Summer Enrichment Activity Ideas for Your Preteen

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Enrichment activities give your tween the opportunity to make new friends, learn something new, develop new skills or hone existing skills, and perhaps even foster a passion for a hobby or a field of study. Enrichment activities can take place during or after school, during the summer months, or over winter break. And they can be experienced in a group setting or individually.

If you're deciding on possible enrichment activities for your child, be sure to ask for your tween's input and opinions, and try to avoid taking on too many activities at one time. That can lead to burnout and activity fatigue. If your child is just beginning middle school, it might be wise to wait a few weeks into the school year before signing your preteen up for any extra activities or sports. That way you'll know more about the demands middle school will bring in terms of your child's homework load, and added responsibilities.

Saving Money on Enrichment Activities

Enrichment doesn't have to come with a hefty price tag. In fact, many enrichment activities can be accomplished at home, with your supervision and input, or your tween can take control of the activity and work on it individually. For example, if your child is interested in sewing, you can spend a few hours every week working on a project together using the family sewing machine. Or, if your child is interested in science, it might be fun to purchase a book on science experiments you can conduct at home.

You can also look into enrichment activities offered by your local parks and recreation department, your local YMCA or YWCA, or even activities offered by your child's school or church. Many of these activities are reasonably priced or free, making them attractive options for families on a budget.

Arts Activities

Arts-related activities can include art lessons, sewing lessons, or classes that focus on crafts or art appreciation. Your local parks and recreations department is a great place to find arts and craft courses for children and preteens. Or, try your local arts and crafts supply store to see if they offer classes for children.

Other places to find arts activities include area museums or art galleries. Or, purchase some art supplies for your child to see what she can accomplish on her own. If your child is interested in the performing arts, contact your local community theatre about opportunities for children.

Children interested in music may want to consider joining the school band or chorus or taking up an instrument such as the piano or guitar.

Reading Enrichment Activities

Children who love to read, or who need reading intervention should contact the school reading teacher for a list of reading enrichment suggestions. Joining a tween book club is a great way for children to enjoy reading in a group environment. You can also foster your child's reading skills by reading a book together, or by purchasing magazines geared toward tweens. Be sure to ask your child's teacher for a summer reading list to encourage learning retention during the summer months.

Sports Activities

Sport-related activities can include both competitive and non-competitive sports. Most competitive sports are team sports such as soccer, football, basketball, softball, hockey, cheerleading, swimming, field hockey, volleyball, etc. But children looking for sports activities without the competition may want to look into non-competitive or individualized activities such as biking, hiking, fencing, shooting, canoeing, aerobics, fishing, and karate.

Your county or city probably offers sports leagues for children. Your child's school may also offer recreational or intramural sports for students. Many non-competitive sports can be enjoyed individually, or through common interest groups or clubs. You can also encourage your tween to organize a pick-up game of touch football, basketball or soccer. Just call the neighborhood kids over for a little competition and see how much fun they can have.

Math and Science Activities

Children interested in the sciences should look into academic clubs offered by their school or academic camps offered through local museums or other associations. Academic clubs offer field trips, competitions, speakers and other opportunities for your child to develop his interests.

Academic clubs are a great way for students to sharpen their skills and find friends with common interests.

Volunteer Activities

Enrichment activities can include volunteer opportunities, and by volunteering your child may learn a number of skills he'll need throughout life. Volunteering teaches your child citizenship skills, as well as empathy for others and a sense of community. By volunteering, your child can also learn how to manage projects, set goals, and work with others. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere, but your child can start by contacting a local service group such as the Boys Scouts or the Girl Scouts. Your family church may also provide volunteer opportunities, as may your child's school and your local library.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Scott KE, Graham JA. Service-Learning: Implications for Empathy and Community Engagement in Elementary School Children. J Exp Educ. 2015;38(4):354-372. doi:10.1177/1053825915592889

By Jennifer O'Donnell
Jennifer O'Donnell holds a BA in English and has training in specific areas regarding tweens, covering parenting for over 8 years.