Extracurricular activities can benefit your child in many ways. Physical, emotional, and cognitive skills are developed through participation in additional activities outside of school.

Although it is natural for parents to want their child to gain an “edge” through participation in extracurricular activities, it is important to keep a balance between school, extracurricular activities, home responsibilities and play/down time.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when choosing activities with your child:

  • You, the parent, are the expert. Only give choices that you are comfortable with.
  • Get input from your child about what they’d like to do.
  • For multiple siblings, let each child choose one activity per week that fits their individual interests.
  • If choosing more than one activity per week, choose from different types for balance (ex: one athletic activity, and one creative activity or scouts)
  • Remember to save time for Play!
  • At Altogether Outdoors, informal play provides an ideal complement to children’s home and school lives for learning about self, community, and the natural world. Play provides a foundation for more confident and self-directed children who are excited to take on new challenges. And play is just plain fun!

    Recommended reading for parents: The Power of Play by David Elkind.
    “The Serious Need For Play” Scientific American.