Your child’s life may be busy enough with school, homework and family responsibilities. You might not want to add even more to their plate. However adding in an extracurricular activity or two could actually be the break they need. Here Laura Cross of Inventors & Makers, (one of my children’s favourite holiday workshops), writes a guest blog for West London Kids about the benefits of activities outside of school.
Here’s four benefits of extracurricular activities that you may not have thought about…
They can ignite a new passion
Your child may think they only love football, but what if they can design their own app about football? Perhaps they’ll discover a love for app design. Trying their hand at something brand new, such as robotics or machine building, can kickstart a passion that a young person will carry with them as they grow.
They can offer a variety of experiences
Extracurricular activities help children learn more about what they like and don’t like and what they’re good at, beyond what they may have tried in the past.
Children who take part in the same types of activities can become disengaged and are less likely to be willing to stray from their comfort zone. By encouraging your child to explore a wider range of activities, you can help them find out what they like and don’t like, but more importantly you can also give them the habit of trying new things.
While children may not immediately latch onto a new extra-curricular activity, the process of learning and improving can give them a self-belief and confidence that pushes them in later life, too.
They can promote collaboration and communication
Most extra-curricular activities will expose your child to a whole new group of adults and children. This can help them learn to communicate and collaborate with all kinds of personalities. These skills contribute towards a better developed social and emotional intelligence, and also improve their ability to learn new skills from others.
They can lead to better educational outcomes
Interests outside of schoolwork and sports always look good on a school or university application, or even one day on a CV. These interests and pursuits indicate the people skills, the eagerness to try new things and the dedication that many schools, universities and employers are looking for.
In addition, some studies, have even shown a direct correlation between participation in extracurricular activities and higher test scores and overall engagement in education.
The immediate benefits of extracurricular activities – having fun, making friends, and developing a passion – are obvious.
However, the long-term academic benefits, people skills, and confidence that they build shouldn’t be underestimated.
Inventors & Makers runs a range of educational workshops where children can explore new skills such as app design, movie making, robotics, machine building, video game design and more. Our workshops also specifically focus on problem-solving, creativity and collaboration, all crucial skills for children’s futures in the Information Age.
For more information on holiday workshops and after school clubs run by Inventors & Makers visit their website: inventorsandmakers.com