A child’s mind is like a sponge, accumulating everything around it. That is why childhood is the perfect moment to introduce him to new things which could have an important role in his academic development.
Of course, you don’t have to overcrowd his free time. He is a child and a he needs to rest and play with his friends. If you present him gradually to new things, he won’t perceive them as chore, but as a fun activity. So here are three best extracurricular activities that will give your kid a great start in his academic development.
1. Learn a foreign language
Learning a foreign language is easier done in childhood that in adulthood, training and developing the child’s cognitive skills.
In fact, experts recommend that the assimilation of different native languages can begin as early as the age of three or four years old. At an early age, the game is the best method of learning: for example, motion games, puppet shows, poetry, songs and contests. Besides improving their vocabulary, these methods are useful to help them adjust to the sounds of a foreign language and learn correct pronunciation. These types of lessons must never be boring. With smiles, humor and games, assimilate knowledge very easy. Thus, they become highly motivated and perceive it as a game. The lesson should last somewhere between 30 minutes and two hours, this being the ideal duration which allows children to maintain interest without boredom. You could sign him up for a course (with other kids) or have one of the specialized Varsity Tutors give him one on one lessons.
2. Learn to play a sport
Learning to play a sport is another great extracurricular activity for your kid. Sports have rules and require discipline in order to achieve performance, so they can teach him important life lessons at an early age, which will help him in developing as an individual.
Practicing a sport is very important in the physical, psychological and social development of a child. You need to talk to him in order to find out what is his favorite sport. First of all observe your child, and do not make him do activities that doesn’t want to do. Between six and eight years old, you should choose together individual activities such as: swimming, skiing, ballet, gymnastics. After eight years old, team sport can be included: tennis, football, basketball, handball, volleyball. Make sure you involve him in the decision, so that he feels he’s important.
3. Do volunteer work
Every child should know that volunteer work is very rewarding. Start easy and talk to him about the importance of protecting the environment and Mother Nature. Explain terms such as pollution and global warming. You can do volunteer work as a family, such as gathering trash from forests or you can sign up in a organization that plants trees. Nobody expects him to do hard work, but he will learn that if he wants to enjoy nature and fresh air, he needs to protect the things around him. As he grows up, you can experiment with different volunteer opportunities, such as taking care of animals, spending time with people in retirement homes.
Volunteer work will shape his character and make him understand that sometimes you have to work for free in order to make the world a better place.