Choosing an Extracurricular Activity for Your Child

Posted on 8/27/15 3:23 PM by Ashley Wood

The school year is upon us; the time has come for you to choose extracurricular activities for you children and teenagers. According to countless experts, extracurriculars are very important for youth development and they complement academic growth. They’ll develop qualities like determination, creativity, discipline, the ability to handle failure and how to deal with adversity. While the benefits are vast, the primary objective of extracurricular activities is to have fun!

Here are some tips to find the activity that best suit your child:

Type of Activity

Team Sports iStock_000037354582_Large-2

Team sports (baseball, soccer, hockey, football, basketball, etc.) have their advantages. Young people learn to interact with teammates, allowing them to develop interpersonal skills. Team sports often rely on the competitive aspect, which can be an excellent motivator. Therefore, young people who are social, have a competitive spirit, have a lot of energy, and more will probably do well in this type of activity.



Individual Sports 

While most individual sports (tennis, swimming, gymnastics, dance, fencing, etc.) are practiced in groups, it’s often a good alternative to team sports for children that are independent. Individual sports are a great way to develop autonomy, self-discipline and responsibility. Participants are masters of their success; so they’ll learn that the amount of time and effort that put in will be mirrored in the results. 




Cultural activities iStock_000041711370_Large-2

Cultural activities are another great option for an extra-curricular. There are numerous choices available to your children: music, photography, drawing, cooking, theater, etc. These activities are interesting options for young people who do not like sports or who wish to diversify their activities.







Your City

Activities offered by the city have many advantages. Most importantly, participants usually reside in the same municipality as your children. This can be a huge advantage in terms carpooling and it is much easier for your child to build friendship with young people who live close by.


Many schools offer sports and cultural programs after school. These activities are often cheaper and convenient for busy parents who worry about pick-ups and drop offs. However, participation in these activities mean that children will be spending more time physically at school. This might not be the best option for kids who aren’t already thriving at school. 

Specialized Clubs

Sports clubs specialize in specific activities or sports (gymnastics, skating, diving, etc.). They often provide recreational and competitive programs. Often the staff of these clubs consists of athletes who practiced the sport at a high level so course quality is high. On the other hand, specialized clubs can be further from home, which requires more compromise and planning from busy parents.




For a child, there is nothing worse than feeling out of place. A young person with the competitive spirit that is placed in a recreational group probably won’t have fun, and vice versa. Therefore, you must consider your child’s skill level as well as their goals (performance, development, leisure, etc.).

Choosing an extracurricular activity for your child does require some serious thought. All children are different so it’s important to be conscious of their personalities when it comes time to choosing their activities. Take time to sit down with your child and to analyze the pros and cons of each activity.