Summer holidays are here!! A time of happiness, fun, and frolic that every kid looks forward to. No more homework to submit, no tests or exams to study for, just plain bliss with nothing to do for the next 7 – 8 weeks. However, not having much to do can easily bore a child. Parents need to figure out ways to help their child beat the holiday blues and make it happy, meaningful and memorable for them.
Here are some suggestions on how you can engage your child during a long summer break.
- Go on a vacation! Take a break and go on a vacation with your kids. Use this as a time to bond with your kids. Try going to destinations that are different from your child’s regular environment. Plan a trip by the sea or go to a hill station. If you have the budget, go to a different country. No matter, where you go, traveling helps broadens one’s perspective and worldview. A child is like a sponge, absorbing every little experience they encounter. So decide on a place that will enrich your child’s learning. Build happy memories!
- Visit your relatives: Many families are now living away from their parents and relatives. Nuclear families are the norm. Use this time to visit relatives and grandparents and enjoy some good family time together.
- Take up a sport: Enrol your child in any sporting activity. During summers, many sports camp open up and parents are spoilt for choice. If your child loves swimming, take them swimming. Other choices include cricket, badminton, football, tennis, chess, table tennis and many more.
- Engage in art and craft: Till the age of 5, the creative side of the brain is very active. So give them some paints and art material and lets them creative side run wild. There are several art and crafts sites on the web that give you great ideas age wise on how to play with art and craft.
- Join a music class: Is your child musically inclined? If so, enroll them in a music class. Summer is a good time to get them started as your kids don’t have to focus on their lessons, homework or assignments. If they love to sing, enroll them in singing classes. You can also think of teaching them to play a musical instrument. Nowadays, many institutes offer keyboard, guitar, drums and table classes. Some of these institutes are affiliated with musical universities such as Trinity College London.
- Join a dance class: Some kids love to dance. If your child is one of them, you can consider enrolling them for dance lessons. Many institutes across India offer dancing lessons for kids, especially during summer. You can enroll them in a single dance form or multiple dance forms.
- Cook together: Bring out the chef in your child. It’s always good to teach your child to cook. You can think of simple dishes that do not require the use of fire or a knife. Help them make fruit juices or lemonade. They can also make sandwiches and rolls. You can also give them the pizza dough and let them roll it and add their own toppings. However, always be around the kid when they are in the kitchen. They should not be left unsupervised.
- Go baking: Go to a parent-child baking class. Both of you can enroll in a baking course and whip up some lip-smacking pastries and cakes together.
Go gardening: Does your child enjoy gardening? If so, try gardening with him or her. Plant a small plant and give your child the responsibility taking care of it. You can also build a terrarium. A terrarium is a way of growing plants in a sealed or partially enclosed container made of glass or plastic. A terrarium is easy to make and maintain and your kids will just love the whole process of setting it up. There are many websites and YouTube videos which show you how to make one. So go ahead and make a kid-friendly terrarium.
- Make them read: Summers is a good time to build your child’s reading habits. Inspire your child to read. Take them to a local library or bookshops. Let them buy any book of their choice. This will encourage them to read. You can also think of buying pop up books or books with lots of color and illustration. Readout stories from different topics and maybe even go for a book reading session being held nearby.
- Revise their lessons: Use this time to revise what they learned in the last grade. Set apart some time for revisions. You must fix a time and number of hours to study as per the age of the child. The focus of areas they may have lagged behind. While kids may not like this, it’s a good idea to reinforce what they learned previously so that the coming classes may be easier for them to handle.
- Go out and play: Let them just have fun with their friends. You can take them to a playground nearby or let them just hang around and play some indoor games like caroms or monopoly. In the evenings, they can go for a bicycle ride along with their friends.
- Join a summer camp: Many schools and institutes offer various types of summer camps for parents to choose from. Select a camp that offers meaningful activities and is preferably close to where you stay. Review the program offerings thoroughly and check with parents who have enrolled their kids in this camps previously. Also look into the faculty members and the institute that is conducting the camp.
- Get them to do household chores: Assign small chores for your kids around the house. It can be simple things like setting up the plates for lunch and dinner or placing the newspaper in the allotted slot. You can also take them grocery shopping and then ask them to put away the groceries. They can also help water your plants. Select chores that are appropriate for their age. Chores teach a child to be self-reliant. Children can learn a lot from doing household chores such as taking care of themselves, a home and a family.
While these are some of the ways in which you can keep your child engaged during summer, let them also have some time of their own. Do not overburden your child with activities 24/7 but instead, pick and choose activities as per your child’s interest. Give them time to just relax and do nothing. It is perfectly ok to do so. It takes effort from parents to make holidays really happy and meaningful for your child. By planning a little ahead, you can ensure that your child has a blast this summer.