22 Extracurricular activities Extracurricular activities help children make new friends, develop new skills, and just have fun. However, too many activities can put undue stress on you and your child. Limit your child’s activities to one or two nights a week. At the beginning of the year, sit down with your child and discuss all of the extracurricular activities that are available (sports, scouting, school- sponsored activities, community art programs, etc.). Have your child choose one or more activities that sound like fun. Be sure to establish guidelines before an activity starts. Talk with your child about how much time will be spent each week in the activity, go over safety rules, and discuss how the activity will impact your child’s homework schedule. Review your child’s extracurricular activities periodically. Reevaluate the schedule immediately if you see your child’s grades falling, notice your child having sleep problems, or see an increase in moodiness or irritability. Your child may want to play basketball or soccer, paint, do ballet, or take gymnastics. This is a time for your child to explore interests, try new things, and have fun.