One of the many luxuries’ children have is free time, certainly more than their parents do. Which is why you have extracurricular activities, to keep children engaged and occupied after the school day ends. But did you know extracurricular activities are far more important than a simple tool to occupy free time?
Extracurricular activities play a vital role in the development of a child. They go beyond academic learning and enable personal growth, skill building and character development. These activities create opportunities to practice social skills and teach teamwork. They simulate real world scenarios and equip children with essential life skills to prepare them for the outside world. Extracurricular activities let children explore their interests and help in building their overall self-esteem. They are an excellent way to strike a balance between scholastic and holistic development. This blog explores why extracurricular activities are essential, how to choose the right one for your child, and presents eight fantastic options to consider.
Why Choose the Right Activity:
Before we go into our list of extracurricular activities, let's talk about why picking the appropriate one is so vital. Extracurricular activities should, first and foremost, be something your child likes. When a youngster feels enthusiastic about their chosen activity, they are more likely to stick with it. Furthermore, extracurricular activities help youngsters to explore their interests and abilities, as well as develop social skills and self-confidence. They also give a well-rounded education, developing abilities beyond textbooks and classrooms.
8 Extracurricular Activities for Your Child's Development:
1. Music and Dance
Enrolling your child in music or dancing courses can help them develop creativity, discipline, and a love of the arts. These are time consuming activities that require regular practice and research has shown that they can help improve brain function, enhance memory, and improve hand eye coordination. Learning to play an instrument, sing, or dance, provides a terrific outlet for self-expression and cultural awareness. Classes for such activities are common in most neighbourhoods.
Sometimes it can feel like children have unlimited energy and no place to put it. That is where sports come in. There are few better ways for your child to spend their excess energy than sports. Sports teach one of the most vital skills that corporations are looking for today, teamwork. It also helps with persistence and physical health amongst other things and sport classes can easily be found. Cricket, soccer, badminton, swimming, and tennis are extremely popular sports for children to take up. But if you are looking for something a little more off beat you can consider billiards, archery, basketball, fencing or maybe even golf.
3. Strategy & Thinking Based Activities
Extracurricular activities should not be confused with physical activities. Going out on a field or using your muscles is not what defines extracurricular activities. There are plenty of activities that require the use of your mind and still provide the same benefits. Chess for example is a great game to help learn strategy and forward thinking. It teaches you to see two steps ahead and while it may not be a team sport it sure does teach sportsmanship. Another great strategy game you might want to familiarize your child with is Bridge. Other activities in this category include math clubs and quizzing which help expand your general knowledge and widen your world view.
Another great way to expand general knowledge while also learning Math and English is BrainGymJr. Sharpen your mind with daily new puzzles that just take 15 minutes a day to help you get smarter.
4. Performance Arts
If you’re looking to boost a child’s confidence, teach them public speaking, realise empathy and enhance their creative thinking then the performance arts are what you need. Theatre and drama classes help children play different character roles and help develop the above benefits. Comedy clubs, choreography, puppeteering, and marching bands are also great alternatives.
A fairly new field that has drastically grown in importance as times have changed. While most other activities have been around for ages, robotics and computer sciences are birthchild’s of the new age. Embracing these from an early age can open a lot of opportunities for your child in the future. Not to mention that it can be highly engaging and the ability to create something and bring it to life, so to speak, is truly mind blowing. Robotics can bring out a new found creativity in your children.
Understanding Maths and being comfortable with numbers is essential for picking up skills such as coding and robotics. Children can practice application of Numbers through puzzles and games on BrainGymJr.
6. Debating and Reading
A well-structured argument and the art of negotiation are vital skills to have in today’s business world, so why not develop them from an early age? Debating, pubic speaking and book clubs, these activities help you widen your world view, interact with your peers, learn from their points of view while soundly presenting your arguments. These activities help instil self confidence and teach you to voice your opinions while also respecting those of the people around you. A vital skill you find in many CEOs.
Strong vocabulary and grammar form the foundation for children to explore public speaking and also gain confidence to participate in other public debates and conversations. BrainGymJr has an enjoyable range of conversational Audio stories for children to listen and learn.
7. Art and Craft
Encourage your child's artistic side by enrolling him or her in painting, drawing, or craft lessons. These exercises foster creativity, patience, and fine motor skill development. While traditional art and craft has many benefits, in today’s world there are many new options that even little children can explore. Photography for one is now easily accessible to children without having to break the bank on acquiring a camera. One can even fly of paper and land on a screen to explore digital arts. The use of photo editing software and digital drawing is a valuable skill in today’s world that still helps develop creativity, patience, and fine motor skills.
8. Yoga and Martial Arts
Activities of the body such as yoga, martial arts or even gymnastics help promote your physical health while also balancing your mental well-being. These activities help instil vital life skills such as discipline, self-control, and stress management.
Extracurricular activities are more than just pastimes; they are strong instruments for developing well-rounded persons. These activities supplement academic learning by giving chances for personal growth, skill development, and character development. With the growing emphasis on education, choosing the correct extracurricular activity may make a major difference in your child's overall growth. Allow your child to explore, learn, and grow as a result of these wonderful experiences.
"By education, I mean an all-round drawing of the best in child and man in body, mind and spirit" – Mahatma Gandhi