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6 benefits of extracurricular activities

Benefits of extracurricular activities

Mrs Malhotra and her friend Pummy was out for an evening walk, socially distanced and happened to discuss best extracurricular activities for their children. The conversation was interrupted by Mr Sharma who happens to pass by and boasted about how his son had come first in the class, again, despite everything going digital and online. He had enrolled his son on two new coaching classes and questioned Mrs Malhotra for enrolling Ahaana for the online creative writing course. The sun was about to set, the milkman had just delivered some milk packets and this led to quite an eventful evening between the three parents talking about the benefits of extracurricular activities for kids over chai.

Mrs Malhotra explained to Mr Sharma that extracurricular activities can be defined as those activities that fall outside the scope of the regular curriculum of schools and many schools make it mandatory for students to spend a stipulated amount of time on extracurricular activities since it helps in deepening a child’s social and intellectual growth. Some consider extracurricular activities for kids as a mere perfunctory task which they can add to their resumes, but their significance is way beyond their placement in resumes and CVs and it was very vital to understand the benefits of extracurricular activities.

6 benefits of extracurricular activities:

1. A passion today can be a career tomorrow

Academics are no longer the only option for children to excel in. Extracurricular activities help students discover new interests and develop them into a passion over time. We have seen many real-life examples of students pursuing their passion and making a successful career out of them. Did someone say, Tarla Dalal? Therefore, providing your child with the opportunity and space to develop and pursue something that they love doing, might increase the chances for them to make a career out of it.

2. Better academic performance

Spending time on extracurricular activities doesn’t affect academic performance, but rather improves it. Mr Sharma was curious and was forwarded the research paper that shows that students who are involved in extracurricular activities show increased academic performance. This is because providing children with a list of extracurricular activities to choose from and involving them in activities they are interested in can stimulate increased brain function. As a result, they tend to focus more on academics, resulting in better grades.

3. Boosts self-esteem and confidence

Extracurricular activities can help grow positive self-esteem and confidence.

Psychologically, when you involve yourselves in activities that are fun and interesting, there is no pressure whatsoever and you tend to put your utmost efforts into it resulting in rewards. The same goes for children as well. The joy of succeeding in an activity that they are passionate about boosts their self-esteem and confidence. Once they develop this confidence, they are ready to face and tackle challenging situations with a positive approach in every aspect of life.

4. Improved mental health

One of the most underrated benefits of extracurricular activities, especially during the entire lockdown has been its role in improving mental health.

Student life can sometimes become very stressful due to regular workloads, new academic challenges and pressures to fulfil expectations. As a result, students may suffocate mentally affecting their personal as well as academic lives. Extracurricular activities act as a stress buster and provide children with the much-needed break that they deserve.

Moreover, extracurricular activities help students to chill out in a controlled environment so they can get back to academics in a more relaxed and confident state of mind.

5. Creates social opportunities

One of the most exciting parts of extracurricular activities is getting to know like-minded people and developing friendships, that lasts forever. Ahaana was now best friends with Khanak, who she met in an online baking workshop.

Normally, finding and interacting with like-minded people is a challenging task for students. They are generally pre-occupied with academic workload and there is very little scope with peers of common interest. Since extracurricular activities for kids are usually group-oriented, children can easily find like-minded peers to interact and hang out with.

6. Developing essential life skills

Among all the benefits of extracurricular activities, one of the most important benefits is developing essential life skills such as:

  • Commitment
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Analytical thinking
  • Leadership

These skills are automatically developed when children are exposed to extracurricular activities that they are passionate about. Unlike academics, these skills are not restricted to the workspace and can be used to tackle practical and real-life problems.

The sun had now set. The chai was about to get over. It was getting late but Mr Sharma now knew more about the benefits of extracurricular activities than he ever did. The parents looked at each other, nodded and passed a big bright smile — they knew it was an eventful evening, a step towards their child’s bright future.

We think Mr Sharma will speak to his son later tonight, will you?

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