Let’s face it; most kids would rather do anything else rather than go to school every day. Most of the time they’d rather spend the day vegging out in front of the TV or on their phones. Of course, as their parent, it’s your job to crowbar them out of bed and make sure that they actually get up and go every day. As an adult, you know how important school is for their future, but you often can’t really expect a kid to have much of an idea about their future beyond what they want for their next meal. So what can you do to make them feel a little more enthused about going to school every day? Well, there are a lot of different ways, but one of the most effective is to get them involved in some kind of extracurricular activity. Activities of this kind are a fantastic way to help them engage with their creative energies in a way that school often doesn’t really allow for since it has to be so rigidly structured. Not only that but they can help kids discover new passions that can have a big impact on their lives. Many people end up working careers that they would never have discovered it not for a club that they joined while they were at school. Many extracurricular activities are incredibly valuable for college applications so there really is no reason why your kids shouldn’t at least give them a shot. To help you and your kids figure out what kind of things that they might be interested in, here are some examples of extracurricular activities that can help your child feel more engaged in their school life.
If your child has huge amounts of energy all the time that never seems to run out, then it might be a good idea for them to start doing an activity that allows them to use up their energy in a fun and productive way. Dance is one of the very best ways to do this. It offers a fantastic balance of structure and freedom that active kids really benefit from. Not only that but it’s the kind of thing that many kids often discover a real passion for to the point where it can become something that practically takes over their lives, in a positive way!
Of course, not every child is going to that interested in exercising their physical muscles. Instead, they might want to give their creative muscles a workout. If that’s the case, then art classes are a fantastic option. Kids often struggle to be able to express themselves through words and it can be the cause of a lot of frustration. Art classes help them to learn how to channel their emotions into something positive. Whether they’re feeling angry, sad, excited, afraid, or any of the thousands of emotions that kids feel throughout the course of a day. The other wonderful thing about art classes is that there often isn’t any kind of limit to the sort of things that kids can do in them. If you child is a big fan of painting, then they can do that, but if not then they have options for plenty of other things like sculpting, drawing, and any number of other options. The freedom offered by art is perfect for kids who have a lot of ideas but aren’t sure how to put them into practice.
Kids can be complete show-offs sometimes. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can get a little grating if they’re constantly trying to get your attention when you’re trying to get some work done or do the cooking or cleaning. For those kinds of kids then drama might well be the perfect option. There’s nothing better for kids who like to be in the spotlight than by letting them strut their stuff on the stage. Not only will it be something that they will enjoy but will also help to build their confidence, improve public speaking, and teach them how to communicate more effectively with people. Plus there are few moments where you’ll feel more proud than when your child takes a bow up on the stage to a huge round of applause.
Kids love music. There isn’t a child out there who doesn’t love listening to music, just look a the number of posters on most kid’s rooms. So why not find out if they would be interested in actually learning to play it as well? Ask them what kind of instrument they’re interested in, and there’s a pretty good chance that their school offers music lessons for them. One of the best things about music is that it allows kids to learn a skill and be creative but they don’t necessarily have to be part of a group. Of course, that’s always an option, and many kids love setting up bands with each other, but if your kids are a little more introverted, then they may well feel happy sitting and getting deep into a piece of music. Of course, be prepared to be asked for music stuff for every single birthday and Christmas for years to come if they find themselves really enjoying it.
There’s nothing wrong with kids having a bit of competitive spirit, as long as it’s something that they’re able to channel and use in a productive way. If your kid loves to be active and also feels a desire to win at everything they do, then there’s a good chance that they’d do incredibly well on one of their school’s sports teams. Schools often have teams for just about every sport out there no whatever kind of thing your child is a fan of, there’s a solid chance that the school can accommodate them. Not only does playing for a sports team allow them to exercise their competitive spirit but it also teaches them a huge amount of valuable skills. There’s no room on a sports team for someone who wants all of the glory all of the time. If you want to be a great team player then you’ve got to be able to communicate with your teammates, work with other people, follow directions and know when it’s best to step back and let other people take charge of a situation.
Of course, not every child is built to be a sports star, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be a part of a team. Marching band is a fantastic activity for kids who need a little extra discipline. It offers the creative outlet that music provides as well being very active, while also offering a structured activity that can help them to learn an incredibly valuable degree of discipline. Marching bands teach kids a great deal of things about following instructions, working as part of a unit and understanding that sometimes the group is just as important as the individual. It’s the sort of thing that some kids think of as lame or nerdy, but after they get a hold of some color guard practice flags, they’re likely to find themselves totally hooked! You really would be amazed at how much the lessons that marching band can teach help kids to get more out of school as a whole.
If there’s one thing kids really love to do, is argue. Most kids would happily argue with anyone and everyone until the sun comes up. So why not help them channel that productively by signing them up for the debate team. That way they have the chance to flex those muscles without getting themselves in any trouble. Not only that but the ability to research and argument and make a point in a clear and concise way is the kind of skill that they will likely find incredibly useful once they get into adult life. Every person finds themselves needing to argue their case from time to time and the lessons that being on the debate team can teach will help your child get a serious advantage in later years.
Of course, there’s no way that a kid will be able to take on every activity that they’re interested in. Every child is different, so it’s important that you talk to them and help them figure out what kind of thing would be fun and engaging for them. Also, one of the most important things to remember is that your child’s life shouldn’t always be filled up from dawn until dusk every day. There is definitely a lot of value in kids being able to take time just to spend doing nothing. It’s during those times that kids process and understand the kinds of things that they learned during the day, use their imaginations, and unwind from the stress that things like school can often bring. Make sure that your child is allowed a solid balance of structured activities as well as some time where they simply get to be in charge of themselves for a while.