After School: Alternative Ideas for Extracurricular Activities
Rainy days and empty weekends don’t have to be dull – with the right activities, they can instead become opportunities to give your kids new stimulation, learning opportunities, or a chance to unwind. Essay Jabber shares a few of our top ideas that don’t involve sitting in a classroom.
Combat training and martial arts can be excellent ways to teach kids discipline, confidence, and calm in high-stress situations – skills that have relevant applications in adult life. If you’re thinking of introducing your child to the world of martial arts, it’s important that you seek out an academy with plenty of good reviews and the right accreditation – from this safe space, they can confront feelings of frustration, anger or a lack of control with professional guidance.
It’s surprisingly common to enter into adult life without gaining the ability to cook, but this should be considered an essential skill as it allows us control over our diets and can help us to avoid many of the negative, associated health effects that come with packaged, processed or corporately produced food. Introducing your child to healthy cooking early on can help them to build a positive relationship with the act – make sure you reference some of the healthy recipes available online and prioritize fresh vegetables, grains, and fruit.
It’s never too early to learn about business. If you have a teenager who shows an interest in business or economics, it might be a good idea to introduce them to entrepreneurs. Through founding their own business, they might learn some key skills or pick up an understanding of how a company is structured. For example, they could learn about forming an LLC to alleviate personal liability, provide tax advantages and lessen the amount of paperwork.
For kids who show an interest in the written word, a personal blog can prove to be an excellent outlet for thoughts, a portal to activism, or even a way to learn more about a subject. Blogs are a great way to connect with others and can sometimes help with college/school applications or career prospects in later life. Make sure that you find a platform for your child to blog that is safe and that preferably has comments turned off – engaging with feedback too early can prove demoralizing.
It’s difficult to overstate the value of team sports in child development. With good teammates, a child can learn skills in collaboration and sacrifice and pick up lifelong friends in the process. Not all of us are physically gifted, but there is a wide range of activities that kids can devote themselves to that don’t involve athleticism – these could include fishing, golf, dancing, darts, or even bowling.
Kids often feel strongly about a particular cause, and for good reason – our mistakes today are their realities tomorrow. If you want to help them to make a difference and get involved, there’s no better introduction than volunteering. One idea is for them to walk dogs from a local animal shelter. Just make sure they’re in a pedestrian-safe neighborhood before they sign up.
Many charities are open to young volunteers, but before discussing this with your child, it may be a good idea to call ahead and see if the organization in question is receptive to their assistance or check online directories.
For many young people, the most exciting learning takes place after the bell rings. If you want to keep your kids stimulated and enthusiastic, you can start by helping bridge the gap between them and a new hobby. Try enrolling them in martial arts classes, having them volunteer, or teaching them about starting a business.
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