Enrichment activities give kids a chance to explore the things that they’re interested in outside of school that may not be offered as a class.
These are fun extracurricular activities with the sole purpose of enriching the lives of children and broadening their horizons.
Before we get into the list of enrichment activities, we’ll briefly cover what they are as well as some of the associated benefits that kids can gain from them.
This is by no means a complete list, but it can open the door to a whole world of possibilities for children of all ages outside an academic setting.
What is an Enrichment Activity?
An enrichment activity is an extracurricular activity that allows children to learn about new things that interest them outside of a typical school schedule.
Enrichment activities are typically in addition to the traditional topics covered at school and are intended to complement a complete education.
They can be a hobby like learning the piano or something to make productive use of after school time, or they can be an outside class in a chosen subject like coding or robotics.
Benefits of Enrichment Activities
The benefits of enrichment activities extend beyond the classroom and include improved critical thinking, expanded creativity, and a boost in confidence.
Depending on the type of activity, children will have the chance to work with others and develop the skills necessary to be part of a team and if applicable, compete with others.
Kids can learn about subjects that they’re interested in, and this helps them take a deeper look at what motivates them to succeed in life or what career they want to pursue.
Enrichment activities offer a chance to discover something about themselves, and it can afford an opportunity to decide which path they’d like to take in their education. There are plenty of fun activities available for children of all ages starting at elementary school.
Kids who participate in these types of educational activities often see a marked improvement in the quality of their studies while in school.
Kids with an interest in computers and mathematics can enjoy enrichment activities that are focused on coding. Coding features a large variety of specialties, and students get the chance to build things from scratch using programming languages used to produce some of today’s most popular games and software.
Coding teaches children how to think logically as well as the importance of problem-solving. Coding is a part of the increasingly popular STEM fields, and kids who pick it up and stick with it have fantastic prospects for their future.
Learning how to code is easier than ever, and it can be done entirely online or in person in a classroom, thanks to many online coding classes and after-school programs.
Creative writing allows students to use their imagination to craft stories and learn a time-honored skill in the process. It’s a great enrichment activity for young writers who work well alone and love reading.
A wandering mind is an excellent thing for creative writing, and kids can apply their spontaneity and sense of wonder freely as they learn proper grammar and vocabulary rules to serve them academically. Creative writing encompasses a broad range of disciplines and can include poetry, songwriting, screenwriting, and the standby classic fiction.
It takes very little in the way of investment, and it can be done with simple pen and paper. Or it can be as advanced as children can handle with computer software suited for even the most seasoned writers. It can also significantly improve someone’s storytelling abilities.
Learning to play chess gives children a valuable set of skills that translate to life outside the game, including critical thinking, problem-solving, and the power of memorization. Chess is one of the oldest known strategy games, and it’s easy to learn but can take a lifetime to master.
There are online chess lessons and camps available in-person and online 24/7 to players around the globe. Thanks to the massive popularity of this classic game of kings, queens, and pieces, there is no shortage of ways to learn to play chess.
Kids can begin to learn as early as age 4, and it often becomes a lifelong hobby for many.
Learning photography has been made super accessible to children due to the technological advancements with phones and tablets. Modern smartphones are capable of producing professional-level photographs so your kids can focus on learning the basics like composition and lighting.
You can even find useful guides built into most apps that help apply the rule of thirds to photos. Photography is a classical style of art, but it has also become a means for children to interact with the world. It’s a good way for kids to express themselves, and it’s so easy to do. Kids can go on YouTube or other online websites for photography lessons.
Children can enjoy the thrill of watching something they have built come to life through robotics. Robotics allows kids to apply logical thinking to real-world problems that can be tackled through the use of automation and coding.
Robotics involves elements of manual dexterity and gives students a chance to work with their hands. They can use their minds to create the code that issues commands to the robot and make it perform tasks. It’s a good activity for kids and is a form of creative expression that mixes things up a bit.
The field of robotics is ever-evolving, and it’s engaging enough to draw children and inspire them to learn more about STEM.
Animation & Drawing
If your kids have a natural desire to draw and want to bring their ideas to life with motion, then animation and drawing are a good place to start. There are many online animation classes and programs in which you can enroll your artistic children.
The future of drawing is digital, and those who learn from a young age can get on the ground floor of the next generation of creators. It’s a great opportunity for creative kids who want to express their vision through animated storytelling.
There is also a performance aspect that is part of it which allows kids who are so inclined to show off their vocal talents to bring characters to life.
Astronomy brings the wonders of the universe down to Earth for children to study closely. Through the use of telescopes and binoculars, there is a chance to see our celestial neighbors up close.
There is a simply massive set of scientific studies and programs that kids can dig into with astronomy and learn what makes the world go round. Learning astronomy is about looking up into the night sky with an inspired sense of the scale of things and lets them imagine limitless possibilities.
The world needs astronauts and explorers of every kind to push the envelope and discover new things about the universe, and kids make up the next generation of these brave explorers.
Dance & Music
You’ll be hard-pressed to find two things that go better together to enrich the lives of children than music and dance. These are two of the oldest forms of human expression and give youngsters an opportunity to have fun while doing so.
There are countless forms of dance and music, with something for everyone. Both activities exercise the mind and body, harness the electricity of improvisation, and are just plain fun to take part in.
Dance and music lessons encourage kids to come out of their shells and participate in a group activity that promotes collaboration.
For any child who wants to learn about the fundamentals of music, there is no better way to get started than with piano lessons. Through it’s just one instrument, kids can learn about the magic of music theory.
Learning the piano provides a solid foundation for students to build upon and branch out to other musical instruments. It can become the catalyst for a lifelong hobby or through serious dedication, a career, but perhaps most importantly, it can provide endless joy.
Music is an important part of life, and learning the piano lets children step behind the curtain and see how the real magic is performed. Our guide on online piano lessons for kids can help you find a way for your child to learn.
Arts & Crafts
There’s a reason that arts and crafts remain a staple enrichment activity for students from K-12. Arts and crafts allow your children the opportunity to work with their hands and express their inner world in a way that is visible for all to see.
It encompasses a huge selection of enrichment activities for kids to enjoy including painting, sculpting, woodworking, and jewelry making, among many others. The best part is that you can do arts and crafts anywhere. Whether it’s at a studio to keep any mess at a minimum, or you can make space for it at home and go the online route.
Sports are a tried and true enrichment activity that encourages children to work as a team toward a shared goal. Most team and individual sports can improve a child’s physical fitness, hand-eye coordination, and even problem-solving skills through spirited competition.
Your kid’s school may already offer a wide selection of sports to participate in year-round, including baseball, basketball, football, soccer, hockey, and track and field. Otherwise, there are private clubs that you can enroll children in.
Sports can teach kids about leadership, effective communication skills, and how to think quickly in specific situations. These lessons extend beyond the court and provide parallels to real-world issues everyone faces.
Volunteering allows children the chance to do something great for their community. There are volunteer opportunities for kids of all ages across a large variety of sectors. It can involve helping feed the homeless, being part of a team that builds new homes for those in need, or providing social interaction for the elderly.
Depending on which organization your child volunteers for, they may receive recognition and work which is a nice addition to any college admissions application. There is always a need for good kids who want to help make their community a better place and the most effective change is always done at the local level by people who care.
Speech is a useful skill for anyone to build confidence in themselves and conquer a common fear. The ability to successfully convey a message to an audience is extremely useful in life, and those who can do it often stand out.
Learning to deliver a speech is more than just reciting words that have been memorized, and a good course, whether online or at school can teach kids how to impart emotion into the presentation. Speech enrichment programs teach students how to play off the crowd, read a room, and present accordingly.
Being a more confident speaker can improve all aspects of a child’s life including one-on-one interactions, classroom dynamics, and how to engage with the public.
With over 7,000 languages and dialects, those who pick up even one additional language can have an advantage in the ever-changing global landscape of the future.
Being multi-lingual is fast becoming the norm, and learning a new language is simpler than ever with learning apps, online courses, and traditional classes at school. Modern learning methods have added a lot of fun to the process and can make the whole journey feel like a game, where the prize is a better understanding of the world.
Extracurricular study of a new language pairs nicely with in-class studies and can also serve as a standalone education.
For kids who want to get into filmmaking, there has never been a better time. There is an abundance of online learning resources and after-school programs designed to teach you everything there is to know about filmmaking and video editing.
Filmmaking lets students work in other production aspects, including lighting, sound, and set design. There is a whole world to explore with just this one activity, and it’s all fueled by imagination.
Much of the work of filmmaking is done with creative software suites which are great for children to get familiar with. The creative market of the future demands people who are knowledgeable about this kind of technology, and learning about the filmmaking process at an early age can help them in their future careers.