Kids extracurricular activities allow children to pursue special interests beyond school. They’re complementary to academic development and offer life enrichment outside the home and classroom.
Here’s our list of extracurricular activities for kids with different aptitudes and interests, as well tips on how to help your kids choose something they’ll enjoy.
The Benefits of Extracurricular Classes for Kids
Why are extracurricular activities of kids important? They develop social skills, improve self-esteem, and are excellent for mental, physical, and emotional growth. Not all kids are high-performing academics, nor do they need to be. Extracurricular activities let them shine and often reveal latent talents.
Here’s why Hot Ground Gym supports constructive after-school play:
Extracurricular activities for kids increase positive social behavior. Team sports, for instance, encourage cohesion and social support. When kids are “forced” to participate in team activities, they’re introduced to new perspectives and develop team building skills necessary to work with and understand others.
Sociability, punctuality, conscientiousness, and the ability to get along with others are early predictors of higher educational achievement later in life. Participating in group activities gives children a chance to meet new friends and become confident with communicating in groups.
Kids extracurricular activities might be the basis of a hobby or passion that enriches your child’s life. Anything from playing sports to learning an instrument or taking part in a drama class could lead to many hours of doing something they enjoy throughout their lives.
Students involved in extracurricular activities tend to demonstrate higher academic and social achievement, including greater life satisfaction. What do they do after school may also point towards a future career path and develop the skills and competencies needed to pursue it?
Executive function and health of the brain underlie life success. Physical exercise enhances cognitive functioning related to attention and learning. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends kids ages six and up to get at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity.
Routine exercise improves cardiorespiratory fitness, builds strong bones and muscles, and alleviates stress and anxiety. Children who develop exercise habits growing up tend to make them a priority as adults, maintaining healthier lifestyle.
Time Management Skills
Participating in extracurricular activities forces kids to prioritize their schedules, and thus teaches them time management. Through balancing school homework with after school-obligations, kids learn to accomplish tasks within a set timeframe.
Individuals who master time management feel more fulfilled because they live up to their expectations, which bolsters confidence. When kids understand how much they can achieve within a timeframe, they develop realistic and achievable goals.
Types of Extracurricular Activities for Kids
In the aftermath of the pandemic, children need a healthy support system, rich in socialization and play, as well as physical and cognitive development. The below activities can help them grow into well-rounded individuals.
Sports are the most common children’s extracurricular activities offered at schools. School sports like swimming, football, tennis, basketball, and cheerleading are easy and convenient options for your kids.
If your child doesn’t thrive in mainstream sport, you might introduce them to rock climbing, dance classes, BMX biking, skateboarding, running, obstacle-course classes, or martial arts. Today, there are so many options to ensure your kid gets a healthy dose of physical activity.
For over 100 years, Boy, and Girl Scout troops have encouraged young kids to take a constructive place in society as responsible citizens by teaching them important life skills. Kids earn badges as they master basic outdoor survival skills like camping and move up the ranks.
Scouting groups suit adventurous kids who enjoy nature and like trying different activities. Today’s organization, known as Scouts BSA welcomes girls and boys to develop their leadership and life skills, so they can serve others and their communities.
Performing & Visual Arts and Music
Kids who don’t excel at sports are more artistically inclined. Most schools put on plays and musical concerts which your kid can audition for. Performing arts and music build self-confidence and improve communication skills and memory.
For serious young artists, there are theater, art, and music schools that offer kid extracurricular activities like painting, musical theater, acting, band practice, dancing, and more. Arts programs are really fun and contribute to a child's emotional and creative development.
Academic Clubs and STEM Programs
Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs are ideal for mathematically-minded kids. If your child likes building things or has shown an interest or aptitude for robotics, coding, or video game development, then they’re sure to thrive in extracurricular STEM programs.
STEM programs are also a convenient choice to keep kids busy, as some are available online. 90% of future jobs require digital skills, which coding falls under. So, enrolling kids in STEM programs can also lay an important foundation for their careers down the line.
Student Government and Media
Your kids’ school probably has a student newspaper, literary magazine, or media society they can join. This type of extracurricular activity bodes well for the CVs of kids who are interested in pursuing media careers. So do leadership positions on student councils.
If your child has shown interest in politics, then you might help them explore student government groups at their school. Because student leadership positions tend to be competitive, you might also look at other types of neighborhood organizations like caring for senior citizens, policing, or environmental groups.
Tips for Helping Children Choose Extracurricular Activities
Choosing an extracurricular activity is not the same as tertiary education. It should be a fun experience for your kids to explore their interests and passions. Below are some tips regarding children’s extracurricular activities:
- Communicate: What you and your child think is best for them may not be the same thing. Don’t force your dreams on them. Rather, find out what they want to do and let me decide which activities they would like to try out.
- Evaluate their strengths and weaknesses: Ideally, the activity they select should amplify their strengths and refiner their weaknesses.
- Decide on the aim: Do you want your kid to make new friends, get fit, pursue a hobby, or grow their confidence?
Where Can I Find Extracurricular Activities in Arlington Heights and Libertyville?
Hot Ground Gym weekly classes are perfect for kids who enjoy obstacle courses and working in teams. Our kids extracurricular activities are suitable for young ones aged 5 years old and up. Located in Libertyville and Arlington Heights, we offer loads of weekly fun, fitness, and learning, whether it is summer or winter! Contact us and claim your kids free class now!