be active and involved in certain rights movements could be a great way to teach them valuable skills, like perseverance, negotiation and persuasion. Some schools will have clubs and chapters dedicated to certainly charity affairs, like a cancer foundation that would be a great place to start. Other options include animals rights and amnesty international events to get involved with.
Hobbies don’t always have to involve a sport or a cause. Sometimes, they can be really tailored to a certain type of personality. Young entrepreneurs clubs and societies is just one example of this. If your child shows an interest in business, or an aptitude for finance, a business club might be a really strong option for them. Great skills, opportunities and ideas can come out of entrepreneurs clubs and the preparation for both college and working lives can be hugely beneficial too.
Sometimes, your child shows a really strong interest in a certain thing really early on. Whether that's horseback riding or chess, you’re sure to find clubs and societies both in and outside of school to help them flourish. Or, if you find that their special interest is something like photography or skating, you could always invest in a starter camera or look into the best inline skates for all levels to see how they get on first, and then sign them up to a suitable class.
If your child is interested in the arts, drama club is always a great place to start. From their, they can decide if it’s the right performing art for them, or they could go on to other activities such as dance or playing an instrument. Drama club is great for developing confidence in children too. If your young child is very shy, you might find that a local young acting society can help to bring them out of themselves. Or, if they were clearly born to perform, you’ll know it was destined to be the best extracurricular for them.