Exploring Your Child’s Interests: Extracurriculars and Activities for Preteens

Preteens are in the space between being children who rely on their parents for everything and teenagers who crave freedom and independence. After school or weekend clubs and teams can be a chance for kids to explore their budding interests and experience life without parental involvement in a safe and structured way. 

Extracurricular activities do more than just fill a preteen’s time. They are a way for young people to explore their interests and develop new skills that can set them up for success in their personal or academic life. Trying new things pushes preteens out of their comfort zone and into a place of growth when they can challenge themselves as they build resiliency. 

Extracurriculars and Their Benefits

The Arts: The arts are a popular choice for young teens who have an interest in music or movies. The arts can teach kids how to tap into their emotions and express themselves. These clubs can also help students build confidence, public speaking skills, and creative thinking.

Cultural Clubs: Cultural clubs can help preteens connect with their heritage. It can be an opportunity to celebrate their family history with peers who share the same culture or who are interested in learning about a new culture. These clubs promote socialization and an open mindset. 

Athletic Teams: Athletics are a great way for kids to learn about teamwork, build leadership skills, and develop interpersonal skills. By definition, a team works together and members learn to work together. When one person succeeds on a team, the entire team feels the benefits. Athletic teams are also a way for preteens to be physically active in a fun and engaging way, promoting lifelong health habits. 

Special Interest Clubs: Special interest clubs such as Model U.N, a school newspaper, or science club can hone a personal passion into a professional calling. They can also provide preteens with a fun learning experience, without the pressures of homework and tests. 

Many preteens today feel overscheduled and overwhelmed, so rather than signing them up for everything that is offered, talk to them about their current interests. You may remember their love of horses last year and suggest an equine club, but in talking to them you may learn that they are actually more into mountain biking and would prefer to try out a cycling club. These extracurriculars can teach preteens autonomy, time management, and can even have a positive impact on their academics. A study by Texas A&M University showed important academic outcomes like reading, math achievement and course grades were all found to be positively influenced by children who engage in extracurricular activities.

Asheville Academy Can Help

At Asheville Academy, there are multiple opportunities for students to get involved in extracurricular activities and the local community. Whether it’s through volunteering or finding new exciting ways to exercise their bodies and minds, we have options for them.

Our family-style community is supportive, nurturing, and close-knit. Our environment is purposely designed to provide space to develop friendships, repair relationships, and practice adaptive communication. Students heal from the inside out; developing strength, confidence, resilience, and self-worth. For more information please call (800) 264-8709.