The Importance of Extracurricular Activities in Your Children’s Development
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about the extracurricular activities that will engage your children and help transition them through the school-year and into the summer months. Below are some different types of extracurricular activities that your children might enjoy.
According to a study by Kenneth A. Wesson, renowned Education Consultant and Neuroscientist, fine arts, such as painting, drawing, and sculpting not only help develop brain function and special reasoning skills, but can also help children improve fine motor skills. “Exciting new research consistently indicates a strong correlation between the arts, cognitive development and academic success,” says Kenneth Wesson. For example, if a child can illustrate a particular object or being, then the child is able to process it on a symbolic level and even communicate it. So, whether your children use a crayon, pencil, or paintbrush, be sure to encourage their creative development through art.
- Outdoor activities
According to research from the University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign, spending time outside can boost your child’s brain function, especially areas regarding attention, concentration, and memory. This study found that when children took a twenty minute walk outside, their attention and concentration were enhanced on tests that involve repeating a series of numbers backward. Encourage your children to spend fifteen to twenty minutes a day outside by moving story or homework time to the park or your backyard.
Activities like baseball, soccer, and basketball are not only fun activities for children to participate in, but they can also have many positive effects on your children’s development. Aside from the physical benefits of regular exercise, sports can help your children increase their self-confidence as well as encourage regular, if not daily, practice of their activities.
A six month study conducted in France showed that musical training had increased reading and verbal comprehension among children who previously never had any musical experience. In addition, the research also showed that the musical training had also encouraged the development of neural processes as reflected in specific patterns of brain waves.
- Board Games
Games such as Monopoly and Scrabble may seem to be trivial, but as we mentioned in our previous blog posts, these seemingly simple games can help your children practice their math and reading skills. In addition, games that force your children to think strategically or use their reasoning skills help your children’s brain forge new neuronal connections.
- Academic Enrichment
One great way to transition your children from the school year to the summer months is by enrolling them in an academic enrichment program like Kumon. With only 30 minutes a day improving math and reading skills, your children will be able to enjoy all the summer fun while also continuing to advance their academic skills.
What are some additional extracurricular activities that your children would like to participate in?