After a long and tiring day at school, your child might just want to sit in front of the TV when they get home; however, getting them involved in extra-curricular activities will give them the opportunity to try new things, explore their capabilities and develop important life skills, so it’s worth the extra effort. Here a girls’ school in Surrey explores some of the main benefits children get from participating in extra-curricular activities.
By getting involved in different activities your child will learn more about their abilities and what they enjoy doing. They might find that they have a natural talent for certain activities, like playing a particular sport or a musical instrument. Nurturing their talent and receiving praise and encouragement from teachers, peers and their parents boosts children’s self-esteem and in turn their confidence levels. This can have a positive effect on their classroom-based learning.
Learning social skills
Through participation in extra-curricular activities your child will meet other children from different backgrounds who they might not otherwise meet. They might find it easier to interact with children who share the same interest as them as it provides common ground for conversations. They can practise their social skills and communicate with others in a comfortable environment, and they may develop strong bonds with children who share their passion.
For children who find academic work difficult, taking part in activities like music lessons, drama classes or painting lessons will allow them to explore their creative side away from the restrictions of the classroom. They’ll be able to explore the limits of their imagination and nurture fewer academic skills and talents. For children who find it hard to express themselves and communicate well in class, engaging in creative activities provides a way for them to express themselves which they might find easier.
Participating in extra-curricular activities teaches children about time management as they’ll have to juggle their activities with school and homework. They’ll learn about discipline as well as they attend classes regularly and feel a sense of responsibility for managing their own time and commitments. Designing their own schedule will help them feel in control of their time and teach them about accountability.
Fun and relaxation
Children need a break sometimes from their studies, so getting involved in something they enjoy can be a welcome relief. Extra-curricular activities allow children to relax and switch off for a while, which is important for good mental and emotional health. Certain activities like sports or music lessons can also provide a healthy outlet for difficult emotions, like frustration or anger.
Cognitive and physical skills
Depending on the activity, children get the opportunity to develop and enhance a number of important physical and cognitive skills; for example, music lessons can help with cognitive functions such as memory and logic, and playing sports will develop physical skills like coordination and spatial awareness. Using different tools while painting will develop children’s motor skills, while building a model or playing chess helps enhance problem-solving and reasoning skills.