There is increasing evidence that leisure activities are just as important as education to a child’s development. The skills they develop through extracurricular activities will also help them later in life. Unfortunately, it sometimes feels like the kids didn’t get the memo. Getting your child to turn off the TV and try a new activity can be a challenge, especially when it’s raining, snowing, or just plain too cold to play outside. However, it might be easier to encourage their existing hobbies and find a way to turn these into a leisurely pastime.
The ability to read at any level is something that should definitely be encouraged in children. However, a love of reading could also be the comfort zone of a shy child. You don’t want to tell them to stop reading, but you also don’t want to make it acceptable to hide in the corner when they’re uncomfortable. The solution is to bring together other young bookworms for a weekly book club. Ask your child how they would feel about sharing their hobby with other children, and if they’re interested, start reaching out to other parents at their school. It won’t be easy, and there are many steps to starting a children’s book club, but the results could be worth it to see your child interacting with like-minded children.
There is such a wide variety of sports clubs and outdoor activities available now that even the most athletically-challenged child can get hooked on a sport. Sports activities not only teach kids a skill, they also teach kids how to work as a team toward a common goal. Your child does not have to join a sports team to become active in sports; because many recreational centers have spontaneous games that people play just for fun. You can also organize a game for your child’s friends in your backyard.
The world is a big and exciting place, and you don’t have to be a certain age to enjoy everything it has to offer. As the world becomes increasingly global, it would be a shame if your kids missed out on fun and valuable travel experience. If you’re fortunate enough to have family living abroad, you can apply for a Family Visitor Visa and let your kids experience a new culture from a local perspective. You can also add an educational element to your vacations. If they’re learning a language at school, take them to a country that speaks that language so they can practice. Justify a trip to Rome by telling your kids they’ll learn more about the Romans for school. In fact, history is an easy class for traveling, because every country features in both modern and ancient history.
Engaging your kids with music in any form will teach them a finer appreciation for the arts. The ability to play an instrument is a valuable skill, dancing teaches them coordination, and both allow your children to express themselves creatively.