Extracurricular Activities for Preteens

July 15, 2019
In this article, discover some of the best extracurricular activities for preteens that can benefit them in many ways.

Although preteens no longer want to do “kids stuff,” they still aren’t teenagers. What extracurricular activities are most appropriate for preteens?

In this article, discover some ideas.

The Preteen Stage

Specifying the starting point of preadolescence is difficult. In fact, it depends on each person, because physiological maturity may occur sooner or later depending on the individual.

Thus, there’s no specific age of onset of preadolescence. However, broadly speaking, it occurs between the ages of 10 and 13.

A few preteens reading.

During preadolescence, new physiological and psychological processes begin that change both references and behaviors.

Preadolescence is a very important step before adolescence that signifies the end of childhood. It’s an intermediate stage and, as such, it’s full of confusion and discoveries.

Here are some of the traits that characterize this stage:

  • Preadolescents still have many child-like behaviors. However, on the other hand, they begin to demand their autonomy, which will be later accentuated during adolescence.
  • From a psychological point of view, preteens undergo the process of finding their own identity within their social network begins.
  • In addition, the desire for autonomy leads preteens to consider other references apart from their families. Indeed, during childhood, the family nucleus instills all values in children. Now, as preteens come closer to adolescence, they start seeking other references.
  • Moreover, they begin to experience bodily changes.

Extracurricular Activities for Preteens

When it comes to choosing extracurricular activities for preteens, you must keep these changes in mind and consider that the activities should:

  • Boost their social and interaction skills.
  • Help them develop their personality.
  • Promote values that will be essential during adolescence and adulthood.
  • Help them develop physical and mental self-awareness.
  • Not overwhelm them.

Next, let’s take a look at some good activities that can help to do this.

Team Sports as Extracurricular Activities

In addition to the benefits of physical exercise, sports have other benefits ideal for this stage. Overall, sports are great for preteens because they:

  • Help them release stress.
  • Help preteens understand and set limits.
  • Allow them to learn to respect rules.
  • Help them get to know their bodies better.
  • Instill a spirit of improvement and boost their self-esteem.
  • Teach them to cooperate with others in pursuit of a common goal (in the case of team sports).

Thus, it’s a good idea to practice a team sport as an extracurricular activity. For example, football, basketball, and volleyball are all great options.

Moreover, individual sports also have many benefits. Thus, martial arts, gymnastics, swimming and track and field are also recommended.

You should read: 5 Sports That Offer Multiple Health Benefits

Intellectual Activities

If your preteen doesn’t like sports, there are other options. Intellectual activities are also beneficial for them in the short and long term. W

In this case, we’re talking about extracurricular activities such as:

  • Chess
  • Languages
  • Reading courses
  • Computer science classes
  • Robotics classes

These activities facilitate intellectual development. However, although they’re individual, the preteen will also find themselves among a group. Thus, they also facilitate the development of social ties and strategies with others.

This article may interest you: 5 Tips for Raising a Healthy Teenager

Artistic Extracurricular Activities

Some preteens playing instruments.

Artistic activities also benefit preteens with creation and creativity.

In addition to physical and intellectual abilities, there’s another type of intelligence that we often don’t pay enough attention to: artistic intelligence. After all, in a world ruled by results and profit, we often forget that art exists. In this regard, it’s a great idea to sign preteens up for activities that help them develop their artistic ability.

This is because art also offers numerous health benefits. In fact, it’s a form of expression that will help the preteen get to know themselves better. It will foster their expression, imagination, and creativity.

Some good choices are the following courses or classes:

  • Pottery
  • Painting
  • Creative writing
  • Sculpture
  • Theater
  • Crafts
  • Sewing
  • Cooking

Artistic activities can benefit preteens in the following ways. They:

  • Release stress through expression.
  • Boost their self-esteem.
  • Develop their sensitivity.
  • Boost their concentration.
  • Promote self-knowledge through artistic expression.


There are many recommended extracurricular activities for preteens. This is a time when they need to start laying the groundwork for what will become their relationship with the world and themselves.

Therefore, you should talk to them about what they want to do and make sure to not impose anything. Discuss the benefits each type of activity can offer them. Finally, let them decide.

In addition, don’t forget that they’re “extracurricular” activities. They’re meant to be fun and stress-free. 

  • Prieto, M. (2018). Jugar al ajedrez: 5 beneficios para tu cerebro. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://lamenteesmaravillosa.com/jugar-al-ajedrez-5-beneficios-para-tu-cerebro/
  • Botello, N. (2018). Beneficios psicológicos del deporte en los niños. Retrieved May 21, 2019, from https://eresmama.com/beneficios-psicologicos-del-deporte-en-los-ninos/