You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy the benefits of organized sports. Sports provide a great opportunity for teens to build confidence and develop teamwork skills in a non-threatening setting. However, not every teen is interested in playing traditional team sports like basketball or soccer.
If your teen falls into this category, you might be left wondering what other types of activities they could participate in that would still offer the same social and physical benefits of team sports. Fortunately, there are plenty of after school activities for teens that won’t make them feel like they’re being forced to join another one of those lame youth groups.
10 After School Activities for Teens Who Aren’t Interested in Sports:
- Ping Pong
Ping pong is a fun and fast-paced game that can be great for teens who aren’t interested in team sports. You can play in a tournament, or simply as a fun way to socialize with friends – it’s up to you. Ping pong is one of the most popular indoor activities you can do with your friends, as it requires little special equipment other than a paddle and the ball. Is a ping pong table helpful? Yes, but you don’t absolutely need it! You can find a local tournament at your school or in your neighborhood or simply play at home with friends.
Robotics is an awesome activity that gives teens the chance to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) concepts in a hands-on way. Robotics clubs often meet after school or on weekends to build robots for competitions. If your teen wants to compete, it’s a good idea to look for clubs that participate in FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology). These clubs often have mentors from universities who can help your teen navigate the college application process
If your teen is more of an actor than an athlete, the theater might be the perfect activity. Theater groups are open to improvisational and experimental forms of theater that are rarely seen on stage. With this, teens can explore a wide variety of styles and genres, there are tons of options, so you’re sure to find one that fits your teen’s interests. This is one of the best afterschool activities for teens who are a bit more shy as well as it can help them overcome that in a fun way!
If your teen is more interested in taking a break from the outside world than spending all their time with people, bowling might be the perfect activity. Bowling is one of those rare sports that can be done in a team or individual setting, and it can be as casual or competitive as you like. Bowling is a great way to release some stress after a long day at school, and it can be a great way to connect with friends who have a similar interest in taking it easy.
Swimming is a great way for teens to get some exercise in a low-impact environment. You can do laps in the pool, or try some fun and creative activities in the water like the water polo. Swimming is also a great way to relieve stress and build confidence in the water. It’s often easier to let go of worries and anxieties when you’re surrounded by water than when you’re surrounded by air.
If your teens grew up climbing trees outside or you know…up your refrigerator… rock climbing may be the perfect activity. Climbing gyms offer a wide variety of climbing activities from bouldering to sport climbing to even indoor climbing on artificial walls. You can participate in group climbing activities or compete in climbing competitions if you’re more ambitious. Climbing can be done in a group setting or as a solo activity. This is a great aerobic exercise that can help improve your endurance and strength.
- Martial Arts
If your teen is more interested in self-defense than the competition, martial arts might be the activity for them. Martial arts can be practiced in individual or group settings, and they can help your teen improve their focus and self-discipline. Martial arts are often practiced to spiritually enrich the students as well as physically improve their skills. With this in mind, your teen can still gain plenty of useful skills while improving their focus and concentration. Make sure you take a look at our explore page to find some martial arts and other after school activities for teens near you!
- Dance Classes
If your teen is more interested in being expressive than competitive, you might want to consider dance classes. Dance can be done in individual or group settings, and it can be as competitive or non-competitive as your teen wants it to be. Dance can be a great way for your teen to express themselves and discover their own unique style and creativity.
Pottery is a fun and creative way to express yourself and spend time with friends or by yourself. You can go to a studio and make your crafts, or you can also try a more communal activity like a group session. While some people might see pottery as an activity for teens who aren’t interested in being athletic, it’s actually a great way to build upper body muscles while also getting creative. Throwing and controlling the clay is more exhausting that you would think!
If you’re more interested in helping people than competing, volunteering might be the perfect activity for you. There are tons of organizations that are always looking for volunteers, so you can find something that fits your interests and skill set. A popular option for teens is tutoring. Teenagers are often able to relate easier to younger kids, so they’re more likely to be successful!
Final Thoughts on After School Activities for Teens
While sports may be a great way to get your kids involved in fitness and physical activities, it's important to remember that not every kid needs to engage in athletics. There are still many ways to stay active and healthy. Hopefully, this has given you a few ideas to keep yourself busy, and your mind opens in a healthy way. Remember that it's not all or nothing! Check out these additional resources for some more after school activities for teens who just aren’t interested in throwing balls around a court!