Younger children need play to keep them motivated and curious, and most schools will encourage this in Nursery and Pre-School.When your child begins Reception, work becomes a bigger priority as they learn to read, write and complete basic sums. While it is important to continue to develop your child’s academic abilities after-school, leisure time should always remain a priority.
Be aware- this should not always include watching TV or playing with electronics! Here are a few ideas on the extracurricular activities you can explore for children ages 3-5:
• Swimming – this is a great activity for your child to start from a young age. Lots of children are scared of the water, and starting early will make your life easier on family holidays!
• Dance & Gymnastics – this teaches children coordination and balance. All sports are beneficial for developing teamwork skills and learning discipline.
• Music class – this does not necessarily mean sending your child to orchestra! There are lots of sing-along classes for free around the UK, where children can come to have a go on instruments and make music with other children.
Keep it relaxed…
Every child is different, and you should always give your child a choice of activities, and never force them to go if they don’t want to. The whole point is that it should be fun, and most importantly a chance to mix with other children and develop social skills.
If your child prefers to stay with you, there is nothing wrong with playing outside or going to feed the ducks!
…and don’t over-do it!
You don’t want to exhaust your child, so make sure you balance school-related activities with leisure but also give them time to relax!
15 minutes of reading or maths after school or in the evenings is usually recommended, and most children’s after-school activities at this age will be no longer than 30 minutes at a time.