AD | Schools do a fantastic job of educating our children; that’s what they are there for. However, in a modern world, we realise that traditional education and learning is not the only thing that matters in the long term. The importance of extracurricular activities for children cannot be ignored. It plays a fundamental role in the overall health, wellbeing and development of children.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative Guest Post with my own thoughts and opinions added in.

Which Children Benefit from Extracurricular Activities?

In short, all of them!

Some children struggle with traditional subjects such as maths, science, reading and creative writing. These very same children thrive in non-traditional activities, and it’s here where extracurricular activities can play a huge part in these children’s development.

However, the importance of extracurricular activities for children who thrive in traditional school education systems is equally vital in teaching these children things like social skills, creativity and even how to be a team player.

Whichever way you look at it, the importance of Extracurricular activities for children clearly shows that they are essential for key development in their younger years. Whether it’s sports, arts and crafts, sewing, music lessons or joining the school choir, these all aid skills your child will develop as they grow older.

From this independent nursery in Bristol, we’ve put together the key reasons why extracurricular activities are great for your kids to take part in.

the importance of extracurricular activities for children

The Importance of Extracurricular Activities For Children

Improves coordination

Children are practising how to be organised within a team, focusing on a specific goal or finishing something within a set time. Extracurricular activities allow them to focus and work on how to be coordinated and aligned when completing something. These skills can then be used when they’re in the classroom to help them with assignments, answering difficult questions and homework.

music teaches kids discipline

Improves their social skills

Extracurricular activities give your child the chance to meet other students from different year groups or within their own year group that they haven’t spoken to before, or even from different schools. It can get them out of their comfort zone a bit, make them inclined to speak to new people and improve their communication skills. They can also make new friendship circles that build emotional resilience and play a part in teaching children to resist peer pressure.

Gives your child a break away from their studies

Children are in school 5 days a week studying for several hours a day, even after school in certain cases. Clubs or societies are designed to give your child a break from the hard work to recharge, focus on something else and let them develop interests away from school work. It also helps along with their studies when children are given a break to collect their thoughts.

Learning from the pros

Increased confidence

Speaking to different people, becoming engrossed in an activity they enjoy and allowing them to work on something away from school studies are all ways that allow your child to become more confident in themselves. They’re given the freedom to be themselves and express themselves without the rigid setting of being in the classroom, which all benefits their self-esteem.

What Else To Consider When Picking An Extracurricular Activity

Whilst I wholeheartedly agree with the point made above, as a parent, I believe it’s important to listen to our children, especially when it comes to what they want to do as an extracurricular activity outside school. Children change, even more so than adults. A child who once loved dancing lessons might fall out of love with dance and decide they want to explore a different challenge, like football. We need to be mindful as parents not to push our dreams and aspirations onto them and allow them to decide what activities they want to participate in.

The other point to always consider is that just because an activity is popular for some kids doesn’t mean your child has to do that one activity either. They don’t have to do every single activity out there either – you can read about my experience with that when I wrote about not being a sheep.

i used to be a sheep

Children can be fickle, and extracurricular activities can be expensive. I would always recommend talking to your child, finding out if they are really interested and prepared to really give something their best when signing up for an extracurricular activity. And then we need to hold them to account for that decision, even when things get difficult or they might have a bad day. And then to balance that with knowing when they have truly had enough and would like to walk away. And I don’t think any child is too young to have that conversation either.