Sitting still all day in a classroom can be difficult for even the most patient children.
So, how do you make sure your active child burns off all that pent-up energy in a focused, productive way? Thankfully, there are plenty of extracurricular activities for kids to get them moving while helping them to focus and build self-esteem.
Here are 10 popular great after school activities for kids of all ages.
1. Team Sports
Whether it's baseball, football, or soccer, team sports are a great after school hobby to do more than just burn off extra energy leftover from school. They also teach tons of important life lessons, from teamwork and discipline to overcoming adversity. It can also be a great way to meet friends they wouldn't otherwise meet.
So, check out local parenting boards to find out when sign-ups start for each season. This way, you can make sure your child gets to play in the district they want, and you have plenty of time to get any equipment they may need.
2. Solo Sports
If team sports aren't really your child's thing, there are plenty of solo sports to chose from. Some of the most popular options are swimming, golf, and tennis.
And just because they aren't on a field with other kids, doesn't mean they aren't still learning some of the same lessons and several others. Solo sports can teach children how to be resilient, push themselves to get better, and harness any competitive streaks they may have.
3. Dance and Cheer
With so many different styles of dance classes to choose from, your child will be spoiled for choice. From ballet and hip-hop to any number of folk dances, there's bound to be something to pique the interest of even the most blase child. Or, maybe they're more interested in learning how to be a cheerleader.
Plus, thanks to schools like Golden Dance & Cheer Academy, you'll find plenty of classes on any number of dance styles and levels of cheerleading abilities.
4. Martial Arts
Gone are the days of just signing your youngster up for karate or taekwondo. With things like judo and capoeira to any number of MMA styles, there are plenty of martial arts to help focus your kid's energy in a productive way.
Plus, like sports, martial art classes can teach kids a number of positive traits. They are known for helping in the development of self-esteem, dedication, and focus on academics. Plus, martial arts training has been shown to help students with ADHD learn self-control, which can be life-changing for them.
5. Painting or Drawing
It may not seem like painting classes are a good way to help students burn off energy, but hear us out. Sure, it may be a fairly stationary activity, but they are still being creative and moving around, mixing paint, setting up easels, and painting.
And by letting your little one develop their creative side, you'RE also helping them see things from various sides and problem-solve. These are skills they will need more and more as they get older.
6. Sculpting, Pottery, or Other Arts and Crafts
This extracurricular has a lot of the same benefits as painting but adds a few more skills to what it helps teach kids. It'S great for working on fine motor skills and spacial awareness.
But it isn't just about motor skills and spacial awareness. Any sort of hands-on art classes can also keep kids occupied for hours, especially if they are working with clay. There is something about this material in particular that's great for sensory work for kids who have issues with it.
7. Drama Classes
Is your child naturally dramatic? Or are they a little shy? Either way, drama clubs or lessons can help them both.
For the naturally dramatic kids, getting involved in theater can help them channel this passion in a productive way and harness that energy away from everyday life. For shier kids, being on stage can be a great way to help draw them out of their shell and give them a safe place to learn how to be social and outgoing.
8. Cooking Classes
If you've ever watched "America's Top Chef" or "Great British Bake Off," you know how active cooking can be. Sure, in most cooking classes, your child won't be rushing about in quite the same way, but cooking can be a very active hobby.
It teaches kids about more than just how to create healthy, delicious meals. It also teaches them about kitchen safety, how to play with flavors, and how to be creative.
9. Book Clubs
Let's face it: Not every child is into physical activities. Some would just prefer to curl up with a good book and have the chance to talk to others with the same passion. Book clubs can be a great way for you little bookworm to do just that.
On top of letting them socialize with peers who are passionate about reading, book clubs help kids develop critical thinking skills, how to analyze what they read, and improve their writing skills. Plus, it will give them a lifelong love of literature and reading.
10. Music Lessons
There have been plenty of recent studies published about how teaching kids to either play an instrument or sing has a positive impact on both math and literacy scores. However, it may do a lot more than just that.
It can also help cultural sensitivity, historical understanding, and make them more curious about the world in general. Plus, with so many choices on what to play, there's something for everyone.
Try These Extracurricular Activities for Kids
This list is only skimming the top of some of the extracurricular activities for kids available today. There are plenty more out there. So, don't worry if it takes a few tries before you find something your child really loves.
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