5 Awesome extramural activities for kids to try

Boy playing the piano

Parents’ primary concern is how to help their children not only adapt to a rapidly changing world. Here are five ways to help develop their skills. Image: Supplied

Published Feb 7, 2022


There is no doubt that the pandemic has had a significant impact on children’s social, emotional and academic lives. Now more than ever, children need a healthy support system rich in socialisation and play.

Children need to be engaged in environments that teach them how to develop skills such as critical thinking, how to socialise, collaborate and become a well-rounded individual. How? Extra-curricular activities!

Research shows that children who participate in extra-curricular activities perform better academically, they have more positive social development, improve their time management and leadership skills and have a greater interest in community participation.

Below, Mindjoy founder Gabi Immelman outlines her top suggestions for the year.

Rock climb at City Rock

Beyond the physical benefits, climbing at a young age helps with motor skills development, such as aiding spatial awareness, and improving hand and foot co-ordination (PlayCore). Studies have also shown potential for climbing to improve problem-solving skills, collaboration, core executive functioning (such as working memory), as well as academic performance. Plus… it’s a whole bucket of fun!

City Rock is in Cape Town and Johannesburg and is an awesome place to get started. It caters for climbers of all ages.

Learn new skills at Scouts

Scouts offer kids a myriad activities that suit a variety of interests and passions. Giving them the chance to get off their devices and into the outdoors, it also exposes them to a diverse range of hobbies and skills, such as camping, crafts and even basic first aid. At their core, Scouts pride themselves on character development, teaching kids values such as responsibility, respect and citizenship.

Make music at School of Rock

As well as being a form of play and self-expression, learning music has been shown to boost confidence, relieve stress and enhance concentration. It also develops the left side of the brain, associated with language processing and reading. Some suggest it can help with maths given that music is based on mathematical principles, such as ratios, fractions and proportions.

School of Rock has a patented method of teaching that combines one-on-one lessons with group band practices, designed to encourage students of all ages and skill levels to learn in a supportive space.

Sing, dance and act at the Waterfront Theatre School

Theatre is not just entertainment, but also a great way to boost kids’ confidence, enhance their ability to collaborate and communicate, and help them find their self-expression. The Waterfront Theatre School offers programmes that include dance, drama and musical theatre which develop motor skills, eye-hand co-ordination, imagination, musicality, creativity and physical control in a safe and nurturing environment.

Code with Mindjoy

Coding is one of the most essential 21st-century skills. In a world where technology is ubiquitous, learning to code offers children a new way to express themselves and find independence. Learning to code is not just about preparing kids for the future job market, but enabling them to develop skills that will aid them in all aspects of life.

At Mindjoy, kids aged 8 to 14 learn to code in a peer-learning environment with trained coaches. Through a variety of awesome hands-on projects, such as building games and making computer-generated art, the kids learn real programming languages, developing their ability and confidence to think both critically and creatively.

Mindjoy is an EdTech start-up based in Cape Town with the goal to prepare children with critical digital and collaborative skills required for the future of work. Working with children across Africa and Europe, they use a progressive education model that gives students agency in their learning and helps build their confidence in expressing themselves through technology.

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