Today, principals and teachers want parents to get involved in their children's classroom learning, outdoor activities and in-school extra curricular work. These activities broaden children's range of experience, which in turn helps them develop a realistic outlook on life.
If you are a participative parent or are on your school's PTA and are in the process of choosing an in-school extra curricular activity for this school year, we suggest you pick one that will not only increase kids' knowledge, but will also help them develop social skills and have fun.
One example of such an activity is gardening. Looking after a garden requires not only horticultural knowledge - which a teacher can provide - but also people skills, business sense and common sense. Tending to a garden is all about community work - it's a time when your children can get together with students of other classes, both senior and junior, and have some fun together. It's also earth-friendly and allows children to get their hands dirty, which, of course, they love!
A garden can be set up in the school compound. If it is only for educational or beautification purposes, the plot can be narrower, running around the school with ornamental flowers. Children can plan a budget and buy tools, equipment, seeds and seedlings. Over time, they can also be taught to save seeds from their own plants. Regular de-weeding and watering will be needed so children will need to work together to schedule duties and delegate activities to their gardening batchmates. Children can then set up an organic market where they can sell the produce from their garden or supply the same to the school canteen. The entire process will thus provide children with a range of positive experiences that will help them grow as individuals while having lots of fun.
HERE'S A LIST OF SOME OTHER ACTIVITIES YOUR CHILDREN CAN TAKE ON
- Movie Club: This can be a fun after-school or in-school activity for children, which will not only entertain them, but will also help them learn about history, cultures from across the world and different eras in film-making. Children in the club can also shoot their own movies on a cellphone or any other easy-to-use medium. These movies can be exhibited or put up on the Internet for public viewing.
- Adventure Club: For those who love adventure, activities like rock climbing, trekking and kayaking are just the thing. Trained and experienced people are now available to conduct such camps for schools.
- Historic Trails: Children can join groups that teach them about the infrastructure, historic buildings and local people and tribes of their city. Many groups take children into villages too, helping children learn more about living in rural areas.
- Do-It-Yourself Learning: And for those of you whose children refuse to be part of any such collective learning, various science, hobby and history-based do-it-yourself kits are now available in the market through which children can expand their knowledge while working independently.
HOW DO CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM SUCH ACTIVITIES
- Group activities offer a creative and fun way of spending time with friends in school or after school.
- They help children apply what they learn in class to everyday life.
- They help children explore new skills including business sense, creativity and adaptability.
- They help children build their social and communication skills and thus boost their confidence.
- They teach children how to work in teams.
- They encourage children to be physically active.
(Image courtesy Thinkstock)