Parents who have bought shin guards, cleats and jerseys just for them to pile up in a corner know the struggle well: A kid who doesn’t take to classic hobbies but wants something fun to do.
Luckily for kids today, there’s a wider range of unique activities to catch your little one’s attention. If diving isn’t cutting it, but your teen still wants something exhilarating, try aerial classes. For little ones who love to perform but hate dance shoes, take a spin with an acting class.
Even extracurriculars without much movement can have incredible benefits for kids. Chess, for example, can improve memory and logical thinking, while learning a language can help a child years down the road.
No matter what your little one loves (or doesn’t), there’s an extracurricular for every child. Here are 10 of our favorite options in southeast Michigan.
- Where it’s offered: Michigan Actors Studio, 1100 Woodward Heights Ferndale
If your little one has a flair for the dramatic, hone those natural skills with classes where they’ll learn skills like improvisation and singing. Some studios are doing virtual courses, too.
- Where it’s offered: Detroit Flyhouse Circus School, 1321 Watson St., Detroit
Fearless kids will enjoy learning the ropes (or silks) on aerial courses crafted specifically for youth. Expect little ones to improve balance and strength while having fun flying above their friends.
- Where it’s offered: Detroit Archers, 5795 Drake Road, West Bloomfield
As far as sports for kids go, not much is cooler than archery. Take your little Katniss Everdeen to kids classes to learn the basics, like how to hold a bow, aim and the correct stance.
- Where it’s offered: Detroit City Chess Club, 19411 W McNichols Ave., Suite 326, Detroit
With the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit, older kids might be more interested in trying their hand at chess. Plus, it has a host of benefits for kids: improved memory, logical thinking, critical thinking, concentration, problem solving and visual processing.
- Where it’s offered: Ceramics School, 2692 Carpenter St., Hamtramck
Improve coordination and unleash your little one’s creativity at a ceramics class. Of course, they’ll be able to take their hard work home with them. Kids will learn to shape clay using different methods, like a pottery wheel.
- Where it’s offered: Bake! Zingerman’s Bakehouse, 3723 Plaza Drive, Ann Arbor
If Top Chef Junior or Great British Bake Off is your little one’s favorite show, then surprise them with a cooking class where they’ll learn the basics of baking and cooking. Even something commonplace like cooking can become a fun extracurricular when done with friends.
- Where it’s offered: Palmer Park Disc Golf Course, 1121 Merrill Plaisance St, Detroit
While it would be fun for kids to take a disc golf lesson before embarking on a course, older kids could certainly learn the basics on YouTube then head out with friends. For parents who think their kids could benefit from some outdoor time, but want something more unique than soccer or football, disc golf is a clear winner.
- Where it’s offered: Renaissance Fencing Club, 185 E Elmwood Drive, Troy
This fast-paced sport is growing in popularity. Kids will learn proper footwork, blade-work, distance control, fencing etiquette and rules at a beginner class.
Learn a Language
- Where it’s offered: Bright Loritos, 2605 Crooks Road, Suite 2, Troy, 24293 Novi Road, Noviand 543 N. Main St., Suite 412, Rochester
Kids will love learning another language alongside their peers. Plus, children have a greater appreciation for other cultures when they can communicate in the language. If typical language courses don’t catch your little one’s attention, try virtual sign language classes for kids.
- Where it’s offered: DYNO Detroit Climbing, 3500 Orleans St., Detroit
Redirect little ones with a love of climbing furniture and trees with a rock climbing course. Rock climbing improves spatial awareness, balance and motor skills, plus kids will learn how to safely navigate a rock climbing gym.
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