How to Choose Extracurricular Activities for Your Kids
Extracurricular activities are an important part of childhood. They keep kids busy while giving them a chance to discover skills and make new friends. But choosing the right activity can be difficult: what’s perfect for one child might not be for another. So, how do you decide? Try the following tips:
Focus on the Physical
Every parent knows that children have energy…lots and lots of energy. Physical activity – whether a soccer game or a dance class – allows them to move, groove, and burn off their steam. Not only that, but it benefits them in other ways, too. According to Spark, children who experience increased movement have reduced anxiety and depression, better social and motor development, a stronger desire to participate in a healthy lifestyle, and an increased capacity for learning. Physical activity helps control weight, as well, something that’s especially important with the increase in childhood obesity.
Establish your Choices
Gone are the days when extracurricular activities were synonymous with “sports teams.” In today’s world, there’s much more variety. To see what your community has to offer, do your research. Of course the Internet is an ally, but also visit local recreation centers, libraries, YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, and churches. Even some police stations offer programs for kids.
Talk to your Children
Most mom and dads waste money from time to time: they buy a $200 gift and their child only wants to play with the box it came in. Yet, when it comes to extracurricular activities, the best way to avoid this waste is to make sure you enroll your son or daughter in something they’ll enjoy. The only way to know for sure? Ask them.
Look for Certain Things
According to Scholastic, there are certain things you should look for in any kind of child-centric activity. These include: a good ratio of adults to kids, hidden costs of the program, an enthusiastic staff, clean and spacious areas, and happy children. Before enrolling, visit the facility and check out the environment for yourself.
Extracurricular activities are fun – that’s one of their main points. But they’re also an ideal way to embrace your child’s talents. If you have a kid who loves to paint, sign them up for an art class. If you have a kid who climbs all over your furniture, enroll them in gymnastics. If you have a kid who never stops talking about computers, look for a class that teaches them to code. Embracing your child’s talents early allows them to cultivate their skills and sets them up for success later in life.
There are many extracurricular activities available for kids. While choosing wrong may be a concern, don’t linger on that possibility for too long. At best, your child will have a wonderful time. At worst, there’s always next season.
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