Extracurricular activities: benefits and types

Once the school year ends, it’s time to enrol and meticulously analyse the extracurricular activities programme for next year.  But, do we really consider the benefits of each discipline in children’s development?  Do we know how to identify the abilities of our children in order to enhance them with these types of activities?

child care

19 July 2018

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Increasingly there is a wider range of extracurricular activities within our reach, from the classics like music, football, basketball, ballet or rhythmic gymnastics, to the new options like aikido, tai chi, Pilates, skating, Zumba, body language classes, coaching, or even maths using the Kumon method, a different way of stimulating children in this discipline.

When it comes to choosing these types of activities, we should consider the children’s preferences and involve them in choosing, another important factor is choosing suitable timetables, so the child can always attend and that they don’t interrupt the daily activities of the family.  Teachers can also help us in this aspect, if we have any doubt we can ask them about which type of activity we can enrol children in.


Benefits of each type of activity

Sports

  • They instil a healthy lifestyle based on physical exercise. 
  • They help to improvecoordination and psychomotricity. 
  • They learn to control and tolerate frustration.
  • They develop feelings of companionship and being able to overcome things. 
  • If it’s a team sport, itbenefits the socialisation of children.
  • If it’s an individual sport,it strengthens self-control of very active children. 

Leisure and art (painting, dance, music, theatre, magic…)

  • They help to understand how to express their feelings.
  • They contribute to the development of creativity and imagination.
  • They enhance manual and fine motor skills.
  • They stimulate desire and sensitivity towards artistic disciplines.

Leisure and art (painting, dance…)

  • They reinforce what is beinglearned in the classroom.
  • They provide extra knowledge to children who want to learn new things. 
  • They support pupils with learning difficulties. 


Remember:

- Respect the preferences of the child.

- Don’t overload their diary, a maximum of 3 per week.  

- Make the child feel involved in the choice. 

- Combine different types: learning, leisure, and sports.

- Ensure the chosen activity is suitable for the child’s age.

- Don’t use extracurricular activities as a prize or as a punishment.