As a parent, you might roll your eyes when you hear about extracurricular activities for your kids to get involved in. After all, you’re the one who’ll have to take them there, and you’re the one who’ll have to pay for it. However, this is not the right attitude to have; these extracurricular activities, which can range from sports to crafts to further learning on a specific subject, can have wide-ranging benefits. Read on to find out what those benefits are, and you might find you’re much happier to get your children more involved.
Boosts Social Skills
Children tend to live rather insular lives. They’ll be around their family, they’ll be around their school friends, and they’ll be around their teachers. They might not get much of a chance to meet other people and interact with them at all.
This is where extracurricular activities can help out. Depending on the activity in question, it will give your child a chance to meet new people in a different setting. This is great for their confidence levels, especially if they are shy in general, but it will also help them learn social skills. When they are adults out in the ‘real world,’ they will meet new people in a variety of situations all the time. The more they can get used to this as kids, the better their social skills will be, and the more they’ll get out of these interactions when they are older.
Better Mental Health
Mental health is becoming more and more widely understood, and it’s clear that mental health problems can affect not just adults but children too – sometimes very young children. Although some of these issues will need a specialist’s help, and it’s always wise to seek advice from a doctor or see a therapist in the worst situations, extracurricular activities can help hugely as well.
Take sports, for example. When you exercise, your body releases serotonin which elevates the mood and makes you feel great. This feeling lasts for many hours after you finish exercising. Therefore, if your child’s hobby happens to be a sport, they will always feel better when they’re playing and getting involved.
Or perhaps your child is interested in science, and they enjoy watching specially designed educational videos. In this case, their brains will be stimulated, and they will grow in confidence regarding their abilities and knowledge, which is a great way to improve mental health. If this is something your child would enjoy, read more here.
Even crafting will offer mental health benefits, as will anything music related. In fact, anything at all that means your child is focused on what they are doing and are being mindful will help them improve their mental health.
Learn New Skills
One of the main reasons any child will want to take up an extracurricular activity, no matter what that activity might be, is to learn new skills. If they have an interest in something, they will be keen to learn as much about it as possible, and if this can be done in a formal setting like a class or club, that will help them feel motivated to continue.
Learning new skills is another crucial part of life. It will help to keep your brain working well, which is something all adults need to consider, especially as they get older. It will also mean that there is always something interesting on the horizon, and boredom will be less likely. If your child gets into the habit of learning new skills from a young age, they will probably continue that into their adult lives.
Good For College Applications
If your child wants to get into a good college, they’ll need to find ways to help them stand out on their college application. This is not always easy, but some form of extracurricular activity can certainly help. Even if the activity itself is something that many people do, your child can use it to give them some ideas about what they have learned and what their skills are, which will enable them to create an interesting and unique college application.
College can be an absolutely crucial step in life. If your child has a specific career goal in mind and it requires a college degree, the sooner they can start adding to their resume, the better.
Good For Younger Kids Too
While elementary school students aren’t likely to be thinking about college applications, they should nonetheless put a lot of time and effort into extracurricular activities. Students’ sense of competence in the world and their self-assurance in social settings both blossom over the elementary school years. Elementary school students can benefit greatly from participating in extracurricular activities because they provide them with a chance to practice leadership, collaboration, and teamwork at a young age.