School counselors are often asked to lead clubs or after school activities. This is a great way for counselors to get to know students on a more personal level and also make connections with students they might not normally see outside of classroom guidance lessons. If you’re looking for ways to make clubs meaningful and engaging for all students, check out these 15 clubs for school counselors to lead that address all areas of development!
Clubs for School Counselors to Lead
In addition to 15 ideas for clubs school counselors can lead, this post contains affiliate links to retailers such as Amazon.
I know so many counselors who are doing some variation of this activity. While a club by this name might draw in students who are already great at being kind, this is an awesome opportunity to invite both those students and students who may struggle in this area to create a positive modeling opportunity.
Start by giving your students weekly “secret missions” for kindness, and have them keep a journal to reflect on how it feels to spread kindness. Eventually transition into a student-led initiative for recognizing opportunities and creating kindness projects to impact the school and community.
A fellow counselor recently shared some pictures with me from the mindfulness club that she runs and it really got my wheels turning. This is a great opportunity to engage students who struggle with self regulation or who need additional support in developing coping skills. Because of the immense benefits of mindfulness, this club will pay dividends in behavior, academic, and personal/social results!
Begin each session with a mindfulness exercise and a reflection on the experience. Use this as an opportunity to discuss how these mindfulness exercises could be beneficial in the classroom, while working on homework, or managing strong feelings or hard situations at home.
Grab some board games or materials for movement-based games and you’ve got a fun club where students can learn important social skills. This is a great way to have fun while practicing turn-taking, sharing ideas, encouraging others, and being a good winner/loser. Directly teach the skills before the games begin and offer feedback and encouragement throughout.
Girls on the Run
Girls on the Run is a fantastic organization whose mission statement says they “envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.” That’s a program I can definitely get behind! Check out their website to read more about this awesome organization and how to get started with this club.
I read about this club on Counseling Today and love the premise. The counselors created a club for high school students who took a pledge to abstain from drugs and alcohol. In the club, they focus on “paying it forward” by engaging in service projects in the school and community and taking on volunteer roles with organizations such as the Special Olympics.
I love book clubs because they work at all grade levels. In elementary school, you can grab some read-aloud titles so that your emerging readers can still be active participants. Pick up your favorite social emotional learning titles and pair them with meaningful crafts and reflection activities for a club that’s focused on growth. Find some great titles for your club over on this post by Confident Counselors.
Community Helper Club
Use this club to expose students to careers they might not already know about! Invite a different community helper to come to your meetings and explain his or her career, and then have your club members create a school-wide project they can complete that involves this career. For example, if you invite a dental hygienist, students could create posters about oral health to hang at school or create a commercial for the morning announcements. If you can’t invite community helpers to the meetings, there are lots of videos on Youtube introducing various community helpers. Use this club as an opportunity to increase exposure to non-typical careers and get students thinking about education levels and how they relate to goals!
Study Skills Club
So many of our students need to be directly taught these vital skills, and there are so many ways to make this fun! Do binder organization races, practice organizing information into meaningful infographics and more. Take learning style assessments and find study strategies that are effective and aligned to those learning styles. This group counseling program has lots of activities that teach study skills in a fun way that could also be used in a club setting!
Self Care Club
What better way to ensure students have self care skills than to gather and practice together? Teach students to recognize when they are feeling overwhelmed by looking for triggers. Then, practice self care activities and let students choose what works for them. You can teach students to journal, meditate, or even practice having hard conversations when they need help from a parent or teacher.
Gather a group and train students to be peer mentors! Learn about their strengths and interests and pair them with younger students in the school to be buddies or mentors. Invite the younger students to the club for mentor activities like playing board games, reading together or simply talking!
Expressive Arts Club
There are so many activities you can do in this kind of club! Explore dance, drama, poetry, and visual art to help students find meaningful ways to express themselves. Partner with your art or music teacher and the possibilities are endless!
New Student Welcome Committee
Bring together your kind, welcoming students who love to be includers to form a welcome committee! In the club, students can write welcoming letters to new students, create brochures for new students to fill them in on important school information, and make plans to really embrace new students when they arrive. Having a group already formed will make it easier to pair up new students with positive peers when they arrive mid-year.
For a calming club that promotes physical and mental health, start a yoga club! You don’t even have to be a yoga master to lead this club; grab a yoga card deck, a yoga spinner game, or use Cosmic Kids yoga videos from Youtube! For a take-away activity, students can make yoga lap books to have their own set of yoga cards at home!
Grab some gloves, tools, and seeds, and get digging with your students! Gardening has lots of benefits for students: it’s a stress reliever, it builds STEM skills, it positively impacts mood, and it encourages students to eat healthier! Plant a garden at school and then prepare a snack with the harvest. While your students work with their hands in the soil, meaningful conversations are sure to bloom!
Invite students to learn about different character traits each week and then go forth in the school and demonstrate the traits! Spend time each week reflecting on character and the ways in which it affects the school community.
Have you implemented any of these clubs in your school? What activities did your students do? What other clubs are you leading? Let me know in the comments!