In the Top 10 Reasons Your Kids Need Sports-Based Extracurricular Activities post, I listed many reasons why physical activity is awesome for kids both in terms of their physical and mental well-being. While creativity-based activities don’t necessarily exercise the physical body (although some do), they benefit our kids in so many incredible ways. Creativity-based activities will allow them to develop skills that will help them in all other areas of their lives, and with cuts to arts-based programming in many schools, now is the perfect time to consider after-school programs in music, dance, theatre, creative writing, and visual art.
If you’re on the fence about registering your child for an arts-based extracurricular activity, here are 10 reasons to help you decide:
Top 10 Reasons Your Kids Need Arts-Based Extracurricular Activities
- Your child will inevitably spend less time sitting in front of a screen.
- Your child can pursue interests and develop passions. And if you are lucky, they may even find a mentor or a hero.
- Your child will develop fine motor skills with many creativity-based programs. They learn to be tactile, and use their bodies in different ways than sports teach them.
- Your child will develop skills that will benefit them for life, like motivation, commitment, cooperation, leadership, self-discipline, self-awareness, time management, and communication.
- Your child will learn with their entire brain. Sharon Diamond, Development and Special Events Officer at the Council for the Arts in Ottawa shared that arts-education teaches valuable skills such as problem-solving, the ability to think in different ways, flexibility, and critical thinking and examination. A recent article in The Huffington Post How Playing An Instrument Might Actually Make You Smarter by Cate Matthews explained how playing an instrument lights up your brain, “spurring on complicated processes and making connections like crazy. Your synapses fire. Your neurons are in hyperdrive.”
- Your child will experience an increase in self-esteem. Studies have shown that playing an instrument and other art-based pursuits can boost a child’s academic performance. This may be especially beneficial for a child struggling academically, offering them an opportunity to be good at something.
- Your child will make new friends that will likely share common interests.
- Your child will learn new skills and improve over time. Learning an instrument for instance will teach them that practicing (at anything) helps you improve.
- Arts-based programs are a fantastic way to help a child see the world through a different lens and build skills for communicating complex ideas.
- Last but certainly not least, your child will have FUN!
This list of benefits is not exhaustive and some of the benefits are the same as with sports-based activities, because simply participating in any activity without Mom and Dad helps build independence muscles.
Let’s keep the conversation going! In the comments below, share benefits you have seen in your child as a result of participating in arts-based extracurricular activities, or tell us of a great creative extracurricular activity your kids enjoy and the skills you’ve seen it develop.