The Complete List of Extracurricular Activities for Kids

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As a mom, I am constantly looking for good extracurricular activities for kids after school. Not only are these good for younger kids, but they are especially important for teenagers when they start applying to various colleges. 

What are extracurricular activities?


Some might wonder what is an extracurricular activity. This pretty much is another that you do outside of school hours that is not a paying job. 

Below we list many extracurricular activities to help you find one that might be of interest to you! 

Why do extracurricular activities matter?

You might find yourself scratching your head as to why extracurricular activities matter. 

When it comes to younger kids extracurricular activities help them learn teamwork, leadership, help gain self-confidence, as well as help them stay accretive in some cases. It also helps them to understand different interests that they have. 

When kids get older and start applying to colleges that is when extracurricular activities really matter. Colleges begin to look at the things you do outside the classroom. This helps them to understand who you are as a person and if you were able to keep good grades while doing other things. 

If you have limited extracurricular activities your might be overlooked when getting into college. 

How many extracurricular activities should you do?

You might be thinking to yourself that you can only handle 1 extracurricular activity, especially if it is something like an intense sport such as football that takes a lot of time. But did you know that colleges like to see at least 8 extracurricular activities on your resume? 

It’s true! But the good news is you don’t have to do them all at once! During your busy season, focus on one or two and then pick up a few more when your schedule is not so intense. 

How do colleges gauge extracurricular activities on your application?

Colleges place quite a bit of weight on your extracurricular activities that you participate in. The order in which they look at your application is:

  • Grades
  • SAT / ACT scores
  • Extracurricular activities
  • College Essays
  • Recommendations

How to choose the best extracurricular activities for you

How to choose the best extracurricular activities for you

If you are unsure how to pick the right activities for you to do outside of school, use this brainstorming guide to help you narrow down your choices. 


The first thing you want to do is brainstorm activities that are of interest to you. You can use the complete list at the bottom of this post to help you get started thinking about what you want to do. By doing this you can find things that are of interest to you and that you have a passion for. This makes after-school activities much more fun when it is things you enjoy. 


Take the options from your brainstorming list and research them out. Are these activities available at the school? If not are they available in the community? If you can’t find your deserted activity look to other nearby cities or think about starting your own group.  

Start Participating

Once you have found what you want to do, now is the time to start acting on it! Try all different kinds of fun activities that you have an interest in or you think you might have an interest in. By testing out lots of options you are able to quickly find what you love to do as well as what you don’t like to do.

Narrow your list

Perhaps you started out trying 20 things you thought you might like to do. Now is the time to narrow your list down to the things you love and have an interest in. This allows you to focus and give these groups your all rather than spreading yourself too thin.  

Get More Involved

When you narrow down your list it is time to get more involved in those things! Maybe you volunteer for more projects, become a leader in the group, or mentor others. These extra things make a significant impact on your college applications when you take your activities to the next level. 

Extracurricular Activities for Kids

Extracurricular Activities for Kids

Here is a complete list of extracurricular activities for kids. We have tried to break the list down to help you find just want you are looking for!


These activities are based on academic interests. These include clubs, teams, arts, and academic competition teams.

Academic Teams

  • Academic Decathlon 
  • Robotics
  • Math League
  • National Spelling Bee
  • Odyssey of the Minds
  • Debate Teams- check out these debate questions


  • Architecture Club
  • Engineering 
  • Astronomy
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Economics Club
  • Literature Club
  • Math Club
  • National Honor Society
  • Robotics 
  • Writing Club
  • Psychology
  • Poetry
  • Physics
  • Chess Club
  • Future Farmers of America (FFA)


  • Graphic Design
  • Animation
  • Art
  • Welding
  • Photography
  • Drama
  • Fashion
  • Sculpture
  • Sewing
  • Theatre
  • Ceramics
  • Wordworking


  • African American Club
  • Sign Language
  • Chinese
  • French
  • Spanish
  • German
  • Latin
  • Russian
  • Native American


  • 4-H
  • Habitat for Humanities
  • Boy Scouts
  • Girl Scouts
  • Key Club
  • PALS
  • Leo Club


  • Student Council
  • Student Government
  • Local government
  • Peer Leadership

Media / Journalism

  • School or local magazine
  • School or local newspaper
  • School or local radio
  • School or local website
  • School yearbook


  • Junior ROTC
  • Civil Air Patrol


  • Learning a new instrument
  • School choir
  • Community choir
  • Church choir 
  • Concert band
  • Marching band
  • Singing lessons 
  • Instrument lessons
  • Jazz band 
  • Orchestra


  • Church groups
  • Youth groups
  • Missionary work
  • Service missions


  • Coding
  • Building a website
  • YouTube Channel
  • Social Media


  • Be a mentor
  • Tutor
  • Animal shelter
  • Women’s shelter
  • Church
  • Hospital volunteer
  • Vlunterrn Firefughter
  • Work at local charities


You probably already know about many sports teams at your school, but there are so many more available in the community as well. Try these ideas.

  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Weightlifting
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Fencing
  • Dance Team
  • Cheerleading
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Hockey
  • Lacrosse
  • Karate
  • Skateboarding
  • Skiing
  • Soccer
  • Swimming
  • Diving
  • Tennis
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga
  • Volleyball
  • Track and Field
  • CrossCountry
  • Waterpolo 

No matter what extracurricular activities you choose you will love the way you feel as you participate with others on teams as you work together. What activities would you add to the list? Share in the comments!

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