Updated: Apr 25
It might seem like the school year is already heavily loaded for your child with learning, homework and school responsibilities. You may not want to add even more to their plate. But rather than being an additional burden, extracurricular activities could be precisely the break your child needs.
Here’s some benefits of extracurricular activities that you may not have thought about…
Igniting 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 too.
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. Beyond the fun that a new passion can bring, it can help define a path in life that could even lead to a career, especially with more technology orientated pursuits.
Extracurricular activities can help children learn more about what they like and dislike, their strengths and their weaknesses. All of this can help them get a better view of where they could head later in life, or just give them something fun to do right now.
Exploring a breadth of experiences
A monotonous schedule of activities will invariably lead to a child who is not only disengaged, but is unlikely to stray from their comfort zone even as they get older.
Encouraging your child to explore a wider range of interests can help them better define what they like and don’t like. But more importantly, it can also get them into the habit of trying new things and taking on new challenges.
Not all children immediately latch onto a new extra-curricular activity, but the process of trying, learning and improving can give children a self-belief and confidence that push them in later life, too.
Learning collaboration and communication
Most opportunities to try extra-curricular activities will expose your child to a whole new group of people. This can help them learn to communicate and collaborate with all kinds of personalities, enhancing their social and emotional intelligence, as well as improving their ability to learn new skills from others.
Besides making new friends, these opportunities can help children pave the path for a socially advantageous life. Networking, collaborating, and accurately expressing information are all highly important skills for their future career.
Improving children's path through education and beyond
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 show a solid foundation that can indicate the people skills, eagerness to explore new things, and dedication that many are looking for.
Some research studies including this one, 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 run 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.