Why extracurricular activities is healthy for your child
Extracurricular activities are quite essential for the growth and development of children.
They can benefit them through personal, educational and social means, because it involves learning and developing the skills and talents they already have and can teach them new ones.
A child who is involved in such activities will also learn to understand time management, organization, and prioritizing skills.
If achieved early enough, it will not only improve the wellness of the child, but also groom the child to be a better adult.
According to Parenting Blogger and Lawyer, Mrs Ese-Oghene Umoh: “Extra-Curricular activities are activities that fall outside the normal scope of academic learning.
They present an opportunity for children to try new things, and find their passion.
In many developed nations, students can get scholarships to Colleges and Universities by excelling in these activities.
In Nigeria, children engage in a lot of physical activities including sports like football and basketball, swimming, and physical activities like ballet, dance, martial arts and more. They also get to play musical instruments like the piano, guitar, flutes and violins.”
The Lead Photographer for Memoriesbyese, a Children’s Photography Studio, says that activities are necessary for children to learn social skills.
“Children involved in sports and musical activities are believed to have better academic performances and are more creative overall.”
The mum of two noted that the appropriate time to engage children in extracurricular activities would depend on the age of the child and type of activity.
“I personally waited till my son was three to start piano classes and dance. Both of my children started swimming when before they turned one, but only as a family activity.
The key to finding the right activity, in my opinion, is to work within the interests of each child.
“Extracurricular activities should be a learning experience but should also be fun for your children.
It is a good idea to choose structured activities and to stick to age-appropriate activities.
If the activities become a source of stress for your child, then it might be a good idea to reduce their activities or consider changing the activities.”
On the benefits of such activities to a child, Umoh said that extracurricular activities help kids figure out what they like, future hobbies or even just create self-awareness for the child.
They help them build confidence, socialise and start to understand teamwork.
You also get to learn what your kids have a passion for. Being involved in extracurricular activities also allows children to learn the importance of being dependable, responsible and trustworthy.
These are not just clubs or sports; they are early life lessons and help children to build character.
“It also gives your kids something productive to do instead of just hanging around watching TV or playing games.
When we were kids we spent a lot of time playing outdoors and enjoying physical activities.
It is harder to do those activities today because security is a serious concern but, with planned activities, we are able to ensure that our kids can enjoy other activities.”
While noting ways extracurricular activities enhance parenting, Umoh said, in the sense that they help with establishing a structured routine and the balance created by a routine can help with disciplining and training children.
“The toughest part about these activities is finding making out time for them in our busy schedules, but I firmly believe that parents must remember that ‘kids should be kids’ and we should try our best to help them broaden and enjoy their childhood.”