What are the benefits of extracurricular activities among early teens?

What are the benefits of extracurricular activities among early teens?

The teenage life has turned out to be more stressful due to added academic pressure and the constant decrease in exercises and fun activities. Today’s educational systems focus more on the theories and presentations that there is barely any space for creativity, play and joy among the teenagers and their companions in the classroom. Research has documented that mental issues have a rise constantly with a parallel decrease in a child’s opportunity to play.

WHY TEENAGE PLAY? With all the physical, mental, emotional and attitudinal changes a teen goes through, he may build the basics of their personality, it still takes up a lot for them. They deal with peer pressure, academics, trying to make their own way between friends and other groups, trying to break free from their parents and always want to do it all on their own. In between all this, they need time to be with themselves, doing things they like and have their own part of the fun.

WHAT’S TEENAGE PLAY? It’s not the playtime we spend a lot for a toddler or a primary school child. Here it is the time for your child where they spend time with their companions or on their own, do what they want to and aren’t given directions to do this or that. It may even be some physical activity or a game of chess. It’s mostly a social activity and they decide for themselves or as a group upon what is to be done.

POWER OF PLAY IN ADOLESCENCE: Teen need time to play and mostly they need time to play in school. It has been studied that these play hours show a decrease in a student’s stress and enhance their performance. It shows it’s the effect on a child’s social skills, emotional and cognitive skills along with their creativity and imagination. So, let’s take a look at each of them and how does play contribute in developing various skills.

1. SOCIAL SKILLS: When a kid plays or spends time with his/her companion it does not happen simply without planning. They got to give and take the different ideas, settle the disagreements, negotiate plans, make rules and enforce them, keep and make promises or commitments and in all these, they understand the social rules and make cooperation between them to the extent possible.

social skills in teens

Doing so, it may result in their group being able to govern their own self and have thought among the members of morality, coordination, autonomous beliefs and democratic thinking. It will make them to be able to work with a group and adjust with the fact that everybody has their own idea and personality different from us.


2. EMOTIONAL AND COGNITIVE SKILLS: A playful behaviour is said to have a positive effect on a child’s brain and learning capabilities. When you promote playtime, kids get a chance to understand their own preferences and interests. There may be distractions, pressure and even certain misinformation, which the kid will eventually learn to deal with.

They will develop a balance between work and play and grow empathy for their companions which may be an emotional growth. Remember, physical education classes, don’t deliver the same benefits as there is no direction  given or boundaries setup onto the child’s activity.

3. CREATIVITY AND IMAGINATION SKILLS: Based on the research, in 6th and 7th-grade students created government structure for imaginary countries, came up with their survival kit for different climatic conditions and travel to different countries on the map drawn on a playground. In this way, they had opportunities to think out of the box, be creative and learn with fun.

When involved in creative play, students get to foster creative thinking, problem-solving, independence, and perseverance along with the qualities of ownership and competence. When they engage in their own imaginations they will be more motivated and interested in learning.

Therefore, when we include purposeful play in education and also outside the schooling hours, it helps kids to be refreshed and feel more joyful, creative and involved. This will serve a purpose in the future education systems and eliminate quite a few teenage challenges.

The parents could try to remove the ineffectiveness of formal schooling and let teens have their play after school if required. Sometimes kids take play as a lesson to deal with life challenges and learn these lessons on their own which could be termed as an experience they get.


1. Not just toddlers but teens need play too.
2. It could be any activity, academic task which involves fun or simply hanging out with friends.
3. It is the time when the kid can be themselves and not be instructed about what to do.
4. It helps the child learn social skills when interacting with others on their own.
5. It also enhances emotional, cognitive and imaginative skills when trying to coordinate and come out with the best of solutions.

What are the benefits of extracurricular activities among early teens








Malathi A Ganesh is a B. Com Graduate, NTT, M.A (Lit), PGDEA (PG in Education Administration), PGDCA (PG Diploma in Computer Application), DTE (Diploma in Teaching English), ICEPT (International Certificate in Education Preschool Teaching) from Singapore and B. Ed. She has been in the field of education for the past 20 years and has an experience of running her own pre-school She is the Founder & Director Academics of Smartkidz Educare India Pvt Ltd with 275+ play schools Pan India. She is an Educationist and a Child Psychologists by profession who wants to fulfill her dream of giving Quality Education to children in their earlier years. She is also into conducting positive parenting workshops, which talks about effective child rearing. She has conducted numerous parenting workshops in all her pre schools, schools and MNC’s.

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