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Extracurricular Childcare Activities and their Benefits in Early Childhood Education

Four Extracurricular Activities and their Benefits in Early Childhood Education
“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning” - Fred Rodgers.

Early Childhood Education is more than just child-minding or even learning the alphabet, counting and recognising colours. We understand these skills are important, but a holistic education means an investment in a more abundant future with benefits and skills that last a lifetime. 

At Kids Club, we offer various extracurricular activities – which are offered in all Kids Club centres at no extra cost – which complement academic learning to mould children into well-rounded individuals of the community. 

Read on to find out more about: 

  • List of extracurricular activities for Preschoolers 
  • Early childhood activities you can do at home 

Extracurricular activities 

The childcare activities listed are part of the Kids Club Educational program, created to give your child the best start to their future and a life-long love of learning.  

Multisport Classes – develop physical literacy while having fun 

At Kids Club, we collaborate with sports clinics to bring programs tailored for little ones as part of their early childhood learning. The activities can be inside or outside and provide children the opportunity to develop their physical literacy. This gives them the knowledge and capability to be active, and the desire to stay active for life.

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What’s the major benefit of including movement in our program?

It’s a vital part of a healthy lifestyle! 

Children who are confident while engaging in physical activity will have more fun, therefore will continue to seek out movement and develop motivation. This means they learn new skills and master older ones, which helps develop a healthy lifestyle and incorporate fitness as a natural part of a child’s life. The concept seems simple, yet essential– especially as inactivity levels among children continues to increase in this digital era. Our classes give children the chance to learn skills such as coordination, balance, confidence, respect, team work, leadership, memory and creativity. 

Through the dance sessions, children develop a greater range of movement. They listen to the music, sing along and dance, which is important for self-expression. Children can’t always communicate their feelings through words, so it’s useful for them to have a healthy outlet for their emotions. 

Our Multisports program changes every term alternating between physical sports (ball games like soccer, basketball, hockey, athletics), Zumba and Olympics designed for our little ones with a fun medal ceremony. 

Music Lessons – ignite a child’s development 

Incorporating music into early childhood education promotes social interaction and language growth. When done right, musical experiences teach children about emotion, language and impart abstract concepts in a simple manner – all important to help a child prepare for school. 

At Kids Club, 3 to 5 years olds experience age-appropriate music sessions. The music instructor brings a myriad of musical instruments, keeping classes small and tailored to the children’s needs and abilities. The classes will become available for 1-2 years, 2-3 years and a workbook will be created for children between 3 and 5 years. Music is also a part of our daily routine. 

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Many studies have proven the power of music to enhance memory, improve confidence, strengthen learning capabilities and develop motor skills. Exposure to positive music experiences from early childhood helps children to speak more clearly, develop a larger vocabulary and strengthen the connection between the mind and body. 

Music teaches children about the sounds and meanings of words. Songs that involve action and hand gestures that follow the music teach children to coordinate, as they move and sing at the same time. Music has a tempo and teaching young children songs that have rhythms and beats or learning to march in time to a tune can help students to learn the rhythm of speaking and improve their communication skills. 

Parents and Educators play a vital role in modelling a positive relationship with music. So, remember to dance, sing and play with your children. You might find yourself experiencing the benefits as well! 

Yoga and Mindfulness – regulate emotion 

Children derive enormous benefits from yoga. Physically, it enhances their flexibility, strength, coordination, and body awareness. In addition, their concentration improves, and they learn how to relax. 

children trying out yoga with instructor

We run yoga and meditation activities for our children aged 2 to 5, which is done throughout the day. Our centres use Cosmic Kids on our interactive whiteboards. These interactive adventures are designed for young children to build strength, balance and confidence while having fun. Our Educators link the various themes offered by the videos to the children’s interests at the time, such as the Hungry Caterpillar, or learning about Space and other topics. 

Yoga helps kids to: 

  • Develop body awareness 
  • Learn how to use their bodies in a healthy way 
  • Manage stress through breathing, awareness, meditation and healthy movement 
  • Build concentration 
  • Increase their confidence and positive self-image 

Languages – teach skills like problem solving and creativity 

Hola families 😊 

A number of research studies have shown that children who have learned a second language at a young age demonstrate cognitive advantages, such as increased problem-solving skills and creativity. 

Studying another language also helps children deal with abstract concepts.

We are already offering Spanish lessons in some of our centres, with language lessons implemented as well, as part of our Community & Culture key learning area. 

Our Educators use the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, which is digital, play-based and designed for pre-schoolers. It is an Australian Government initiative aimed at inspiring children to cultivate a genuine interest in new languages and cultures. The program uses play-based apps called The Polyglots and there are nine languages on offer. Each centre sends out a survey to parents who can provide feedback on preferences for their child’s participation.  

Learning a language is not just about the vocabulary, it also entails learning about a new culture. In our multicultural society, it is important to learn about different cultures, communities and understand differences. This can aid children to develop friendships with many different people when they go to school. 

Early childhood activities you can do at home 

Whether your child attends childcare 1 day a week or 5 days a week, there are early learning activities you can introduce at home to complement their early childhood learning.  

Be active 

Taking your child out for walks is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle and introduce the outside world to your growing toddler or preschooler. By going out for neighbourhood walks, your child can explore what goes on in their local world and you can help develop their vocabulary by introducing and naming the different things you spot on your walk.  

Have a fun family dance 

Just as our Educators at Kids Club introduce music and dance to our little ones, implementing a fun family dance at home is a great way to connect and have fun with your little one. Set aside the same time each day for a 10 minute dance with your favourite song or your child’s favourite song to help release emotions and encourage self-expression.  

Set aside quiet time 

Just as an energetic release is important for your little ones, setting aside quiet time to help them regulate their emotions and give their brains a rest is just as important. Create a quiet corner at home they can retreat to for some downtime. Maybe a little teepee space filled with books and their favourite toys or building a fort to retreat to will help their use of imagination in a calm setting. 

Imaginative role play 

A lot of households can speak a language other than English. If this is your household, then what a perfect way to incorporate speech and language development by encouraging the use of a second language at home. However, many families only speak English at home and imaginative role play can be a great way to build your child’s language and vocabulary by creating a game without restrictions and introducing characters that your child can pretend to be. By engaging in role play, you can introduce new words and concepts to build your child’s language skills.  

Find out more about Kids Club! 

Kids Club truly believes in teaching a holistic program to our children and all these extracurricular activities are offered in our established centres without any extra cost.  

At Kids Club, we strive to be an innovative provider of high-quality long day care. This means we are constantly looking at ways to provide a safe but stimulating physical environment for your child.  

We also believe that your child’s learning is a partnership between the educators and the families we service so that we can truly foster a sense of belonging for all our children and their families, which provides a solid foundation for their learning and development.  

If you want to learn more, call Kids Club Early Childhood Learning Centres or book a tour now of your closest Kids Club Early Learning Centre, click here to view your closest Centre. 

References 

  1. Barrett MS, & Welch GF, Music early learning programs: Enduring outcomes for children and their families, Psychology of Music, 2021.
  2. Rizki A, Benefits of early second language acquisiton, Indonesian Journal of Integrated English Language Teaching, June 2016.
  3. Stagnitti K, Unsworth C, The importance of pretend play in child development: an occupational therapy perspective, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 2000.