How to Choose Extracurricular Activities for your Children
Children gain a lot of education and knowledge during school, but after school activities are also really important for proper mental and physical development.
There are plenty of after school programs offered, but every parent wants to choose the best for the child.
Appropriate after school programs can contribute to the development of the interest of the child for sport, music, language learning and so on.
What is more important is that the extracurricular activities should be interesting and fun for the child and the child should be into the activity.
Parents find it difficult to choose the right activity for their children.
It may seem like a really easy decision, but it is not that easy because extracurricular activities may be life-changing decisions because they may develop some interest in the child and the child may follow it through its life and choose that particular activity as its career prospect.
There are a lot of cases where some children have attended sports classes or piano classes and later in life they have decided to become sports players or sports trainers or maybe a pianist.
Extracurricular activities are really important and beneficial for children.
Most of the children just want to come home after school, sit in front of the TV or play some computer games.
These activities may seem really relaxing and interesting for them, but in fact, they are not.
They just make children more tire than they are and they are not useful and beneficial.
So, parents need to engage their children in other activities that will develop their thinking and reasoning skills, make them creative and independent and more productive.
How to Choose an Activity for Your Children?
The preferences of the parents may differ from the child’s preferences when it comes to choosing extracurricular activities.
There are many examples where parents wanted their children to attend mathematics or language classes in order to improve their grades, but children have an interest in something else like sport, music, drama or arts.
It is a good idea for the parents to have some extracurricular activities on their mind, but the opinion of the children is more important.
So before you decide, ask your children what they would like to do after school.
If they still do not show interest towards any activity, suggest them some activities or show some enthusiasm towards some activities and so on.
When the child chooses the activity she/he likes, make sure it does not take a lot of time because the child also needs to do his/her homework and get enough sleep.
If the activities take a lot of time and make the child tired all the time, there is a great chance that the child would quit or find those activities boring and uninteresting.
These steps will help you choose the best activity for your child:
- The activity should be interesting for the child;
- Give a chance for the child to choose the activity on his / her own;
- Children sometimes do not know what they would like to be involved in so try with a free trial class. They usually do not charge for the first visits and your children can make sure whether that activity is appropriate for them or not;
- Suggest some activities to your child and give them time to think whether he/she wants to participate or not;
- Ask your child’s teacher, which subject the child show interest in the most;
- If your child shows interest in more than one activity, let them do both if the schedule allows that.
- Extracurricular activities may cost a lot, so make sure the money will not be an issue. Team activities cost less compared to individual activities or private tuition.
Different activities stimulate different parts of the brain and the body of the child.
Before you sign up your child for an activity, make sure that activity will help in the stimulation of the child’s strengths and minimize child’s weaknesses.
In this case, the child’s self-esteem will be increased and he/she would achieve the goals more quickly.
For example team sports such as soccer, basketball, handball, volleyball would contribute to improved attention, improved focus, improvement of the motor skills such as kicking, balance, running, jumping, coordination etc., improved leadership skills, improved social skills such as communication, improved discipline, improved managing of anger, shyness, control and so on.
Individual sports and activities such as gymnastics, dance class, tennis, karate, etc. can contribute to improved attention, improved focus, improved social skills, improved behavior, improved self-esteem and self-awareness, improved cognitive skills and so on.
Children who need counseling services such as some type of therapy (emotional therapy, behavioral therapy, etc.) and children who enjoy artistic activities can try art classes, drama classes or music classes or they can try to learn to play an instrument.
There are some cases when the child does not enjoy the activity the parent chose or the child itself chose.
There might be several reasons for that and some of them are: the child does not feel that is the right activity for him/her, the child thinks the teacher goes too fast and he/she cannot follow the material presented in the class, the child feels like he/she does not belong in that environment, some of the other children attending the same activity bothers him/her, the child feels the trainer does not let him/her play enough, the child feels anxious when performing on stage, the child finds the activity really boring/easy/difficult, the child does not want to practice enough in order to get better, etc.
The parent needs to discuss with the child what was the real reason why the child did not want to attend the activity and find a solution together.
There are a lot of extracurricular activities for children.
Here are some of the activities that are usually chosen by them:
- Team Sports
Training different sports is the favorite activity of most children.
They like the team spirit and the feeling like they belong somewhere and that they contribute to a victory.
Training some sport is a great exercise and improves the mental health and the physical health.
It develops a child’s social skills and communicative skills.
It is considered that soccer, basketball, and football are children’s favorite team sports and team sports, in general, are the favorite extra – curricular activity of children.
- Language Classes
Many children decide to learn a new language outside the school as an extracurricular activity.
This is a really good extracurricular activity because speaking a foreign language is always a plus in life.
Learning a new language can develop the cognitive skills of a child and also it can develop the communicative skills and social skills.
Language classes can be really interesting and children can learn the language through storytelling, drawing, watching cartoons or some movies and so on.
- Music Lessons and Dancing
Many children decide to learn to play an instrument during childhood.
This extra-curricular activity can keep the interest in the music of the child throughout the years and playing an instrument can become a career choice for him or her.
Dancing is a really great extracurricular activity because the child would meet new friends, she/he would develop good social, communicative and motor skills.
Dancing is a good way to relax, so it can also be used as a way to relax for the child after a long day at school.
- Art and Craft Classes
These types of classes make children more creative, they develop their imagination and fantasy and improve their behavior and discipline.
Art and craft classes are also used as a therapeutic method for children who have some behavioral or emotional issues.
These types of extracurricular activities are not suitable for younger children, but this is not always the case.
- Acting Classes
These classes are really popular, especially during childhood and the teenage period.
If your child likes to act and perform in front of other people, consider acting classes as a choice for an extracurricular activity.
These classes would help the child or the teenager to develop social skills, cognitive skills, to improve discipline and behavior and self-esteem.
Extracurricular activities can be really beneficial and useful for children.
When choosing an extracurricular activity for your children, make sure the child enjoy the activity, make sure it is appropriate for his/her age and make sure it is not much time consuming or too tiring for your child.
Children choose team activities rather than individual activities.
Sometimes, children lose the interest in some activity or want to quit.
Do not blame yourself for that.
Respect your child’s choice and help him/her to find his / her passion.
Provide him/her with some suggestions, but do not choose the activity instead of him/her.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
HOW WOULD YOU RATE THIS ARTICLE?