Extracurricular clubs and activities are a great way for students to explore their passions and socialize with like-minded peers. Joining a club helps students build a sense of belonging in their extended community. Students can participate either online or in person, depending on the club.
Check out the opportunities in your area. If your student is athletic, explore local youth recreational leagues or the parks and rec programs offered by your city, county, or state. If your student enjoys art, several online art clubs formed in the wake of the pandemic, giving your student the opportunity to pursue their passion and interact with students across the country. You can find online and in-person coding clubs, chess clubs, cooking clubs, and more. Whatever their interest, there is likely a club full of like-minded students for them to join.
If you’re wondering how to socialize online in clubs and can’t find something that interests your child, make your own! If your student likes to travel and learn about new cultures, start a monthly travel club with classmates, friends, and neighbors. Students choose a travel destination each month and each club member picks something to research and share about that destination, such as culture, language, local food, geography, or government. If meeting in person, students can even cook food from their destination to share.
You can also organize a monthly hiking club to explore different local trails. Another idea is to have a movie screening (either online or in person) to get students together in a more social environment. Think about what interests your student and build a club around that.
Don’t forget to check out local museums, zoos, nature centers, and parks. These venues often host both online and in-person events at little or no charge to give your student a chance to interact with other people while experiencing something new and fun. If they do meet new friends, be sure to get their contact information so they can continue to connect after the event is over.