Some of the latest statistics reported by the US Census Bureau reveal 57 percent of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school activity, including sports, clubs, or lessons like dance, music, and language. Extracurricular activities are a great way to keep kids active and help prevent them from being part of America’s skyrocketing obesity epidemic, but after a while, participating in the same activity year after year can get old, making it easy to get stuck in an activity rut.
Prevent boredom by switching things up and getting the kids excited again with these fun extracurricular activities.
Swimming lessons for kids may be one of the most important things you can do. It’s not just about splashing around in the water, having a good time and keeping cool, but knowing how to swim can prevent the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death in children through the age of 15.
Swimming is also a great way to get regular physical exercise, working the entire body without putting much strain on the joints. It helps to improve stamina, boost muscle strength and flexibility as well as cardiovascular functioning. It also offers a fun way for kids to interact with their peers and make new friends outside of school, teaching social skills as well as an increased sense of confidence.
Gymnastics helps children develop both physical and mental strength while having a great time jumping, flipping, running and swinging. It provides social interaction, improves coordination, teaches listening skills and increased confidence too.
Many gyms now offer Ninja classes, thanks to the success of America Ninja Warrior. It’s ideal for kids who always seem to be bouncing off the walls, allowing them to use all that pent-up energy in a healthier way. The children are supervised by highly-trained adults allowing them to build on skills throughout the course or focus on a specific section of the course. The activities are designed to build character and perseverance as well as strength.
Dancing is an activity for all ages, and there are a wide range of options to choose from within dance as well. Sign them up for tap, ballet, jazz, Irish dancing, hip-hop, or just about any other form they enjoy. The mental and physical benefits derived with dancing are well-documented – strength, stamina, and flexibility are just a few. It can also boost self-esteem, lead to good posture and a more positive body image.
Not all extra-curricular activities are sports. Cooking lessons can be a great way to teach kids important skills that can last a lifetime. Knowing how to cook their own nutritious meals is likely to decrease the amount of fast food and other junk, going a long way toward healthier adulthood. They’ll learn how to read recipes, take measurements (a math lesson many actually enjoy), what flavors go well with others and more.