After School Extracurricular Activities for Kids

Violin, Piano, Dance, Karate and others. Though they are different regarding being a sport or the arts, the one thing that ties them all together are the huge benefits they bring to children.

Physical activity for children provides multiple health benefits. Kids who exercise regularly are at lower risk for many conditions, such as:

  • Depression
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Low bone density
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • obesity

They also sleep better and receive the related health benefits from a good night’s rest. Aerobic exercise yields the most benefits, and children should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate activity a day.”

Physical activity is not the only reason for after school activities, but also, studies have proven that socialization is critical to our community and our kids. Extracurricular activities create an inclusive teamwork environment, where youth are welcomed, and sharing in an activity brings children together. These programs build positive social development, provide leadership opportunities and give kids the chance to be part of something where they learn to interact with others and work toward a common goal.

“Create a sense of belonging. If the after school program isn’t run by your school district or a local facility, it may be a way for your child to make some new friends. Being away from school can offer a break from any usual cliques or social concerns.”

Mental wellness is a huge component of after school activities. From the pandemic we realized more than ever the importance of the in-person connection, as well as how interactive activities also improves mental health.

Both self-esteem and a sense of belonging contribute to more general benefits involving mental and psychosocial health. One study found that adolescents who participated in extracurricular activities demonstrated higher levels of satisfaction with life and optimism and lower levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms.

These adolescents also reported significantly less recreational screen time, which was associated with the reverse: lower levels of satisfaction with life and optimism and higher levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms.”

Sports or Arts is often a choice that parents feel they must make for their child, so if you are only choosing one, consider that Dance has the added benefit of being both a sport and an art wrapped up into one, and the rare opportunity to work as a group and as a soloist. In dance you learn to work with a team of other kids in the training, learning, and performing of dance, building confidence and teamwork. Additionally, this activity pushes your abilities to new heights with individual performance and the additional confidence it creates performing in front of an audience as an individual.

Positive Life Skills are yet another attribute of extracurricular activities helping kids develop positive habits and improve health and wellbeing. Among them are determination, understanding of structure and responsibility, time-management, accountability, and being part of a community. Kids of all ages who participate in extracurricular activities tend to do better in school and socially, setting them up for a lifetime of success.