The Importance of Extracurricular Activities

Rebecca Harris, Early Education Writer   •   March 6, 2019

When teaching and raising children, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers game of academics and cognitive development. Making sure your child is learning and progressing to their full potential in school is important, but don't overlook the significance of extracurricular activities. Getting involved in after-school activities can promote positive life skills, cultivate friendships and build your child's self-esteem.
Anything from being a part of a team to learning an instrument teaches life skills such as time management, how to handle competition and teamwork.  Balancing academics and extracurriculars can be a first step in learning how to handle different responsibilities at the same time. It also adjusts children to the concept of a long-term commitment. Once they are on a team where other people are relying on them, or they have a recital in a few months, they have to stick with what they're doing to achieve long-term goals. Handling competition, winning, losing and the process in between can be tough for young people. Getting involved early can help children understand how to navigate these feelings and how to handle competition as they grow older.  

Working with others is a skill that will benefit your child greatly in their life.  We all know as adults that sometimes it can be tough to work with others.  Teamwork during things like sports, theater or team robotics can set your child up with the basic tools it takes to cooperate and communicate effectively with their peers. This can also help your child form bonds and grow friendships.  Every child needs a friend and jumping into a team that peaks your child's interest is an easy way to find one.

Discovering an extracurricular activity that suits your child is a great way to diversify your child's interests.  Also, finding new things they have a natural inclination for or something they enjoy builds confidence.  Setting goals, reaching them, and having fun while doing it promotes positivity and healthy growth in a child's life.  Overall, it's important to provide your child with different avenues of opportunities for them to explore as they are learning and growing into the world around them.