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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Parents may be overwhelmed by the incredible amount energy their children have. This extra energy can be an excellent fuel to channel into fruitful, self-improving, extracurricular activities. Children of any age should invest time in extracurricular activities so they can improve their social, critical thinking, and teamwork skills, as well as physically exercise, and enhance the child’s artistic or mental capabilities. Here are some common extracurricular activities that will help the most active children put their extra energy to good use.

Team Sports

Team sports instill a sense of camaraderie between the players in the team. At the same time, team sports allow children to improve two main skills: teamwork and leadership. Teamwork skills are a given with team sports; without focusing as a collective to reach the goal, no team would successfully execute their plans or reach their goals. Leadership skills are also enhanced in team sports as part of clear communication, and being a crucial component in the sports team will instill qualities like responsibility and initiative in children. A benefit of team sports is that the active child can join a team in a sport they like, such as basketball or baseball. The structure and scheduling with team sports will help provide order for an active child in practice and games.

Martial Arts

Martial arts like karate, focus on the child’s physical and mental health. Martial arts provide a body of work that hone and focus the child’s physical skills and mental state toward self-improvement. Not only will the child learn defensive skills, he or she will also improve their cardiovascular and muscular system health. Many studies have shown that martial arts also elevate a person’s mood. This will help many children, especially during definitive years like adolescence, where emotions are often volatile. Martial arts training will also give the child self-control by focusing their extra energy on defending their mind and body.


Dancing is an extracurricular activity that has physical and mental benefits for very active children. Dancing styles, like ballroom dance or ballet, help the child focus on performing and preparing with memorization and drills. Whether it is with a partner, or if it is performed individually, dancing helps a child train their body, and helps them learn techniques to train mentally. Since dancing is often done as a performance, it provides the child an opportunity to be extroverted with their physical prowess and not to mention learning how to wear traditional costumes or maneuver in ballroom gowns. This provides an excellent opportunity for exercise, artistic communication, and showing how the child performs as a leader or in a team with a partner.

Outdoor and Natural Activities

Joining organized clubs where the child interacts with nature, are another important extracurricular activity. Organizations that promote mountain or water sports help active children exert themselves physically in exercises such as swimming in a pool, or canoeing in a river. Outdoor activities, like hiking, are not only physically exerting, but often help the child appreciate nature. Because many of these activities can be done without supervision, parents may wish to sign their children up with associations that will provide a structured environment for their child. This may include a swimming program, or an outdoors enthusiast club; either way, these organizations will schedule and structure physical activities on a regular basis for the child.

Self-improvement, and learning new skills are integral aspects of growing up. When children are very active, and have no creative or physical outlet, guiding them toward extracurricular activities can be very helpful in channeling their energy toward creative, physically-exerting outlets.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to keep kids busy.