The Importance of Extracurricular Activities for Children
It’s good news for parents and children as restrictions are easing and school’s are allowed to get up and running.
With the Covid-19 situation improving in many countries, children are going back to school! They’ll be spending time in school, doing their homework, and hopefully get back to a proper sleeping schedule. It’s also great news for parents who’ve been having a hard time balancing work, whether from home or the office, while keeping their children entertained and mentally stimulated. So where do extracurricular activities for children come in?
Why extracurricular activities for children?
It’s the same way we as adults like to have a little down time to either rest or spend some time on our favorite hobby. Kids need to be able to spend time doing things they actually enjoy, and it’s good if it’s something that they can learn from as well, rather than just playing with toys or digital games. Extracurricular activities help children develop different types of skills like social, strategic, critical, and problem-solving. And, it can also have an effect on building a healthy self-esteem and positive self-image.
There are so many things that your children can do as their extracurricular activities. Basically anything that they’re doing outside of school and the typical at home activities that helps them build up their confidence, self-esteem, and any of the other aforementioned skills. Anything that can help them stay healthy either physically or mentally. Some children will do really well at learning new languages, some at playing musical instruments, others at different kinds of art classes, and still others need the physical aspects that are offered by sports. Whatever it may be, it’s important for them to be involved in something where they feel that they are making decisions that allow them to either win or lose but are learning something regardless. They should be able to feel proud of themselves, be challenged, and hopefully make new friends of course!
So, how are we going to do this?
There is a science to it, but I’ll be talking about just a few tips that will help your children to have positive social interactions and focus on their interests rather than the negative challenges. Many people will say that you should focus on their strengths. For example, if your child is athletic then maybe you get them into sports or martial arts. Or, if they’re musically inclined then let them take music lessons.
This is good, yes, but you can take it to another level by focusing on what they actually enjoy. For example – maybe they’re good at sports, but actually only enjoy playing Badminton. Trying to get them to excel in Basketball or Soccer – then may put pressure causing them to dislike physical activities in the long run. So, it’s important to allow them to do things they actually enjoy. That way – you’ll be helping them ease their anxiety and have fun while learning.
Focus on specific skills.
Another good thing to do is to look for activities that help develop specific skills. The arts are good for this. Encourage them to get into art, dance, yoga, drama, robotics, coding, or even chess. They are fun activities that will help them develop skills without even noticing. The reason I mentioned encouraging them to do things is because sometimes they might be reluctant to do so. Maybe they’re afraid of failing, maybe they’re afraid of looking dumb, or maybe they’re just afraid to be different. So be on the lookout for things they might be interested in or good at. There are soooo many ways to help children find success outside of school. All you have to do is get started.
Children feel and think many of the same things that adults do, and this includes the negatives. When students experience learning and thinking challenges they may feel like they’re not good at anything and this can lead to feelings of insecurity and low self esteem. This in turn can make school a stressful place. But the good news is that extracurricular activities allow them to focus on their likes, strengths, and passions instead. Consequently, they’ll build up their confidence, improve their social skills, develop their interests, and muster their courage to try new things.
Remember, balance is key
The main thing is that you don’t overload your children. Don’t allow the extracurricular activities to pull them down or make them feel dread at the thought of them. It’s good if you have a clear schedule for them, but make sure that they’re doing something that they actually enjoy and look forward to. Having a schedule will help them learn responsibility and planning. It can also help them avoid feeling anxious or stressed. This is a way that they can develop into well-rounded little beings while satisfying their emotional and behavioral needs.
If you’re looking for extracurricular activities for your children or students, then look no further. At digital playhouse we offer playtivities like coding, board games (including design and gamification, and all types of different activities. Catch us during our live sessions on the Digital Playhouse Facebook page, or contact us for tips, advice, or more information.