Are extracurricular activities just an educational complement, or are they actually essential? The school curriculum is only a part of education. Gone are the days when sports, music, painting and a second language were the only activities offered in schools for parents that were looking to combine a balanced professional life with a quality complementary educational activity for their children.
At the beginning of the 80s with Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, we began to understand that intelligence is a plural expression. Nowadays, everybody is aware that each student has a series of specific skills and interests that develop differently over the course of their life and play an essential role in their emotional wellbeing.
Additionally, several studies have shown that when students develop their talents through specific academic, sports, artistic or social activities, this has a highly positive impact on their academic results. There is an obvious reason for this: the happier we are, the better we work, learn and interact. At this point, many families let their children decide which activities they want to do instead of projecting their own personal interests and tastes onto them.
According to experts, children should not perceive these types of activities or clubs as an obligation, but rather as part of their free time.
However, can a child that has not yet developed his or her own world vision make these decisions? According to experts, the answer, although not decisive, is rather clear: children should not perceive these types of activities or clubs as an obligation, but rather as part of their free time. In other words, they should feel like they are interacting and sharing their interests with their peers in a non-academic context.
What activities should we choose? Having established that these activities are essential, the Best Schools in Spain would like to offer some advice and a list of the most popular activities in Spain. Firstly, we must listen to children and observe their interests. Secondly, the activity should never be considered static or fixed. We must not forget that children are constantly looking for what motivates them, so if they do not enjoy an activity, they can always try a different one.
The boom of robotics and its appeal to children make it the ideal activity to learn new skills related to mechanics and electronics in a fun and cooperative environment.
An increasing number of families want to expose their children to this language, which is destined to play a very important role in international commerce.
Music and movement
When music is perceived as a game, it increases concentration, develops sensitivity and memory and helps children express their emotions and feelings.
Funky and hip-hop dance
Modern dance works on physical expression and explosive energy, and we can see great progress in a very short time.
Cookinglish: Cooking classes in English
The appearance of TV programmes such as MasterChef Junior and their popularity among children have given birth to this new activity where children can learn how to cook while practising English.
Piano and violin
The choice of an instrument to develop musical intelligence is one of the most popular activities, and piano and violin continue to be the favourite options.
Verbal skills are increasingly important. Learning to speak in public, listen to others and argue our opinions are key skills for our children’s future.
Workshops and clubs where children can get closer to science through experiments, challenges and fun activities that spark their curiosity and develop their ability to solve problems.
Spain’s star sport, which continues to gain popularity in countries like the United States, maintains its position as one of the most popular activities.
In addition to football, there are also other minority sports such as hockey, handball and rhythmic gymnastics that have numerous physical benefits and strengthen team spirit. Lastly, we are starting to see an increasing number of requests for horse riding and fencing.