Extracurricular activities may seem like a drain on a family’s time, especially when there are so many other commitments and only so many hours in the day. While there is such a thing as being too involved or overscheduled, participating in a few extracurricular activities can benefit your child both in and out of the classroom. The following are three of the many lessons that kids can learn from extracurricular activities.
1. Improve social development.
While school provides plenty of chances for social interactions, extracurricular activities offer your child the chance to meet and work as a team with other children in different walks of life. Kids can develop new friendships, work together as a team, and even learn how to speak to other adults besides teachers and parents. Volunteering can help their social consciousness as well as their social development. In addition to giving back to the community, students can learn to be more empathetic and understanding of others.
2. Stay healthy and active with exercise.
With more and more schools cutting P.E. classes and limiting recess time, many students are not as active at school as they once were. Joining an outside sports team is a way to keep kids healthy and active outside of school. Participating in sports can serve as a positive outlet for energy, especially for active kids, as well as help teach values such as teamwork, hard work, and determination. Encourage developing skills that are considered “lifetime sports”—activities such as bicycling, running, swimming, tennis, golf, and more are ways kids can stay active even as they get older.
3. Learn valuable life skills.
Participating in extracurricular activities can teach your child skills they may use their whole lives. Practicing an instrument can teach perseverance, playing sports can teach teamwork, and joining a volunteer group can teach the value of giving. One of the most important skills extracurricular activities can teach is responsibility. Children schedule their own practice time, keep track of their own equipment, follow a calendar, or organize transportation to and from meetings. These skills can improve how your child performs academically, and come in handy as they continue to grow!