Over the years schools have become more accommodating and ‘exotic’ in the educational activities available to students. This not only helps change the negative perceptions surrounding going to school, but also to provide children with the chance to engage their minds and bodies, and to develop critical skills that will be used throughout their adult lives. However, why should the opportunity to learn be restricted to a classroom? Extracurricular activities provide children with the guidance and support they require to invest time and effort into their favourite topics and interests. To help make this process easier for you, the team at Achieving Success have pulled together a list of our favourite extracurricular activities that are sure to get your child learning whilst having the time of their lives!
Why Are Extracurricular Activities Important?
Extracurricular activities offer children the chance to utilise the academic skills they have learned in the classroom and apply them in a real-life context. For example, a cooking class can help to educate a child on the benefits of different food groups, while also helping them to prepare a balanced and nutritious meal: a skill they will be able to use as they grow older and are left to their own devices, and when learning how to look after themselves. This could also prove beneficial should they wish to enter a food-related career, such as chef or nutritionist. The chance to build upon a child’s interest is not only rewarding, but also provides the opportunity for them to develop their communication and social skills when meeting new people and building relationships. As conflict or problems may arise in these situations, extracurricular activities also pose the perfect opportunity to use problem solving and teamwork to overcome adversity.
How To Choose Extracurricular Activities for Kids?
Choosing an appropriate extracurricular activity for your child can be stressful and often you may have to trial a few before you get it right. The main aim is to make sure that your child will enjoy getting involved! Here are a few of our top tips on how to choose the perfect activity for your child.
Pay Attention To Their Interests
If your child displays a passion for a particular activity such as drawing, music, sport or performing arts, then encouraging them to nurture and hone a skill unique to them will help with their development and become an active part of their identity. This will also prove fruitful when making friends with similar interests and will nurture skills such self-discipline, commitment and perseverance.
Excelling Or Struggling In A Subject
If your child is one of the top in their class for a chosen subject, then chances are that they particularly enjoy the learnings involved with that subject. Similarly, if your child is struggling, then this may affect their confidence- not only in that subject, but with school as a whole. If either is the case, then supporting them with additional online tutoring or advanced teachings in these areas could help to develop your child’s ability in and enjoyment of the subject.
Trying New Activities Or Sports
The beauty of extracurricular activities is that there are a plethora on offer for you and your child to choose from, and there’s something to suit every personality! What’s more, they don’t have to be limited to what’s on offer at school either. Activities such as martial arts or Jujitsu may not be taught within your school but may be available through classes at your local gym or recreational centre. Trying a number of new sports will not only help to develop the essential skills mentioned above, but will also help to improve strength, balance, coordination and with the development of forward-thinking and strategy.
Activities That Develop Life Skills
An essential part of being a parent is to help develop your child so that one day they become a functioning and hard-working member of society: not only surviving, but thriving in their adult life. By ensuring your child gets involved in after-school activities, you are promoting the development of crucial skills that will prove useful in later life. For example, an activity such as drama class may not seem useful on the surface, yet this extracurricular provides children with social and presentation skills that will improve their confidence when tackling job interviews, important meetings and events, public speaking and much more.
Exciting Extracurricular Activities For Kids
Swimming is a basic life skill. Although it may not seem important for day-to-day life, enrolling your child in swimming lessons will provide an excellent form of exercise that targets the whole body, supporting their growth and physical development. These lessons also help to instil an awareness of personal safety, the safety of others and the ability to act appropriately within an emergency situation.
Cooking is another crucial life skill, with the main aim being to promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Cooking is a wonderful opportunity for children to express their creativity by throwing crazy ingredients together and making a culinary masterpiece. However, practice makes perfect and once again, discipline and perseverance come into play when recipes don’t turn out the way they were planned! This extracurricular activity also helps to ensure that children understand the safety hazards within a kitchen, including the dangers of working with heat and sharp objects.
Learning how to play a musical instrument can be relaxing and enjoyable for a child, providing an escape from their everyday worry and stress. As their musical ability is developed further, so will their confidence. The main component of being taught to play an instrument is learning how to read sheet music, a skill that helps to strengthen concentration, improve memory and sharpen focus.
At its core, music is about self-expression and connecting with others through a cacophony of sound and mesmerising, meaningful lyrics. This, however, is not achieved overnight! What better way to teach your children the art of practice and patience than learning a new musical instrument?
Drama club is the perfect opportunity for your child to learn, express and enhance their dramatic abilities. This particular extra-curricular activity helps the development of children of every personality type. If your child is already an extrovert, then this activity can help to channel their energy towards a physically and mentally stimulating task, helping to achieve something spectacular and rewarding. If your child is more introverted, this is a brilliant way to coax them out of their shell and help them to challenge themselves. The chance to work alongside others who will help support them when stepping out of their comfort zone in a safe environment can be critical to the building of their self-confidence.
Skills developed through drama include:
- Social skills
- Public speaking
- Improved memory
- Improvisation skills
- Increased confidence, competence and acting talent
Learning Another Language
The ability to understand, converse in and translate other languages can be a very useful skill, especially if it is essential to your child’s future career. It is important to help develop and expand your child’s understanding and appreciation of both other languages, and of other cultures, countries and walks of life.
The younger a new language can be introduced, the better! As a person gets older, it becomes increasingly difficult to grasp a new language. Learning another language is also common practice within GCSE subjects. If your child is already familiar and confident in speaking and writing in another language, it will lessen the pressure of their academic studies.
Martial arts take many forms and is an essential to the culture of numerous countries across the world, from Judo and Karate to Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga and Kung Fu. The list goes on! The purpose of enrolling your child into any form of martial art is not to harm others, but to learn how to protect themselves and escape a dangerous situation.
There are a number of skills that can be learned throughout this physical activity, including discipline, focus, control, confidence, respect for themselves and respect for those around them. These skills are also transferable and will help your child to channel their energy into being productive when faced with tasks and potential obstacles.
Art, Crafts & Sculpting
Creating something beautiful and truly unique from a handful of materials can present your child with feelings of achievement, satisfaction and pride. The art of crafting can be very therapeutic and is well suited towards children who are more introverted or for those that are creative and don’t mind getting their hands dirty. This activity can help to develop your child’s sensory and motor skills, as well as strengthening their creativity and imagination.
Children (like adults) often find a sense of safety and escape when reading a book, becoming engrossed with everything weird and wonderful that lies beneath the pages, interpreting situations and characters in their own way and letting their imaginations run free. Encouraging your child to indulge in reading can help to improve their comprehension and understanding of vocabulary, sentence structure and of what the author is trying to convey, ultimately improving their enjoyment of the story.
Not only does reading an array of literature teach your child about the world they live in, but also the way in which it works and their place in it. This activity will expand their reading and vocabulary skills and also help their writing to flourish.
Joining a sports club is a fantastic way for your child to make friends, build relationships and work as a team with their teammates. As this activity expels a considerable amount of energy and requires the dedication of training multiple times a week, it will do wonders for their physical health. Practicing a sport also provides a great and productive outlet for any negative energy and stress they may be experiencing. There are also a multitude of sports to choose from, including: football, hockey, netball, rugby, basketball, dodgeball, cricket, climbing, tennis, golf and many more.
Other benefits include:
- Social skills
- Leadership skills
- The ability to strategise
How Can Achieving Success Help You?
We hope that this article has provided you with some viable outlets for your child to get involved in outside of their day-to-day school life. Should your child require an extra helping hand with their studies, please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our friendly team. For more information on our bespoke tuition curriculums at Achieving Success, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0121 769 2795.