If you are looking for a better after-school activity for your 12-year-old son than sitting in front of the television or computer, there are a few extracurricular activities you can consider that will keep your son physically and mentally active, as well as build his self-respect and self-discipline.

After-School Sports

Boys playing soccer.
Boys playing soccer.

Most public and private institutions offer extracurricular activities for boys, especially in athletics such as soccer, football, baseball, tennis or wrestling. Check with your son's school to learn more about joining a sports team. Your town or city may offer after-school sports leagues or some civic organizations offer after-school sports. If you are a homeschooling parent, some organizations, such as the YMCA or youth groups, also offer organized sports teams for boys after school.

Boy Scouts of America

Boy scout standing outside in uniform.
Boy scout standing outside in uniform.

The Boy Scouts of America is an organization that builds character, trains boys for becoming responsible citizens and develops personal fitness. The Boy Scouts are for boys who are older than age 11, and the groups meet once a week. The Scouts will be able to learn how to camp, hike and study outdoor wildlife. The Scouts can earn more than 150 different awards, including rank advancement, merit badges or other individual awards. College scholarships are also available.

Karate and Mixed Martial Arts

Boy punching at martial arts class.
Boy punching at martial arts class.

Since many 12-year-old boys like to be physical and active, karate is a great outlet that provides your son with intense involvement both mentally and physically. Karate also builds physical fitness, concentration, respect, self-esteem, confidence and self-discipline. Martial arts is often considered safer than most school sports.

Extracurricular Activities

Instructor teaching young boy to play the guitar.
Instructor teaching young boy to play the guitar.

If you are not satisfied with the extracurricular activities offered, create your own after-school activity. Plan art or sculpture projects, using traditional art media or use materials you have around the house such as paper bags, boxes and papier mache. Your son can take music lessons or he can make musical instruments with household materials such as empty paper towel rolls as horns or drumsticks, and cardboard or other boxes for basic musical instruments. Your son can write and act out skits. Start your own chess or science club at home. Your son can devise new apps for tech devices. Host a weekly or monthly meeting for boys in your home or community center. Plan activities such as board game night, community service projects or even your own boys' sports team.