Prepping your kids for future life is essential. So here are some great extracurricular activities for children, and tips to help them balance their practices and leisure time.
Instrumental training, soccer practice, language lessons – there are plenty of courses for children of all ages. Some parents find it hard to choose the right extracurricular activities for children from the overwhelming offerings.
Rule of thumb (as always): Talk to your child. What does she want to do? What is he interested in? Whether your kid is a jack-of-all-trades or interested in nothing particular, you should try out different extracurriculars. Maybe you want your kid to play baseball because of a longstanding family tradition, but he really wants to play soccer. You never know unless you try!
Athletic clubs near you as well as your children's school or kindergarten can help you to find athletic training programs. Another great help is the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). If your child wants to try out ballet or an instrument, your local schools of music or dance are your go-to's.
So you and your child had some trial sessions and agreed on which instrument to learn or which sport to do? Congratulations! Now you should decide whether your kid wants to stay with this particular course.
Think about your schedule: When do the practices take place? Do you have time to drive them there? Also talk to your kid whether they get along well with the teacher, coach, and teammates.
Money also plays an important role in extracurriculars: Can you afford this musical class or is there a cheaper one? Do you have enough money for all the sports equipment or attendance fees? Maybe your school or local government can help out with some subsidies. If some of these factors don't feel right, think about another course. Everything sounds good? Let the training begin!
You may have heard of baby courses or even joined one with your little darling. Baby swimming or yoga for toddlers are very popular these days. From there you can go directly to the next courses as your children grow older. Other parents want to wait until their children are in kindergarten or preschool. You want to send your kid to training now or they ask about it themselves? Check out the offered courses and classes. Sometimes teachers and trainers request a minimum age to participate.
To save your little ones and yourself time and stress, you should limit their extracurricular activities. One or two practices per week should be enough. This helps your children to focus on their classes.
Remember that beyond the weekly practices, there are also additional extracurricular events like concerts, games, competitions or social gatherings like the team's Christmas party. This means more appointments for you as a parent, too. With all the driving you have to do, this will add up to your schedule as well
Most parents want to give their children the best education possible, especially with regard to their academic future and career choices. So they would love to send them to more than one or two activities to develop different skills.
This is a noble attitude but keep in mind that a long day at kindergarten or school is already stressful for your kid. With homework or additional school projects, a student’s workload can be as tough as yours. Some kids might flourish under the pressure, whereas others need a break! Hence, finding balance with all the ongoing activities is important.
Keep an eye on your kids. Allow them to have time for playing and relaxation. You should plan set hours for recreation and leisure. Declare the next national holiday your Family Leisure Day.
Find leisure time activities that complement your children's extracurriculars and their skills. For example, you could go hiking to improve their endurance for football training. It even works the other way round. Your little musical talent will need some leisure time activities where they can move and have fun!
Many kids have several hobbies that help them to keep the balance between school, practice, and family activities. They also like to have some alone time. Smaller children love playing with toys. Older kids might want to read in bed or draw silently. Sometimes students simply want to watch TV or listen to the radio. Let your child decide what they want to do in their free time. Whatever helps them to relax and recreate is good.
Don't make your kid feel guilty for wasting their time when they don’t want to participate in any activities. Better help them to improve their time management with extracurricular activities, school projects, and household chores. So they can learn an important skill for their adult life and enjoy their childhood at the same time.