The importance of extracurricular activities

by Grace Dickins

There is a lot of pressure on children to succeed at school nowadays that sometimes extracurricular activities can fall by the wayside. However, there is a growing amount of evidence to indicate these activities are very important to a child's development.

Social skills

School groups can be rather cliquey so extracurricular activities provide an excellent platform for meeting new friends outside of school. More often than not shy children don't even notice that they have come out of their shell as they are so excited to get involved in something new.

Children playing football

Professional skills

Extracurricular activities can teach skills that are vital regardless of your age. Learning to cooperate and work together, especially in a team, is really important. A team is only as strong as the weakest player and children soon learn that they must work together to increase their chance of success. Hard work will also free up other opportunities they may not have had before, for example to be a team captain or leader.

Existing school commitments can mean fitting in extracurricular activities is a juggling act. However, time management is a key skill for adult life so try to let your child organise their own timetable to fit in both. This will sit them in good stead for the future and will also help them to learn what to prioritise.

Broadening horizons

There are such a variety of clubs and interests out there that there is sure to be something to suit everyone. Joining a club with like-minded people can really open up their eyes to the possibilities that are out there. If your child has already decided on a possible career path, for example being a soldier, then becoming a cadet at the local group can really help affirm whether it is the career for them. If there's something that they are interested in but know little about then let them have a go. They may well find their new favourite hobby.

And lastly...

... have fun! There's no point in making them join a club if they don't want to be there and aren't enjoying it.

If you're stuck for inspiration then don't worry, we've outlined some ideas below:

  • Join an arts club
  • Join a sports club
  • Join a debating team
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
  • Volunteer with a local charity