What are the best extracurricular activities for children?
Ahaana’s summer vacations are about to start, and Mrs. Malhotra is ready to sign her daughter up for after-school activities. She’s spoilt for choices as there is a list of extracurricular activities to choose from and wants Ahaana to learn music, painting, reiki, a new language (maybe French), magic, and so much more. While Ahaana is super excited to learn and explore new things, a question haunts Mrs. Malhotra — what are the best extracurricular activities for Ahaana?
Although it’s exciting to see children learn and develop a passion, how do you decide which is the best one? Does public speaking count or is abacus as an extracurricular activity? Well, the truth is, when you are in a quest to find the “best”, you end up missing out on the most important thing — to focus on your own child. Rather than looking out for something special and for best extracurricular activities, shouldn’t Mrs. Malhotra match an activity to Ahaana’s individual personality?
Best extracurricular activities and personality traits:
– Attention to detail, clarity of thoughts: Ahaana might be a great observer and already has a passion for reading. This has improved her clarity of thoughts and the first thing she always does when she learns a new word is open up a dictionary and understand its meaning. Wait, does that mean Mrs. Malhotra can sign Ahaana up for an online creative writing course? Something that might act as an outlet to communicate her thoughts more effectively and help her become a famous writer, one day?
– Confidence, connection: Unlike some of the other children, Ahaana doesn’t need to be told more than once to recite a Sanskrit shloka when a guest visits the Malhotra house. She is extremely confident and connects easily with everyone she speaks to. A public speaking workshop might be a perfect option for Ahaana this summer vacation and who knows, Mrs. Malhotra might be attending her daughter’s Ted talk some day
– Charismatic, convincing: When covid-19 pandemic hit the country last year, Ahaana went around the society (wearing a mask) and convinced all her friends to start doing the same. It felt like magic — how someone as young as Ahaana could be so charismatic, influencing and was actually able to convince children to do what she truly believed in. These traits do sound like that of a great magician and how cool would it be to sign up Ahaana for one of these courses over the summer?
– Creative, Curious: If not a great observer, Ahaana might be a creative and a curious child, like her friend Pummy’s daughter. She always dances with joy on seeing a rainbow and is known in the family for scribbling the walls with crayons. Probably activities on doodling and painting can be a good start in this case, something that will also help her develop her own style with colors
We can go on and on but what we are trying to say is know your child. You might spend years and years on perfecting their physics but there might be a Salman Rushdie in them that you had no clue about. You might sign them up for four coaching classes to crack the JEE but there might be an M. F. Hussain in them that you had no clue about.
Allow your kids to explore their own passion, their interests as per their individual personality rather than hunting for best extracurricular activities for them. Maybe it won’t get them scholarships at this stage, but what is more important than discovering things your children are genuinely good at and something they can enjoy doing for relaxation and pleasure. Something that they are so passionate about that it might become their career, one day.
Mrs. Malhotra has started to observe Ahaana better now, have you?