Vikas has over 12 years of experience in Product Management & Development spanning from hands-on software development to managing web-scale product portfolio. He has proven expertise in both building new products/services & scaling the existing ones effectively. Vikas is an MBA from IIM Bangalore and B.Tech. (Computer Science) from NIT Allahabad.
The student years of a person comes to define him for the rest of his days. It is during this tender age, one tends to pick up life skills and develop cognitive abilities. The skills around basic language, reasoning ability and quantitative aptitude are shaped within the classroom throughout their teenage years. A comprehensive study of myriad aspects of science, history, geography, mathematics, ethics and social science satiates a child’s curiosity and provides him with an outlook towards the big, competitive world. However, classroom learning does not extend to all facets of life. Leadership, teamwork, communication, time and emotion management, innovation and creativity and the art of general well-being are some of the most indispensable life skills that classroom learning does not cover.
What then incorporates such indispensable life skills in children, if books cannot? Extracurricular activities, of course! Contrary to the general belief that extracurricular activities are counter-productive, partaking in recreational activities works effectively to facilitate the all-round development of an individual through the promotion of holistic learning. Extra-curricular activities aid the development of various aspects of personality development known as SPICE, which stands for social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional skills. The fundamental lesson about learning from society and giving back to it is indoctrinated through participation in various group extracurricular activities. In fact, in this era of cut-throat competition, extracurricular activities are more important than they have ever been.
A Part of Institutionalized Learning
Extracurricular activities are very much a part of institutionalized learning because of the value addition they come with. Besides what books have to offer, group recreational activities simulate real-world situations and problems and allow children to assimilate decision-making skills and shape their outlook towards situations. Children get to learn and understand collective behaviour and pick up some of the most essential life skills in the process. Social, intellectual, physical, creativity and emotional developments are a part of the overall personality developments that extracurricular activities bring about in a child.
Social skills- Developing social skills through group activities like team play helps children to learn better communication, sharing, cooperating, listening, following directions, respecting personal space and exhibiting sportsmanship. These skills come to define how one interacts with the people around them, makes friends and sustains friendships and relationships. Social skills are a crucial part of skills that are required for personality development as they help children develop confidence, exhibit boldness, and encourage expressiveness.
Physical Skills- The idea of gaining physical skills through extracurricular activities is to be able to perform a wide range of movements with the best possible techniques. Performing physical activities like yoga, dance, running, climbing etc. improves fine and gross motor skills and enhances their physical strength. Participation in physical activities can help children improve their immunity & stamina, express themselves through gestures and movements and increase their mental alertness, thereby boosting their mood and energy.
Intellectual Skills- They are defined as one’s ability to process and organize information and data given to them. Critical thinking and the ability to analyse and interpret information, checking the information for intellectual bias and finding the most effective method for problem-solving are some of the important intellectual skills that one can acquire through participation in extracurricular activities. Children can improve their intellectual skills by participating in debate, extempore, internships, workshops and quizzes.
Creativity- The development of creative skills is necessary for every child to stand out from the crowd. Through extracurricular activities, a child gets to flex his creative muscles that can help him identify and exploit opportunities for growth and innovation. Creative skills facilitate thinking out-of-the-box and developing something by applying the highest degree of creativity. The incorporation of creative skills to strike a balance between desires and objectives is how one can get a creative edge over the others.
Emotional Intelligence- It is the aspect of emotional well-being, which needs attention and recognition right from the early years of childhood. Improved emotional intelligence means a better ability to manage and take cognizance of your feelings. In fact, a higher emotional quotient would lead to better academic performance, stronger social skills, better stress management and fewer behaviour issues. Activities like art, music, dance and meditation can develop emotional skills in children in their leisure time.
Extracurricular activities can indeed help children flourish into more responsible beings. Learning some of the greatest life skills via recreational activities is a surefire way to remember and apply the same to condition their pattern of behaviour in the best way possible. That said, striking the right balance between work and play could help a child bloom into a socially responsible and emotionally mature adult.