Extracurricular activities that your not-quite-teenager will actually get excited about doing
If you can relate to the frazzled parent I once was – with a tween at home who never stopped grumbling about boredom, you’re probably always on the lookout for extracurricular activities to keep them both entertained and engaged (and not rolling their eyes).
Tweens are stuck in that peculiar life stage where they’re done with kiddie stuff but not quite ready for teenage shenanigans. Their interests and preferences shift faster than you can grasp, making it quite a challenge for us parents to keep pace with their ever-evolving whims.
So why is it so important to find activities our tweens will enjoy?
For starters, did you know engaging in activities they’re passionate about can actually contribute to their overall development? It can boost their self-esteem, help them discover new talents, and even improve their social skills.
Plus, it’s always refreshing to see them doing something other than staring at screens all day, right?
With this in mind, and as a mum of a tween, I’ve sifted through heaps of activities and taken a good hard look at what really gets our tweens’ hearts racing.
Athletics is where the action’s at for tweens with a zest for variety and a touch of the competitive spirit.
It is kind of like a jam-packed playground with activities to suit any interest and skill level. Picture your kiddo sprinting like the wind in a 100-metre dash, soaring through the air in a long jump, or working as a team to dominate relay races. The fun really never stops!
Athletics isn’t just about the thrill of the race. It also works wonders for your tween’s fitness, coordination, and discipline. Now that’s what I call a win-win!
Little Athletics Australia is open to kids aged 5-17 and provides inclusive community-based activities that promote the foundation for an active and healthy lifestyle, making it a great and accessible option.
Learn a language
Learning a new language is not only a valuable life skill but can also be heaps of fun. Tweens can pick from a variety of languages, opening up a world of possibilities and future travel opportunities.
Most likely, they will also pick up some new insights of different cultures, which can help them become more open-minded and interesting people.
Plus, learning a language can sharpen your little linguist’s memory, problem-solving skills, and even rev up their creative engines.
Join a sports team
There are a smorgasbord of sports to choose from, and getting your tweens involved in a team can work wonders for their confidence, fitness, and social skills.
For footy fanatics, joining an AFL team is a no-brainer, while netball enthusiasts can shoot some goals on the court. And let’s not forget about some good ol’cricket – perfect for those sunny summer days.
Whichever sport your child chooses, they’re sure to have a ball (yes, pun intended).
For the theatre buffs, The Australian Theatre for Young People offers classes and workshops for budding thespians.
These workshops provide tweens with the opportunity to explore their creativity, build confidence, and improve their communication skills, all while having a great time playing different roles, learning about storytelling, and working together to bring characters to life on stage.
Art activities like painting, drawing, and sculpting can provide a fantastic outlet for tweens to express themselves and unleash their creativity.
Tweens can have a safe space to experiment and create without fear of judgement, allowing them to discover their unique style and voice. Art classes can also help them develop their creative skills, encourage self-expression, and even build their self-esteem.
Makers Loft is a great example of a studio that offers creative pursuits for tweens, with their fantastic range of classes such as macrame, sewing and pottery.
Is your tween a budding detective of the natural world, always eager to unravel its mysteries? Then maybe sign them up to join a science club, where curiosity reigns supreme!
They will enjoy activities like chemistry experiments to venturing into the infinite wonders of the cosmos. These clubs keep your curious tween’s mind firing on all cylinders and unleash their imagination, making every new discovery an exhilarating experience.
Give them the chance to become a mini-scientist and dive into a universe of exploration, and who knows? They might just uncover the next big thing!
This is all about giving tweens the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and dive headfirst into a world of creating, building, and designing. Along the way, they’ll pick up practical skills, sharpen their critical thinking, and nurture their innovative spirit.
Environmental clubs offer a chance for tweens to learn about sustainability, conservation, and how they can make a positive impact on the planet. These clubs can inspire a sense of responsibility and stewardship, all while teaching valuable lessons about the environment and the world we live in.
If your tween is a budding chef or just loves helping you in the kitchen, then cooking classes are a deliciously fun way to engage them.
Cooking classes offer them an opportunity to experiment with different ingredients in a safe and supervised enviroment, learn about nutrition, and even create their own mouth-watering masterpieces (maybe they will even offer to make dinner on weekends?).
Is your tween always humming a tune or tapping their feet to the beat? Maybe it is finally time to unleash their inner Mozart or rock star with some music lessons!
Whether they’re keen to learn an instrument, belt out some tunes, or even compose their own songs, music lessons offer a creative and enjoyable outlet for their musical talents.
In music lessons, tweens have the freedom to express themselves and let out their creativity.
They’ll have a chance to pick up new skills, boost their confidence, and maybe even discover their passion for performing.
Check out Forte School of Music for a range of music classes for tweens.
Adventure camps provide tweens with the opportunity to explore the great outdoors, participate in exciting activities, and challenge themselves in new ways.
From hiking and camping to zip-lining and rock climbing, adventure camps help build confidence, teamwork, and resilience in a fun environment.
For the extroverted tweens who love to help, try encouraging them to participate in community service project or even volunteering. These can help teach them empathy, responsibility, and the importance of giving back.
Plus, it’s a great way for them to make new friends alike, develop new skills, and feel good about making a positive impact on their community.
Above all else, don’t forget to let your tween have a say in the extracurricular activities they want to explore. After all, they’re more likely to enjoy it and stick with it if it’s something they’re genuinely passionate about. No need to force ’em into anything; just give them a gentle nudge in the right direction and watch them flourish.
Next time your tween is lazing about the house claiming there’s “nothing to do,” consider this list of fantastic activities we’ve cooked up. They just might stumble upon a new hobby or passion that keeps them buzzing with excitement and eager to learn more.
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