A children's ballerina class recites in a dance hall

Discover How Your Children Can Benefit from Effective Pastime Commitments

Play and learning are both immensely correlated to a child’s physical and mental development – which is why extracurricular activities are invaluable.

Extracurricular activities offer a blend of learning and fun all at once, letting kids try out new hobbies and activities, learning life skills, and discovering new passions along the way.

Maybe your child discovered a new passion this summer at one of our Ottawa summer camps. Or perhaps you’re looking for indoor activities for your child now that the colder fall weather has arrived.

No matter what type of activities your children are interested in, here’s a look at how extracurricular activities help kids learn, grow, and have fun.

Why Is It Important to Be Involved in Extracurricular Activities?

Extracurricular activities let children explore new interests and discover activities they are passionate about. This could be a sport, learning an instrument, or learning how to dance.

These activities teach kids the valuable social skill of teamwork so they can thrive socially and in their careers.

Instead of solely focusing on school with the rest of their time on screens, kids can have a chance to develop as human beings by being social and doing something they are passionate about.

Extracurricular activities promote:

Social Development

Whether on a kids sports team, in a ballet class, or in a special-interest club, participants work together, share ideas, and resolve conflicts, while also helping to improve their language skills.

Read More: Advice from Your Ottawa Daycare: 10 Tips to Help Children Get Along

Emotional Development

A sense of shared interests and teamwork help children form bonds and meaningful relationships with others. Through these experiences, kids develop self-confidence, empathy, trust, self-control, and stress-management skills.

Physical Development

For most activities, kids will develop fine or gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and especially fitness, agility, and strength if in sports, dance, or martial arts.

Cognitive Development

Whatever activity your child chooses, they will develop cognitive skills as their brain makes new connections while learning new skills. They may learn critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, prediction, logic, and strategy.

What are Some Examples of Extracurricular Activities?

There are so many activities available for children (and adults) to enjoy after work and school. Once you find out what your children are interested in, look up local clubs, schools, and programs that offer these extracurricular activities for kids:

  • Sports—kids can join teams or sign up for lessons, like swimming;
  • Martial arts;
  • Music;
  • Singing;
  • Dance;
  • Theatre;
  • Fine Art;
  • Chess;
  • Special-interest clubs;
  • Community activities—like volunteering at a local retirement home;
  • Camps for kids, including art camp and sports camp;

How Does Sport Help Students in School?

Children who are involved in after-school sports must develop time-management skills to balance homework and sports. As a result, they tend to do better in school because they are less likely to procrastinate on school work and are more likely to be motivated to get their work done.

Time management also requires organizational skills, which further helps with academic performance. And a boost in self-esteem from playing in kids sports teams will help keep your children happier and on track with school.

Why You Should Consider Enrolling Your Kids in Extracurricular Activities

Enrolling your children in these activities will help them develop skills that will help them succeed throughout life, such as social, leadership, teamwork, and critical thinking skills. These activities also:

  • Give your kids an opportunity to make new friends with shared interests;
  • Provide kids with a sense of responsibility and commitment both in the activity and in other areas of their lives;
  • Improve time management skills and the ability to prioritize different commitments, which in turn helps to manage stress;
  • Look good on a college or university application because they show that your child can successfully juggle school and activities (has time management skills);
  • Improve academic performance;
  • Occupy some of your childs free time with fun, social, productive, and creative activities;
  • Allow your children the opportunity to discover a passion that could turn into a lifetime hobby or even a career.

How Extracurricular Activities Help Improve Self-Esteem

Some children struggle with self-esteem issues due to difficulties in school. They may feel overwhelmed, stressed, and helpless and as though they are unable to fulfill their role as an academic. But finding something that they are good at can help boost their self-esteem, mental health, and motivation to take on challenges in life.

The feeling of accomplishment when learning a new skill helps increase self-esteem, especially when your child is passionate about the activity. Children feel a sense of self-worth and confidence as they excel in an activity they’re learning. Discovering a passion for something is probably one of the most fulfilling feelings for anyone.

Also, activities that involve teamwork and obtaining goals will also help build your child’s confidence and self-esteem. It’s important for everyone to have goals in life as it keeps us motivated and working toward self-improvement.

Teaching your child to set and obtain goals can keep them focused and motivated. Furthermore, building confidence in a relaxed, fun setting can help prepare your child to try new things, master new skills, and have the tools and skills needed to face and tackle new challenges throughout life.

Here are some ways you can help boost your child’s self-esteem with extracurricular activities:

Focus on their strengths

If your child enjoys a specific type of activity at home or in school, then enroll them in classes or on a team for that activity.

Look for activities that develop your child’s learning and attention skills

Drama can help improve reading skills, while dance and yoga help develop motor control and coordination. To develop problem-solving skills, a chess or robotics club could help.

Look for hidden talents

If your child has poor self-esteem, they might not want to try a new activity out of fear of failure. So once you’ve found an activity they are interested in, ask that they try it, and let them decide whether they continue with the activity.

Turns children into well-rounded individuals

Instead of just focusing on their academic achievement, they will also focus on other equally important areas of life, developing life skills that may not be learned in the classroom.

Extracurricular activities are all-encompassing as they help to nurture children on an intellectual, creative, physical, and emotional level. Watch as they allow your child to grow out of their shell and blossom into a happy, positive, and confident being who is on the right path to living whole, fulfilling live.