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Jun 4, 2024 5 min read

A Guide to Preschool Extracurricular Activities

Leah Woodbury By: Leah Woodbury
Preschooler takes part in soccer practice.

Offering extracurricular activities for preschoolers can significantly enhance the experience of young learners in your child care center. Let’s take a look at the importance of extracurricular classes in preschool settings and discuss the various types of classes that can be incorporated to benefit preschool children — preschool music classes, preschool dance classes, preschool sports and preschool gymnastics!

Why Offer Extracurricular Classes at Your Preschool?

By offering extracurricular activities, preschools can provide well-rounded education that addresses the holistic development of each child.

Extracurricular classes present unique opportunities for preschool children to develop a wide range of skills beyond the standard curriculum. These activities can enhance social skills when preschoolers Interact with peers in different settings to fosters teamwork and cooperation!

They also boost confidence. Trying new activities and succeeding in them builds self-esteem. And exposure to various disciplines can ignite a passion for music, dance, sports and more.

And extracurricular classes in your preschool promote physical fitness and motor skills, especially in sports and dance programs. 

In-School Time or Out-of-School Time?

Preschoolers take part in cooking class.

Deciding whether to schedule extracurricular activities during school hours or as afterschool programs depends on several factors.

Some parents may prefer activities be integrated into the regular school day for convenience, while others may choose activities at the end of the day. Determine if your child care center has the resources and staff to manage extracurriculars during school hours, or if your staff would be open to staying later.

Most importantly, consider the attention span and energy levels of preschoolers. Too many activities in a day may be more than they can handle.

Balancing these considerations will help you determine the most effective way to integrate these activities into your preschool’s schedule.

Types of Extracurricular Classes to Offer at Your School

Preschool Music Classes

Music classes are appropriate for very young children even before starting preschool, according to GreatSchools.

The benefits of music classes for preschoolers include aiding in cognitive development. Music stimulates brain areas involved in reading, math and emotional development. Plus, playing instruments improves coordination and music offers a medium for expressing emotions.

Tailor the complexity of musical activities to the children’s age. Younger children may enjoy simple rhythm exercises while older preschoolers can handle basic instruments.

Preschool Dance Classes

Preschoolers take part in dance class.

Benefits of dance classes for preschoolers include working toward flexibility, strength and coordination. Group dances encourage teamwork and social interaction, and dance allows children to express themselves creatively.

Offer a variety of dance styles such as ballet for its structured discipline, or creative movement for free expression. Younger children benefit from less structured, movement-based activities while older preschoolers can start learning basic dance steps and routines.

Preschool Sports

Benefits of offering sports are introducing physical activity that enhances overall health and fitness. Plus, sports teach valuable lessons in cooperation and sportsmanship and structured sports activities instill a sense of discipline.

Opt for low-contact sports like soccer or t-ball that are appropriate for young children. Make sure the activities focus on simple, fun and inclusive games.

Preschool Gymnastics Classes

Preschoolers take part in gymnastics class.

The benefits of gymnastics in preschool include helping children improve their balance, coordination and spatial awareness. Activities like tumbling build muscular strength and mastering new skills boosts self-esteem.

Simple tumbling and obstacle courses are perfect for younger preschoolers, while basic apparatus work can be introduced to older preschoolers.

Other Ideas

Cooking teaches basic math (measuring ingredients), enhances fine motor skills and encourages healthy eating habits. Teaching a foreign language can be harder, but with a good teacher, early exposure to new languages enhances cognitive abilities and cultural awareness.

How Procare Can Help!

Incorporating extracurricular activities into your preschool’s curriculum can significantly enrich the educational experience of young children by supporting cognitive and physical development while fostering social skills and personal growth.

Remember that extracurricular activities are not just an add-on but a vital component of a well-rounded early education. Implementing a variety of extracurricular activities can truly make your preschool stand out to prospective families!

Procare’s online registration tools take the hassle and complexity out of enrolling children at your center or program.

The Programs feature allows your early childhood education center or school to create custom programs and events, as well as expand offerings for enrollment that aren’t tied to a specific room. 

It streamlines how parents register their children for a special program that comes with a cost beyond tuition. That means you can go beyond Procare’s Rooms feature to take advantage of more possibilities to bring in more revenue from the program … that’s because parents can sign their kids up for multiple time slots, multiple rooms and in multiple programs! 

Programs can be assigned to one or more rooms and rooms can host one or more programs. 

So let’s say you decide to offer a dance class as a program on different days and in different rooms. Designate dance as the program using the Programs feature and assign the program to multiple rooms. This simplifies the process for a families who wants to enroll a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, who are in different rooms, into the same dance program. As you enroll students, you will be able to track openings and scheduled days and parts of days using Insights.

With Procare, you can also manage leads and waitlists easily with the use of customized forms and a simplified form creation tool. No more paper forms to be completed and filed, and information is entered once without duplicating efforts.

Want to know how much time and money you could save using the Procare all-in-one solution to run your child care center? Enter some information into our online calculator to see your potential savings!

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Calculate your potential cost and time savings by using Procare’s all-in-one child care management software. All we will need from you is some information about your child care location*: Calculate your potential cost and time savings by using Procare’s secure and effortless child care payment processing. All we will need from you is some information about your child care location*: Calculate your potential cost and time savings by using Procare’s classroom management. All we will need from you is some information about your child care location*:

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* Our data model is based on our experience working with over 100,000 child care centers, before and after school programs and youth organizations since 1992.

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The cost and time savings shown here are what the Procare all-in-one solution will help you save at your child care organization. Fill out the form below to see the full breakdown.

We understand that smaller centers and in-home daycare providers are operating on a tight budget, and that is why we provide all these features for the affordable price of just $25 per month. Let us handle the business of child care so you can get back to caring for your children.

To learn more about Procare home version, click below.

*Please note that the report you see only factors in cost and time savings for the in-home solution features. For Procare home version users that are interested in seeing how they can benefit from Procare’s full suite of capabilities, contact us today to speak to a Procare representative.​ *Please note that the report you see only factors in cost and time savings for the in-home solution features. For Procare home version users that are interested in seeing how they can benefit from Procare’s full suite of capabilities, contact us today to speak to a Procare representative. *Please note that the classroom management functionality is not available for in-home users. For Procare home version users that are interested in seeing how they can benefit from Procare’s full suite of capabilities, contact us today to speak to a Procare representative.

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For over 30 years, Procare Solutions has helped child care businesses big and small tackle their biggest operational challenges.

From contactless check-in, attendance tracking and staff management to family engagement, tuition collection and extensive reporting, we have the solutions that child care professionals want most.

More than 37,000 child care businesses choose Procare because we give them everything they need to focus on what they love—providing amazing experiences to the children in their care.

Our data model is based on our experience working with over 100,000 child care centers, before and after school programs and youth organizations since 1992.

Learn more at procaresolutions.com

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Leah Woodbury

Leah Woodbury is the head of content at Procare Solutions. Her job includes writing about topics that matter to child care professionals and finding ways to help them do their important work. She’s a mom of two who loves getting updates about what her preschooler is doing during the day via the Procare child care mobile app!

Leah Woodbury