Clubs and Groups for Children and Youth

Groups and clubs designed for children and youth offer many benefits. They help kids make friends and practice social skills with both adults and peers. They allow to children to learn new skills or pursue a favorite hobby or activity. They foster feelings of competence and pride to boost kids' confidence and self-esteem.

Some children join clubs to serve the community or explore their faith. Others prefer the spirit of competition that comes from youth sports. When you are choosing a club for your child, consider what your child hopes to get out of the experience and the various types of organizations available. Here is a quick list to give you some direction and help you find the right club or team for your child.

1

Volunteering

Kids baseball team
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Children learn a lot about themselves and others by volunteering. Even the youngest of children can make a difference. By choosing a project and following it through, children develop a sense of accomplishment. Whether planting flowers or serving in a soup kitchen, children see the results of their hard work and have the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference.

Clubs that focus on volunteers tout developing leadership skills, problem-solving skills, setting and achieving goals, working in teams, and communication skills. The Kiwanis is a volunteer organization with three levels of clubs for elementary through high school youths.

  • A Kiwanis-sponsored volunteer organization for elementary school children
  • Builders Club a Kiwanis-sponsored organization for middle school children
  • Key Club a Kiwanis-sponsored organization for high school youth.

In addition to the Kiwanis, check with other organizations near you that may work with youth volunteers. Hospitals, food banks, and pet shelters are good places to start.

2

Scouting

scouts
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Scouting provides a well-rounded program where children earn badges, play games, camp, sing, create crafts, complete service projects and more. Scouts build friendships and learn new skills. Many have opportunities through Scouts that they wouldn't otherwise have.

  • A Scouting organization for boys and girls, particularly those of pagan or minority faiths
  • Boy Scouts of America for boys ages 1st grade and up and girls from age 14
  • Girl Scouts of the USA for girls ages K through 12th grade. They are divided into Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Girl.
3

Sports

Soccer
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Sports give children a chance to engage in physical activity and make friends, develop skills, learn teamwork and build self-esteem. The sporting options are virtually endless.

Many towns and cities have their own recreation programs that run youth sports programs. You can also check with schools, community programs, and gyms that may sponsor teams or point you in the right direction.

4

Religious

Boys praying
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Religious clubs give children the opportunity to learn more about their faith, grow in that faith, and make friends that share their spiritual beliefs. Some research shows that religious participation in youth is linked to greater positivity and overall life satisfaction in early adulthood.

The activities vary by the club but usually include social and educational programs. Some religious clubs also do outreach and community service projects.

Contact your local church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious center for information on youth religious groups in your community.

5

Academic

Teacher calling on students
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Academic clubs recognize children's academic achievements and give children the opportunity to work in an academic area in more depth than offered in class. Groups that focus on math, science, and computers encourage leadership skills while helping children learn to work as a team. They are a place for kids to meet like-minded friends who share their passion for learning.

6

Agricultural

Kids with sheep
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Agricultural clubs give children the opportunity to work in various areas of farming, plant and animal sciences, horticulture, agricultural technologies, and related fields. They provide a place where children can have fun, make friends and prepare for futures in agricultural fields.

If these clubs aren't available in your area, look into creating a community garden with other children, or starting a gardening club or conservation group at school or church.

7

Music & Arts

Music class
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Children develop creativity and express themselves through the arts. Singing, dancing, painting, and drama give children the chance to find out who they are — or sometimes pretend to be someone different — and express it in beautiful ways.

Contact local music schools and art studios for information on youth groups and programs. Libraries are another great resource for creative camps and programs geared for kids. For the child who loves reading, consider forming a kids' book club where children take turns choosing a favorite book to read and discuss together.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do clubs and activities help a child's self-esteem?

Clubs and activities encourage children of all ages to pursue their interests, build friendships with other kids, and learn new skills. Kids who volunteer learn how good it feels to give back. All of these life-skills help to build children's confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment.

How do you start an after-school club for children?

To start an after-school club for children, begin by figuring out how the group is going to run. Make a plan much like you would when starting a small business. How big or small will it be? Will be be free or cost a fee to join? What is the age range of the members? What sort of equipment and supplies will you need?

Once you've worked out all the details, it's time to find a space to hold the club. You can ask the school principal or administrator to use the building after hours. Enlist some other adults to help you run the group and supervise the children. Finally, reach advertise in the community on social media, mailings, and flyers to find members and get started!

How old should a child be to join a club?

There are music classes, story time groups, and even pee-wee sports for kids as young as 3, 4, and 5. As long as the child is emotionally and developmentally ready, they can join an age-appropriate club anytime.

What clubs can help children develop social skills?

Virtually any type of youth club or group can help kids develop good social skills. Whether they are learning how to play tee-ball, practice an instrument, or passing out food at a soup kitchen, kids are improving their communication skills (even if they don't know it). Through group activities, kids learn to read social cues, express their opinions, and learn from the experiences of others.

A Word From Verywell

There are so many benefits for children who take part in clubs and teams with kids who share their interests. Youth groups allow children to explore their passions, develop good social skills, and use their time in positive ways. If you cannot find the perfect club for your child nearby, consider starting your own!

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