List of Extracurricular Activities for Kids

List of Extracurricular Activities for Kids

Despite the long day at school, your child is not going to be satisfied if classes are all she has to stimulate her throughout the day. Here is where extracurricular activities come into play. After a snack and some rest, your child will benefit greatly from a non-academic activity that she has an interest in. She can choose something like sports, chess clubs, dance clubs, book clubs, music clubs, and so on. Your child is bound to find something she likes! Having your child engage in one or more extracurricular activities through the week will ensure that she blooms into a well-rounded individual with different interests.

Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Children

Academic activities are often not aimed at all-round development, and this is why every child needs to be involved in one extracurricular activity. Here are a few ways in which extracurricular activities benefit children.

1. Teamwork

Some extra-curricular activities such as music, dance, or sports require children to participate in teams. This will allow them to build the right mentality for teamwork.

2. Preparing for the Outside World

Extra curricular activities give children a taste of the world outside of their school and home. Some programs such as Scouts and Guides teaches children how to prepare for the outside world and hone their survival instinct.

3. Socialisation

It is most often during extracurricular activities that children find others their ages that have common interests and lifelong friendships are forged. This helps improve their social skills.

4. Life Skills

One of the greatest benefits of extracurricular activities is their ‘real world’ aspect. They help children imbibe skills such as time management, goal setting, leadership, public speaking, and much more. 

5. Self-Esteem

An extracurricular activity can give your child a sense of purpose as she immerses herself in it. This automatically boosts self-esteem and will make her feel more confident.

6. Better Academics

School is more than just the 8 subjects taught. Many schools nowadays offer extracurricular programs to students, which makes them take more interest in their classes. Kids will look forward to something interesting after classes.

7. Exploring Interests

Finding a passion takes time and quite a bit of exploring, especially considering the world we now live in. There are multiple avenues for kids to explore. and extracurricular activities help them do just that.

8. Timely Breaks

Let’s face it, studying for hours on end daily can get quite boring for kids. Having an extracurricular activity that gives them a much needed break during the day will help them focus on academics better without getting bored.

15 Best Extracurricular Activities Your Child Should Try

Every child has a different personality, and those personalities need to be nurtured in a positive way. When children do not have anything constructive to do, they tend to make mischief, which is something that can be avoided with proper guidance. Here we have a list of extracurricular activities for kids and what your child can learn from them to help you make your decision.

1. Music

Some children learn to play instruments, while others prefer to sing. There are some who are good at doing both. There are so many instruments to choose from that you are bound to find something that fits your child and that she will enjoy.

What Your Child Will Learn

There is a certain freedom in music, and a lot of children find joy in it because of this reason. Not just that, children also tend to learn a lot about history and culture while learning something like playing a musical instrument or singing, especially if it is in the classical genre.

2. Dance

Even among dance, there are so many types to choose from that your child is sure to find the perfect fit. She may prefer classical folk dances, or she may want to learn the more contemporary styles like hip-hop or lyrical dance styles.

What Your Child Will Learn

This is another activity that teaches children about culture if they opt for the more classical genres of dance. Dance is something that will help your child develop physically and mentally, as most forms of dance require discipline and endurance.

3. Sports

Sports such as football, basketball, cricket and softball require teamwork and a lot of energy, but if this type of sport doesn’t sound like it suits your child, there are other options like tennis, badminton and golf that your child can try.

What Your Child Will Learn

In sports like basketball and football, children learn how to work well in a team, how to strategise, and also build endurance. Every sport has something good to offer your child, whether they are played in teams or individually. Sports are great for competitive children.

4. Painting and Sketching

Perhaps your child is a blossoming artist. Playing with colours is a lot of fun and creating different works of art may be something your child would prefer over more boisterous activities.

What Your Child Will Learn

Your child will improve her creative skills, as her brain will begin to develop the areas associated with creativity the more she is exposed to and works with creative things. Painting and drawing can also help develop problem-solving skills.

5. Crafts, Pottery and Sculpting

Working with clay and creating something with their hands can give children a sense of satisfaction that is not found through just any activity. Clay can have a therapeutic effect and is capable of keeping your child occupied for hours.

Crafts, Pottery and Sculpting

What Your Child Will Learn

Your child is going to develop her sensory and motor skills through creative works. Children learn about shapes, the three-dimensional world and patience to see a good end result.

6. Martial Arts

Though the varied styles of mixed martial arts like judo, Tae Kwan Do, karate and others may make one think of violence, what these really teach is discipline and how to control your strength, rather than wielding it for violence.

What Your Child Will Learn

Martial Arts teach self-control and self-discipline, aspects which will benefit those children suffering from ADHD, as these are the very skills that are underdeveloped in them. They also help in improving socialisation skills and physical development in your child.

7. Sewing Classes

Sewing may not be something that crosses many people’s minds for an extracurricular activity, but it is a skill that is very handy indeed. Many children grow up with a passion for fashion, and this may be a very handy first step for them for their future.

What Your Child Will Learn

Children will develop their creative abilities and also build their self-esteem. Sewing is as creative a field as painting or sculpting, and it is to be noted that it can be very educational for those children who want to be future designers.

8. Book Club

Book clubs are a great way for little bookworms to have their fun and socialise with other book lovers.

What Your Child Will Learn

Many things can be gained from a book club. Not only will the literature itself teach your child a lot about the world, the way it works and so much more, but it will also help them to develop their reading skills and vocabulary, which will have a tremendous impact on their writing skills.

9. Cooking Class

Cooking classes are great for children as they are not only an essential skill but another area where they can express their creativity.

What Your Child Will Learn

There are quite a few benefits to this, as cooking food is something that will help children develop focus, creativity and also teach them useful skills like how to handle sharp knives. It also teaches them about different ingredients and how to prepare healthy and balanced meals, all with the company of others their age.

10. Drama Club

Your little drama kings and queens will love this one as it is a fun and productive way to use up their dramatic energies.

What Your Child Will Learn

Drama club helps your child develop physical, artistic, social and public speaking skills. It also helps to improve a child’s memory and improvisation skills. Often, shy children who have a talent for acting become more confident and social through drama club.

11. Chess Club

A great extra-curricular activity for kids, once your child gets a hang of chess, there’s no going back. Many schools have chess clubs and there may even be chess clubs in your locality. If not, teach your child and her friends the game, and they can practice among themselves. You’ll often see her practice and play chess in her free time.

What Your Child Will Learn

Children learn strategy, patience, and timing by playing this game. Chess will also hone her skill in deduction, as she tries to deduce her opponent’s strategy and beat it.

12. Learning a Language

As a person becomes older, the more difficult it becomes to grasp a new language. Children’s brains are still developing, which is the perfect opportunity to introduce them to foreign languages. Sign your child up for weekend or evening language classes, which can even help kick-start a career in translation or interpretation.

What Your Child Will Learn

Learning a new language always proves useful. Children are exposed to new cultures and it is easier for them to pick up the language better than adults. A new language will broaden your child’s mind.

13. Scouts and Guides

Many schools offer a Scouts and Guides program, which allows children to prepare for real-life scenarios. They also get to interact with other kids their age and develop a community-building mentality. If your child’s school offers a program like this, you can sign her up for it.

What Your Child Will Learn

Scouts and Guides instills values such as trustworthiness, loyalty, community-preservation, and much more, all of which are essential for kids to grow into responsible human beings. Think of it as a value-based program that touches on various topics required for development.

14. Volunteer Work

There are various opportunities all around for children to volunteer and help build a better community. These will allow them to interact with others and work towards a cause, making them responsible individuals in the future.

What Your Child Will Learn

Right from volunteering for UNICEF to fighting for Animal Rights, there are lots of opportunities available. Irrespective, doing volunteer work instills a sense of activism and responsibility in kids, and teaches them to work towards what they believe in.

15. Debate Club

With the Internet now being more available to children, comes the possibility of interactions and debates with others. However, it is essential to learn how to put your point forward and accept contradictory points from others. Debate club prepares your child for just that.

What Your Child Will Learn

Right from understanding others points to putting forward well-rounded points of their own, children can learn quite a bit from debate club. It also boosts confidence and public speaking skills.

How to Choose After-School or Extra-Curricular Activities for Your Child?

There are many options for after-school activities for kids. Talk to your child about her interests and see what she may like. High energy children may prefer sports or dance, while children who are low key tend to prefer calmer activities like book clubs, cooking class or perhaps pottery.

When you have a general idea of what your child wants, you can do some research to see who provides these classes in your area and then take the time to visit the place with your child while a class is in session and see if she finds it to be a stimulating and comfortable environment.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • A space that is clean and big enough to accommodate all the kids.
  • Proper facilities like proper ventilation if there is a painting class going on, as the fumes from the turpentine can be harmful; or enough sewing machines in a sewing class.
  • The staff should be friendly and enthusiastic. It is always best to send them to someone who is properly certified.
  • See if the children who are in the class are happy and look like they are not just having fun but learning something.
  • Your child should feel positive after the first few classes, indicating she has an interest in the activity.

Risks and Safety Tips to Consider

With anything added to your child’s daily schedule comes the possibility of certain risks. Here is how you can ensure your child is happy and safe during her extracurricular classes.

  1. There should be proper supervision and safety rules followed.
  2. All instructors and volunteers should be vetted by the institution.
  3. Your child should have an interest in the activity, or she will not be consistent. Remember, extracurricular activities should be fun and engaging.
  4. Do not over-schedule your child’s day or it may cause stress and depression in both you and her.
  5. If your child wants to hop from one activity to the other, let her explore. Do not force her to stick to something she does not like in this regard.


1. At What Age Can A Child Start Extracurricular Activities?

There is no set time for when your child should start extracurricular activities, as it depends on her personality and schedule. You can start as early as 3 years, or whenever an opportunity presents itself.

2. How Many Extracurricular Activities Should A Child Do?

Doing too many extracurricular activities can be overwhelming for a child and lead to over-scheduling. You can start with one and go up to three. However, post that, if your child would like to explore something new, replace one of the current activities with a new one.

3. What Can I Do If My Child Becomes Bored With Their Extracurricular Activities?

If your child is bored, do not force her to participate in the activity. You can talk to her about why she feels bored and suggest a new activity to explore instead. Remember, the point of extracurricular activities is to hone your child’s interests and hopefully help her find a passion.

While education is important, all work and no play is no way for a child to stay. Children’s extracurricular activities provide a way for them to drain some energy while also being educational and beneficial to their development. The place that you choose to send your child to is very important, as you should never send them anywhere they may be exposed to anything that may damage their creativity instead of nurture it.

Also Read: 

Indoor Games for Kids
Outdoor Games for Children
Water Games for Kids
One Minute Games for Children

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