If your kids are anything like mine, they suck up any electronic-time they can get. I truly think they would spend days sitting in front of Netflix if I let them. From tablets to mom and dad’s cellphones, to the Wii and unlimited movies via Netflix, there are plenty of things to keep my kids distracted and inactive.
Recently I have been looking into activities that will help keep my kids off the couch and out and about. Extracurricular activities have many health benefits including social, mental and emotional. Make a sport and your little one is going to get some extra physical activity as well.
I truly believe that over scheduling can be just as destructive as allowing your kids to sit around all day. The stress and constant running around can create chaos and stress that nearly eliminates the healthy benefits of participating in a fun activity.
Extracurricular activities for kids
Instead of wasting money and time putting your kids in activities they will not enjoy, you can choose activities they will enjoy and will not leave you stressing out.
Cost: Look at your budget and find out what you can afford to pay. Some activities (like dance and music lessons) can get pretty pricey, so make sure you know the full cost upfront. A fun way to look for activities is Thumbtack. You can look for teachers and lessons in your area. Instructors will send you a personalized quote and you can choose from a few options.
Do not forget to look at long-term costs if you child enjoys the activity and wants to keep doing it.
Ask your kids: My kids want to do everything. However, if I sit down and talk to them, I can usually figure out which activities they are most likely to stick with. My oldest is smart, but impatient. She also loves running around and jumping. While I would love her to learn the piano, I am sure she would quit within a week. Soccer or dance would work great for her though.
Time: A major factor in deciding whether an activity is good for your child, is determining how much time is required to be successful. Some activities require more commitment on your part. Games, recitals and extra practices can suck up lot of extra time.
Putting your little ones in an extracurricular activity does not guarantee success or a happy family, but it can improve social skills, motor skills and the ability to follow directions, not to mention discipline. If you pick the right activities, you may even get an extra hour or more a week to flip through your favorite magazine!