How to Choose the Right Extracurricular Activity for a Child
With endless options for extracurricular activities geared towards children, it is very difficult to choose the right one for your child. By observing your child, exploring the options carefully and keeping the priorities of your family in mind, this decision can be easy and enjoyable.
5 Steps to Choose the Right Extracurricular Activity for a Child
1. Observe your child to see what sparks interest.
Although there are benefits to exposing children to new things, you also want to make sure that it is an activity that will be engaging to your child.
2. Research a few extracurricular options that would be appropriate for your child.
Find out when and how often the activity meets, the cost, the commitment time (is it eight weeks or the whole year), and who will be the adult supervising.
3. Discuss the options with your spouse or any other childcare provider.
You want to make sure that changes made to your family are okay with all participating adults, such as dinner time shifting a few hours later during week during when there is drama rehearsal.
4. Whittle the options down to two or three.
5. Present the remaining options to your child.
This allows your child to have choice within boundaries and she will feel more committed to her extracurricular activity.
Tips and Warnings
- Allow your child to explore different types of extracurricular activities, such as a sport for one season and then something in the arts for another season.
- Choose short term commitment activities if your child tends to get bored easily. Many activities can be done in eight week sessions.
- Do not let children quit activities unless you have a strong concern. It is better for them to learn to make the best for a short period of time, than to learn to just quit when something does not meet expectations.
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