This post is sponsored by Boy Scouts of America. All opinions are my own.
Sometimes it can be difficult to get kids to come “un-plugged” from their devices. We want our kids to have great experiences, lots of fun, and enjoy their childhood, not waste away their time on an electronic device. If your boys are anything like mine, they will automatically be drawn to the glow of the iPad and gaming systems, and are quite disappointed when I say NO. Often after school I hear the mantra of: I’m bored! I want to watch TV! What can I do? Here is a list of 7 fantastic after school extra-curricular activities for for boys that even the youngest of school-goers would enjoy:
Extra-Curricular Activities for Boys
1. Boy Scouts of America: This is a program I couldn’t rave enough about! My husband is an Eagle Scout, and went through the Boy Scouts of America program when he was a child/teenager, he learned teamwork, leadership, and volunteer service skills that he’s used well into adulthood. #scouting
I have been a den leader for a Wolf and Bear Den (8-9 year olds) for three years and am amazed at all the boys learn to do, from recycling and earth conservation, to planning and carrying out activities led completely by the boys, even to nutrition and healthy body programs. The boys have so much fun while they are learning important skills and gaining attributes that will benefit them throughout life.
My den learned how to use a bow and arrow, shoot BB guns, accomplish a swimming and lifesaving badge, and planned, shopped, and cooked a meal all on their own. I have loved watching my sons get excited for when “Scout Night” comes around. One of their favorite activities was a carnival that my son’s troop put together for their families. Each boy created their own booth and ran it for the families. It was an entire night of fun!
BSA has recently rolled out their Lion Program, which involves boys as young as kindergarten age in a variety of activities. The activities introduce the young scouts and their families to Cub Scouting and exploring the world around them. This program teaches character development, leadership skills, personal fitness and citizenship within activities that are age-appropriate and fun for the boys and their parents. There really is something for everyone in Boy Scouts! For more information check out Boy Scouts of America.
2. Sports: Most of the city sports in your area will start taking players as young as 4. It is a great experience for kids to learn to play on a team, work together, develop athletic skills, and get some great exercise. Most city sports also work using volunteer coaches, so it is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your son while teaching him great skills and sportsmanship.
3. Local Library Activities: Libraries aren’t just for reading books! They have a calendar full of activities that will excite even the youngest of boys all through high school. There’s a variety of arts and crafts, book extensions, chess clubs, Pokemon clubs, teen groups and mini-classes on almost anything! Your son can find other kids with the same interests and start some new friendships also!
4. Martial Arts: There are too many different types of martial arts to even list them all. Most community centers and city programs offer a variety of martial arts, and a Gym or DoJo are never far for those who want reap the benefits of of discipline, physical activity, respect, and a whole lot of fun!
5. Dance Lessons: Don’t be fooled, dance lessons aren’t just for tu-tu clad ballerinas, there are tons of classes that will appeal to boys beyond the typical tap and ballet, including tumbling, acrobatics, creative movement, jazz, and hip hop. There are plenty of dance studios in every city, and most city activities also include some dance classes.
6. Volunteer Opportunities: You would be surprised how much kids really enjoy helping other people! I used to think that there weren’t opportunities for younger kids to volunteer, but our family has searched online found endless opportunities for our family to get involved in service. There are so many local volunteer activities that kids of all ages can do. You can reach out to local church groups, organizations, hospitals, and the city to help your family find opportunities.
7. Playdates: Sometimes, getting your child to un-plug and just be a kid is exactly what they need. If you remember back (waaaay back for me) many of our afternoons were spent goofing off with our friends. Cartoons lasted maybe an hour after school and then we were left to our own devices to make forts, pretend, play hide and seek, and run around the backyard. Have your child invite a friend over for a couple of hours and DON’T let them turn on the devices!!
Follow Boy Scouts of America on Facebook and Twitter so you can stay updated on everything in the world of #scouting. Share your favorite BSA activity on social media tagged #scouting so we can all see it!