A high percentage of kids participate in extra-curricular activities at their schools and collages. As parents we recognise the value these activities bring to our children (plus it gives us a little more child free time!). Besides being a fun way to spend their time, after school clubs and classes are great learning, growing, and development tools for young kids and teens alike. I've prepared a list of extra-curricular activities that can help promote cognitive development in kids of all ages.
1. Theatre and acting classes
Contrary to popular belief, acting stirs cognitive development in kids. For starters, your child needs to memorize lines, which helps improve their memory retention skills. It also places kids in the mind of characters, encouraging them to take on different thoughts, moral attitudes, ideas, and prejudices. This teach them that their own beliefs and opinions are not the only ones of value and helps them to consider others as they make decisions.
2. Learning a musical instrument
Besides helping your child develop social skills, music helps them with memory retention and mental dexterity. When playing an instrument children have to remember where the notes they learned are located and calculate where and how to play them. This promotes their math abilities, which is vital for their academic success. Extensive research has been conducted around this subject, and it’s proven that music is beneficial to learners of all abilities. If your child needs to retake A-levels privately, sign them up for music lessons as well. It will help boost their confidence, help them build resilience, and improve in their classwork.
3. STEM clubs
STEM clubs (science, technology, engineering, and math) help boost your child’s creative thinking ability, which positively affects their brain development. These clubs encourage experimental learning and give your child the freedom to learn, fail, and succeed at their own discretion as they innovate. Kids in these clubs develop problem-solving skills and become great decision-makers.
4. Athletics and sports
Exercising the mind is excellent, but physical workout promotes both brain development and physical health in your little one. Cognitive development is improved through fine/gross motor skills, social, and physical development. Athletics also promotes your child’s self-esteem and fosters their appreciation of enjoying the process and the game, whether they win or not. Whether they join individual sports like swimming and tennis or go for group sports like football and basketball, the effects will be the same.
5. Art classes
Art classes are fun and allow your child to experiment and play with colors and materials to create something unique. Kids should have both structured and unstructured classes, so they have guidance but still get the freedom to create on their own. Imaginative thinking is vital for your child’s brain development, and nothing beats art classes in improving this.
There are tons of activities your child can join to grow cognitive abilities, but these have been tested and proven to work best for academics. Be sure to check out other games such as chess, scrabble, and group clubs such as Scouts. Let your child choose what they prefer and they will commit to seeing it through.
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.