Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

How To Choose Productive Extra-Curriculars For Your Kids

Many children participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities after school and on the weekends. Children may be permitted to select their own activities in some cases, but they often need some guidance and limits in this area. After all, children do not always know which activities are available in their area or that may be best for them. Parents can more easily select the right extracurricular activities for their kids by focusing their attention on these important points.

Think About Their Interests

Nobody knows your children better than you do, and this means that you are the perfect person to select activities for them based on their interests. Think about everything from art and music to computer programming classes for kids, acting classes and the wide range of physical activities available. While team sports are not right for everyone, there are children’s yoga classes, tennis, swimming and many other activities that may hold their interest through individual activity.

Focus on Their Safety

Many parents choose at least one physical fitness activity for their kids to participate in regularly to promote health and well-being, and these activities largely elevate their heart rate. Some children, however, have underlying heart conditions that parents do not know about, and thankfully, there are now Automatic External Defibrillators, or AEDs, available in most areas. You may also want to check if there are nurses, doctors, or other medically trained personnel supervising. You should invest in the proper safety gear, footwear and clothes to keep kids safe in their sports. Ensure that kids have ample downtime in between their sports activities to rest.

Prepare for the Future

Another route to follow when selecting extracurricular activities for your kids is to think about the future. Ask your kids what they are interested in being when they are older. While their career plans likely will change several times over the years, you can find new activities that let them explore their current interests in different ways. For example, if your child wants to be an artist, art lessons is a great option to consider.

Extracurricular activities should be fun and exciting for your children. While they likely will be enriching in various ways as well, remember that kids need to be kids for as long as possible. They spend enough time being serious at school, and their after school activities give them a chance to let loose and have fun in constructive ways. With this in mind, the most important thing to consider when selecting activities for your kids is choosing something that they will love doing.

Tim Esterdahl

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