It is between the ages of three and five years that children realize that they interact with their surroundings and with others. This is the exciting age when they discover the world around them and want to explore it independently. Studies show that this is the perfect age to introduce them to various extracurricular activities.
With so many extracurricular activities available, it’s understandable that parents feel overwhelmed and undecided. To help you with the decision, we have put together a list of the more popular activities and their benefits.
Types Of Extracurricular Activities
There are many fun extracurricular activities that children of any age can participate in. Most activities can be adjusted to accommodate any age, so don’t think that your child is too old or too young to take part. Extracurricular activities usually fall into one or more of the following categories.
- Arts And Crafts
- Environmental Education
Children of all ages love singing and making joyful noises with musical instruments. This extracurricular activity has numerous benefits and is not only for the children who display a natural musical talent (these children can choose to pursue music at a higher level as they get older). The benefits of exposing children to music and singing include:
- It improves coordination.
- It improves concentration.
- It enhances their vocabulary and improves their communication skills.
- It improves their memory and ability to memorize.
- Exposing them to different songs and instruments is a very effective way of teaching them about various cultures, folk tales, and the evolution of musical instruments.
- Singing and music encourage teamwork without competition. Children experience joy and freedom, usually ending the day’s activity on a happy and positive note.
Dancing is an activity that has numerous benefits and can be adjusted to accommodate any age. The benefits of enrolling your child in a dance class include:
- It is a good form of exercise. It entrenches the idea of exercise and movement are vital for a healthy body and mind.
- It helps them develop both physically and mentally. Perfecting dance moves requires discipline and concentration.
- There are many types of dancing styles, so children are exposed to various cultures and musical styles.
Whether you enroll your child in a team, individual, indoor, or outdoor sport, the benefits are enormous. Partaking in sports helps the child to develop:
- Movement control and agility
- Muscle memory
- Strategy planning
- Teamwork skills
- Positive competitive attitude (being a good winner as well as a good loser)
Arts And Crafts
Painting, drawing, and various crafts are known to enhance brain development, inspire creativity, and develop problem-solving skills in children of all ages. Children enrolled in art or crafty extracurricular activities also benefit by:
- Developing the art of working with precision and patience.
- Being able to express themselves uniquely (self-expression) by using color to bring life to their artwork.
- They learn to work with different shapes and in 3D.
- Creating art usually increases their self-confidence. Art appeals to all personality types and is known to be therapeutic.
All children benefit from environmental education for children. Apart from being educational, they develop a sense of social and environmental awareness/responsibility from a very young age.
If you cannot imagine seeing cooking as an extracurricular activity, think again. Teaching children about healthy vs. unhealthy foods, healthy ways to prepare meals, and the importance of eating a balanced diet, is not only fun but also a vital life skill. Other benefits of attending cooking classes include:
- They are taught kitchen safety by learning how to work with heat and sharp utensils safely (children will always be supervised).
- Learning how to work with and store food hygienically.
- Learning to be creative when preparing meals.
Even the shyest child can find their niche in drama. Not all children like to be on stage; some find that they enjoy:
- Writing the story/script.
- Directing the production.
- Designing, building, and setting up the backdrops.
- Playing a musical instrument (often in the background).
Children who attend drama classes often:
- Become more comfortable with public speaking and improve their language skills.
- Become more confident in their interaction with others, making friends with children they would not usually have had any contact with.
- Become more socially aware and develop empathy (they often have to act in scenes that they are not normally exposed to in their daily lives).
How To Choose An Extracurricular Activity For Your Child
Deciding on which extracurricular activities your child should do can often be overwhelming. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Do not stereotype your child. Try to expose them to different activities. You can always change if they do not enjoy it, but they may surprise you and excel.
- Always check out the facilities. Ensure that they:
- Have proper ventilation.
- Are spacious and can comfortably accommodate the number of children they take on.
- The staff is friendly, trained, and certified.
- They have enough equipment for all the children who have enrolled.
- The children look happy.
- Before enrolling your child, ensure that:
- You talk to other parents whose children have previously/are presently enrolled in the activity.
- You read reviews online and on their website.
Parkland Children’s Academy, South Florida’s Preschool Of Choice
At Parkland Children’s Academy, we prioritize a well-rounded education in a family-orientated environment. Although our reviews and recommendations speak for themselves, we would love to meet you and show you our facilities to put your mind at ease.
Contact us at 954-688-5877 to make an appointment or take our Parkland Children’s Academy virtual tour today.