The kids are on a break but you are definitely not! Children wait for their school to get over but some parents dread the vacations as the dialogues “I am getting bored!”, “what do I do”, “can I watch more television”; keeps ringing in your ears. The approaching school holidays could be stressful for parents as they chalk out the plan to keep the kids busy and entertained. One of the solutions parents usually come up with is to enroll them in summer camps. True, they are great but how about we let our kids relax this time and devise other ways, where along with fun they get an opportunity to try their hand in activities which usually take backseat in order to cope with homework, school projects and exams.
Now that parents have extra time in their hand, summer break is a perfect opportunity to bond with the kids and impart practical lessons of life which even leisure activities can teach us. Here’s a rundown on some pastime which if attempted, could help to develop your kid’s overall personality.
Encourage them to make memories: How beautiful were the good old days when in the name of entertainment we used to rely on the neighborhood park, Isn’t it? Playing on the slides, swinging the swings, getting dirty in the sand was our favorite pass-time. Let’s pep up our little kids to do the same as these carefree days won’t come back again- let them run amok in the garden, pedal their cycles, play in sand, get all the morning sunshine they can. Another beautiful idea is to go for nature-walks together. Every city has well-kept public park where you can indulge in cycling, bird-watching, playing or have a small picnic.
Let the kids enjoy these things to their fullest as they will cherish these memories for life! Imagine, later in in their adulthood, whenever they get bog down by the challenges of life, thinking about the good old days will bring a smile on their face. BTW, don’t forget to take lots of pics of their exploits!
Let them connect with their inner self: I know during summer vacations parents obvious choice is to enroll their kids in summer camps as it enhances kid’s skills in sports, arts etc. But these vacations motivate them to do something which they like, not you. My ten year old is fond of baking and obviously she doesn’t find time to fulfill her love for the hobby during school time. This summer break, I invited her to help me when we baked the cake and cookies together. It’s true, when involved with your kids, you get less free time for yourself but trust me, and it’s worth all the effort!
If you don’t want to compromise on your free time , I suggest you provide your kids with art supplies , building material, some glue and safety scissors and see your child’s creativity getting unleashed. One summer vacation my daughter and her friends made a huge doll-house out of few unused carton boxes. (Don’t mind a messy home though!) Both my daughters are fond of loom bands and three of us get together during daytime to make bracelets and earrings out of it as it’s too hot to go out. Such activities are great stress-busters and foster creativity in your child.
Books are the best companion: Motivate your kids to read, I mean anything worthwhile. The idea is to inculcate a reading habit in them. For that you can enroll yourself in a local library or order age-appropriate books online where there is no dearth of collection and is convenient too, as you won’t have to step out in the harsh sun and get the books delivered right at your doorstep.
Other than the usual Harry Potter and Barbie books, you can also encourage them to read magazines or newspaper so that they remain informed about what’s going on in the world. After all, it’s a great idea to keep their brains sharp even when there are no school assignments.
Meet relatives: I call the summer time as relationship mending time. With families getting nuclear and relatives living far, summer break is an apt time when kids should meet their dada-daadi, naana-naani, maasis, buas, chachas, and other uncle and aunts. This way they feel connected to them and understand the value of a family. Let them feel the love and attachment when they play with their cousins during the break. These loved moments and the emotional relationship establishes strong bond among family members and won’t let them fell lonely later in life.
If meeting relatives is not possible, then organize playdates with their friends.
Encourage them contribute to house-work : I can vouch from my own experience that kids love to do small jobs like dusting, making beds, folding clothes, laying table, cleaning their bicycle, watering plants etc., as it gives them a sense of achievement.
You can also ask them to clean their bookshelves, de-clutter their toy chest and when the job is done, treat them with ice-cream or better still, make your own ice popsicles and enjoy licking it together.
Watching movies, playing board-games, solving jig-saw puzzle, reading books with your kids, visit zoo/farm, local museums or an amusement park are other fun activities you can engage with your kids when the school is out for summers.
I am sure with these endeavors you won’t have to worry about your kids being cooped up inside the home, surfing internet or watching television. Moreover, as a family you will enjoy doing all these activities for which you don’t find time otherwise.