4 activities for introverted kids

Enrichment activities that are perfect for introverts

enrichment, introvert, activities, libraries

Choosing the right enrichment activity
for introverted children can be difficult. You don't want to force your child into something that makes them uncomfortable, but you also don't want them to miss out on the important social aspect of being a kid. Finding something that caters to your child's interests and provides them with a supportive environment to thrive in can be easier once you know what to look for - and it all starts with your child.

Independently geared sports and relaxed social activities are the perfect activities for your introverted child to get socially involved while you both learn more about their needs. These activities allow kids to engage with others on their own terms, without feeling overwhelmed or missing out on an exciting event.

What type of introvert is your child?

It's important to note that not all introverted children are the same. Some introverts like to be social with small groups, needing time after socializing to recharge their energy alone. Others are more anxious about talking to others and need to observe before they jump into an activity. Figuring out which types of introvert your child is can be the best place to start when choosing an activity. Ask questions such as: Do they like to work independently? Do they become anxious in loud environments? Do they crave social attention, but have trouble finding friends?

Check out the library for classes and clubs

Being an introvert does not automatically mean you are shy or like to be alone. But loud and stimulating environments can make socializing difficult.

Local libraries provide several opportunities for laid back activities in a naturally calming environment. With storytime, arts and crafts, and even reading and writing workshops, your child is bound to find an activity to strike their fancy.

"My oldest son tends to hang back at first when in an environment with new people he doesn't know," says Becca Stevens, mother of one introvert and one extrovert in Poughkeepsie. "Storytime gives him time to take in his surroundings, and lets him decide whether or not to participate in the activity that follows, or to slink off into a corner to read."

Libraries in the Hudson Valley have gone above and beyond when it comes to their activities. The Poughkeepsie Public Library District holds classes such as LEGO club, virtual reality gaming, and sensory labs- where kids can play with sticky, slimy objects while they improve their fine motor skills.

Learn valuable skills at karate

Sometimes, being an introvert can be stressful. The pressure of being misunderstood by parents, teachers, and peers is frustrating and can lead to built-up anxiety or self-doubt.

Karate classes are an excellent outlet for young introverts to work out their stress in a fun environment that relies on focus and discipline.

"Martial Arts is one of the most powerful things you can do for a child who is introverted," says Robert Bloom, owner of Just For Kicks Martial Arts in Hopewell Junction. "Children who are introverted tend to be this way because they have a lack of self-confidence. Our program was designed in a way to help every single child develop that self-confidence from the minute they step foot on the mat."

Martial Arts is performed in a group, but children work towards personal goals during each class.

"Karate is a sport, but it also teaches communication, discipline, and strength," says Jessica Harrelson, a Newburgh mom whose introverted son thrived in karate classes at Just For Kicks. "Karate will help build their self-esteem and self-worth. It proves to themselves they can do and be so much more."

Splash around on a swim team

Swimming is another excellent activity for introverted children that doesn't leave a ton of room for anxiety-provoking situations or overstimulation.

"The water can be so calming," says Becca Stevens, reflecting on her son's past experience on a private swim team. "He had the ability to focus on his individual goals and made friends during practices and relay races where teamwork was encouraged."

Swimming allows children the opportunity to stay active and healthy while building friendships with others. Classes and swim clubs are available all-year-round.

Build and create at a LEGO club

LEGOS are not just toys. The act of building with LEGOS takes patience and concentration; two skills that come naturally to several introverted children. Some schools have even started LEGO clubs, where kids can come together to create masterpieces alongside their peers.

LEGO clubs and classes provide introverts options for socializing or working independently, without having to commit to one or the other indefinitely. Whether you're building alone in a room with others, or building something directly with friends, these amazing blocks can help introverted children form close bonds with kids that have similar interests and personalities. Be supportive There is nothing wrong with being an introvert, but your child might not see it that way all the time. Encourage your child to see the positives in their personality and behaviors when others see the negative.

Be supportive when they need a break or feel overwhelmed in a situation where most children don't bat an eye. Remember that everyone is different- and don't forget lots of hugs!

Michelle Peterson is a freelance writer, Director of Content and Writing Services for Esquire Brand Management, and a mom of three boys in Poughkeepsie.