Creating memorable experiences for your child is one of the most important roles you can play as a parent. As kids get older, their after-school activities become more focused on cultivating specific skills or interests. At this age, it’s up to parents to determine if those interests align with something that will benefit them in the long run, but also be something they truly enjoy!
That being said, many of today’s youth are finding it harder than ever to find affordable extracurricular activities that align with their interests. If you’re looking for some great ways to help your child explore new hobbies without breaking the bank, read on for our top ten list of budget-friendly extracurricular activities for tweens:
Budget Friendly Extracurricular Activities that are Genuinely Fun!
Karaoke is a fun way to meet new people, get out of the house, and start singing! It's also a great way to practice your singing without being judged. It doesn't matter if you have never sung before or if you are an accomplished singer, karaoke is a great way to build confidence and practice your skills in front of an audience. You'll get to bond over your favorite songs, and you'll have the opportunity to sing them in front of an audience.
- Music Lessons
Music lessons keep the mind and body working together. Learning how to play an instrument or sing in an ensemble can help you feel less alone when you're feeling overwhelmed or sad. It will also help you develop your social skills with other kids who are interested in music as well!
- Free Online Classes
Online classes are a great option if you aren’t interested in having to go somewhere after school, but still want to have fun! There are dozens of websites that offer free or budget-friendly extracurricular activities online for tweens! You could take a class on learning a new language, learning to paint, a cooking class, a coding class, the options are really endless!
- Chess Club
Chess clubs are another great way to connect with other kids in your community and learn important life skills like how to communicate effectively and how to think strategically. Chess clubs often require little equipment (like boards) and no special clothes; all you need is a willingness to learn and an open mind!
- Local Library
The local library is a great place to get some reading in. It's also a fantastic place to find books about topics that interest you, including your extracurricular interests. Your local library’s website has information on its collection and how to use it! Some libraries even have age-appropriate book clubs with is one of the most budget-friendly extracurricular activities out there!
Museums are a great way to get introduced to history, science, art and maybe even some math. The museums in your area may have exhibits that are related to your school or community service club's mission. Plus, you can also learn about other cultures and get inspired by their history! Many museums are free to enter or have a low entrance fee.
- Paper Research Club
A paper research club is a great way to keep your tween involved in schoolwork throughout the year. You can make folders for each subject that you cover during the year, then set aside some time every week or two to meet up with your child's friends at home or school and work on projects together. This is a great way for kids who struggle with math or science to practice without pressure from their parents! The best part? This is actually free as it’s set up by the parents!
Volunteering can be a great way to meet people and build connections, while also helping out in your community. There are endless opportunities to get involved with nonprofits and other groups, from helping clean up parks or working with animal shelters to volunteering at a food pantry or reading to children. You can even volunteer as an individual, like by writing letters to soldiers deployed overseas or donating blood.
- Dance Classes
Dance classes can be fun for tweens. Dance classes can teach them about discipline and teamwork, which is important for tweens' futures. They also learn about healthy living through dance; dancing helps kids stay active and healthy, which is an important part of staying fit for life.
- Civic or Youth Organizations
There are many civic organizations that tweens can get involved in. These organizations often include things like volunteering at the local animal shelter or helping with community projects such as painting schools or parks. There are also debate clubs that fall within this niche. These kinds of activities help students develop leadership skills and build confidence in themselves as well as others around them.
Believe it or not, cheering is one of the most budget-friendly extracurricular activities that schools offer. Cheerleading is a great way for tweens to get involved in extra-curricular activities. Cheerleading teaches teamwork, perseverance, and discipline, which are all important traits for tweens to develop as they grow up. In addition, cheerleading has been found to improve self-esteem and encourage healthy body image in girls and young women.
- Football, Baseball, and Soccer
Football, baseball, and soccer are all popular sports for tweens. They're also relatively inexpensive to get into pending the hosting organization and are fun for both boys and girls. If your daughter loves sports then this might be a good choice for her because it will get her out of the house for some physical activity at school or in the park. If you feel that teams are just too expensive right now, consider letting your child play for free at a local community center!
Final Thoughts on these Budget-Friendly Extracurricular Activities
The extracurricular activities for tweens listed here are just the tip of the iceberg, there are much more available in your area. Use our explore page to find some incredible options near you! Before you go, make sure you take a look at these additional after school activities for tweens!