Choosing whether or not to enroll your children in after school activities is always a hard decision, especially when considering scheduling and time management.  Busy schedules, team expenses, and homework loads are a couple of reasons why parents may avoid signing their kids up for after school activities. There are far more benefits than disadvantages, though, when it comes to after school activity enrollment.  With COVID-19 restrictions and many kids not going back to school right away, a lot of time may be spent cooped up in the house.  After school activities can alleviate some of that bottled up energy and give children some social interaction! Some benefits in participating in after school activities are the following: 

  1. Overall health improvement and care. Kids need to stay active, too! Physical activity during the adolescent stage of life is crucial to the process of developing strong muscles and bones.  In addition, structured activities give children the opportunity to develop better physical coordination and mental stimulation. 
  1. Teaches healthy competition.  As we grow up, we begin to face competition in the workplace, in school, and in our personal lives.  Participating in competitive or semi-competitive sports allows children to learn what it takes to give their best effort toward succeeding in a team setting during a friendly competition.   
  1. Enhances self-confidence.  When a child plays a sport, they are actively learning new skills in each practice.   Mastering and perfecting these skills allow them to feel proud of themselves and motivated to continue learning.   
  1. Stress relief. Kids and teenagers get stressed, too! Heading to an after-school practice with friends can be a huge stress-reliever to kids experiencing pressure in their academics or at home.  Exercise releases serotonin, which otherwise makes individuals feel happy.   
  1. Teaches teamwork and good sportsmanship. As we grow up and go through school and the work force, life presents us with many situations where we are asked to work as a team.  Participating in after school sports as a kid teaches the importance of accepting losses as a group, as well as celebrating triumphs.   

Aside from all of these great aspects above, after school activities allow children to develop relationships that can potentially last a lifetime. Kids cultivate friendships within their teammates that can often times provide a safe, fun space outside of their school and home lives.   

Choosing an afterschool activity that is appropriate and comfortable for your child can be a trial and error type of process.  If you have a child that appreciates a team atmosphere, but values self-competition, swimming may be the right choice for them.  In the sport of swimming, children practice as a team and spend time building team morale, but the bulk of their competing is based off of beating themselves by bettering their personal race times.  Swim lessons are another great option if your child does not know how to swim or is not yet a strong swimmer.  At Premier Swim Academy, we offer both group and individual lessons, in a fun and exciting atmosphere where your child can meet new friends and learn a new valuable and exciting skill! 

Overall, after-school activities are highly beneficial for kids to participate in, for multiple reasons stated above.  Research activities in your area that are open and operating during the pandemic and consider taking the leap into shaping your child’s future!