After school activities are important for kids of all ages. Helping your child find something they enjoy doing after school gives them something productive to do, builds confidence, and makes them feel good about themselves. Finding the best after school activities for middle school and high schoolers can be tricky.
There are so many options out there that it’s hard to know which ones will be a good fit for your child’s interests and abilities. After school programs can also go by other names such as extracurricular activities, clubs, or programs. They’re all essentially the same thing though: activities that take place outside of the normal school day! So, which ones are best for your kids?
Best After School Activities for Middle School and High Schoolers
After school activities come in a wide variety of forms, especially in middle and high school. When kids reach these grade levels, they start to home in on what their interests are. They often take extracurriculars more seriously, but you still want them to have fun. These 11 best after school activities for middle school and high schoolers are built to do just that!
Getting kids involved in sports is a great way to keep them busy during the year and help them get their minds off of schoolwork. With so many different types of sports available, there's sure to be something that appeals to everyone! If your school doesn't have any sports programs your kid is interest in yet, try getting involved with one of your neighbors' schools or community organizations you might be surprised by how much fun they can have! Consider the most common sports like baseball, football, cheerleading, basketball, and softball.
- Chess Club
Chess is a great activity for all ages, and it's especially fun at the middle school and high school levels. If you want to get your students involved in something that will improve their minds and their bodies, chess clubs are a great place to start. The club can be run by the teachers or the students themselves. Either way, the goal is to compete with other schools and see who has the most skill in this area.
- Computers and technology
The computer lab is a wonderful place to get kids excited about learning. Not only can it be used for learning, but it can also be used for games, sports, and other fun activities. The computer lab helps children stay focused on their studies as well as provides them with an outlet for creativity.
- Language and culture
Language and Culture are extremely important for children to learn. This is because it helps them understand their own culture, as well as others. For example, if you are from the United States, you might speak English. However, in another country, such as Japan, you might learn Japanese to communicate with locals. After school activities that center around learning about another culture can be intriguing and even thrilling for young minds!
- Math and science
Math and science clubs are another excellent option for kids interested in these subjects. After school activities that center around understanding or excelling in math can enhance grades and confidence. Science clubs on the other hand tend to be more hands on and involve experiments and tracking data, which can be equally as fun for older kids!
Robotics is another cool thing that kids can learn in high school or middle school. These are clubs where students combine math, science, and technology to quite literally build their own robots! They’ll often then take these robots to competitions, potentially at the national level!
- Sport Clubs
Sport clubs are for kids who love sports and want to learn more about them. The club is run by a teacher and a coach, who will help you learn new skills and techniques. There are usually many other kids in the club, so you can make friends as well! It’s a little different than just “sports”, because you’re learning about the behind the scenes of sports as well as technique, form, and teamwork.
- LGBTQ+ Clubs
LBGTQ+ clubs are one of the best after school activities for kids in middle school and high school. These are clubs that offer inclusion to teens who may be questioning their sexuality, need guidance, or simply want to make new friends. It’s a great way to kids to learn about each other, how to respect one another, and how to love each other regardless of differences.
- Music Activities
Music activities are great because they give children the opportunity to express themselves through music without having to be in front of an audience. This makes it easier for them to practice their skills on their own time, which can lead to better performance when they are playing in front of others later on down the line! Consider getting your child enrolled in music lessons for an instrument like guitar, drums, violin, band instruments, etc.
- Cooking Programs
A cooking program is a great option for kids who enjoy cooking or just have an interest in learning how food is prepared! You'll get valuable lessons from your teacher on how certain ingredients work together when making certain dishes, which will help you create better meals for yourself at home later.
- Craft Activities
Middle school and high schoolers love to make things. If you are looking for some fun activities that will help your child develop the skills they need to be successful in the future, then craft activities are perfect. Your child can learn how to use scissors, glue, and other tools that can be used to make projects like jewelry, clothes, or even an art project. This is a great way for kids to explore their creative side while also learning about how to use tools as an adult.
Should I Force My Son or Daughter into After School Sports?
If you have a child who is in middle school or high school and is interested in participating in after school sports, it’s important to choose activities that are fun and engaging.
In general, sports that involve running, jumping, throwing, catching, and hitting will likely be more exciting than those that don’t. It’s also important to choose an activity with some level of competitiveness. If your child isn’t competitive by nature, then it may be best to avoid competitive sports altogether.
You can encourage your son/daughter to participate in after school sports by setting aside time to discuss this with them. You should never force your child to participate in a sport, as this can be damaging to their mental health and their relationship with you. Having the discussion with them is perfectly fine though and is even encouraged!
View these featured businesses
Camp Telaphiba is a unique summer dance camp in Colorado, blending outdoor adventures with dance, promoting personal growth for kids and teens aged 10-18.
Singing Studios Lessons
Singing Studios offers online and in-person music lessons for all ages in vocals, guitar, drums, and piano, plus early childhood music classes.
Bay Area Kids camp
Bay Area Kids Camp offers unforgettable outdoor adventure experiences, fostering growth, camaraderie, and a deep connection with nature for your children.
Camp Broadway offers immersive and interactive theater programs for youth, fostering their artistic growth and love for Broadway through experiential learning and camps.
Enriching Kidz boosts pre-teens confidence, competence, and life skills through hands-on programs, creative expression, and personal growth-focused experiences in a nurturing environment.
Breakwater Expeditions offers personalized adventure trips for diverse groups, featuring outdoor experiences, wilderness exploration, family therapy vacations, and team-building activities.
French Woods Festival is a premier performing arts summer camp, fostering creativity, confidence, and collaboration in youth through diverse artistic experiences.
Shooting Star Adventures
Shooting Star Adventures offers dynamic, eco-friendly outdoor summer camps in Oregon, focusing on adventure activities, survival skills, and promoting a lifelong love of nature.