parenting, Uncategorized

Interesting Summer Break Activities For Kids

Our kids take us back to our own childhood. Summers are approaching and I can’t stop thinking about how as a child I would wait for the summer break and that long 2-3 days train journey to my native place, a tiny town in Uttarakhand, where relatives and cousins doted on us. We would gang up and go for short treks, put on fire in the woods and cook maggi, we climbed trees and made dishes and toys out of clay(mitti)

Times have changed and our kids probably won’t experience what we did, however our attempt should always be to engage them constructively and let them be close to nature.

If you have no extravagant plans for this summer holiday or you are unable to take your kids to their granparents home, here are a few things that you can surely do to add fun and value to their summer break.

1. Gardening-  A brand new toy may give instant joy but an activity such as gardening will have an everlasting impact on your child.
You do not necessarily need a huge garden space, a small balcony with few pots can do the works too.

Try taking your kids to the nursery and engage them while you buy stuff for preparing your garden. Talk to them about flowers, bees and butterflies and about seeds and vegetables. Buy seeds as well as a few plants. Try including season specific flowers,fruits/ vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes etc. and herbs like basil, mint, ajwain and curry leaves.

You could also consider trying the famous “touch-me-not plant” (mimosa pudica or chhui-mui). Then there are other plants like tulips and hibiscus that have flowers blooming during the day and closing during the nights. Including these in your plants will keep the interest and curiosity piqued.

You could buy seeds online from Amazon too, checkout the link here

A mini landscaped garden on a large tray or tub will not only make your kid ecstatic but will also accentuate your balcony or terrace.

Upcycling old dishes, wine bottles etc to keep plants is a good idea as well. Tyres and old shoes too can be used for plants. Succulents would look lovely planted in boots or in your worn out stilletoes.

Let your kid’s creativity take over, trust me you’ll be surprised with the ways they think and things they can create.
Get them into a ritual of watering and weeding the plants.
The sheer joy of seeing a flower bloom or a new fruit come to life is inexplicable, let them experience it.

 

2. Hand building pottery or wheel pottery- long long ago when the potters wheel wasn’t invented, people made clay dishes and articles with hands. Pottery is therapeutic, and you can create almost anything with clay. Enroll for a class together with your child or experiment at home with clay watching online videos.

 Pottery teaches many life lessons too, requires one to be gentle and patient. The process of baking teaches us rigourous test we may have to go through in life, it also teaches us to deal with loss of things that we create with love.

If you can, do enroll for a parent child hand building pottery workshop in your city. For people in Noida and closer areas you could check out claying thoughts.

3. Big canvas painting or wall painting
You could have a dedicated wall for your child to let out his/her creativity, alternatively you could get a large canvas if wall isn’t an option. Let it be free-hand, unguided piece of work.
If it were to me, I would make sections for each week and let my child draw/paint about his days, highs and lows of the week. Once the vacation is over the entire canvas or wall will be a  dramatically exuberant display of work.
4. Crafting/ making best out of the waste- kids love crafting activities. I remember how enthusiastic I have always been about making cards, Rakhis, decorating diyas etc. Let your child get engaged in these activities. Plan one for each week.
Make greeting cards for upcoming birthdays, envelopes, bags etc that can be used in the coming year. Try to upcycle or repurpose existing stuff instead of spending on new expensive crafting supplies.
 
5. Writing letters to classmates teachers grand parents
Letter writing is a beautiful practice that is almost extinct. If not for us, our child would probably never know the joy of a paper with messages from loved ones.
Once in a week sit with your child, if they can write let them pen down their thoughts; if they can’t write yet, have them talk about the week gone by and their activities through the week and pen it down for them.
 
Create interest in letter writing by giving them letter pads, ink pens and cute stationery. Talk to them about your times and how crucial a role letters and telegram played back then.
6. Sewing, stitching, crocheting, embroidery or knitting
Your child may not be ready for it yet, but seeing you create something will have him/her intrigued.  Try basic stitching or crocheting. Make things that your child can use. Like a pen/pencil purse, simple table mat or clothes for dolls cloth puppets and dolls. This basic life-skill will not only help your child in bettering fine-motor skills and hand and eye coordination but will also be helpful in the longer run of life.
7. No flame cooking-
This is one activity that can be done almost everyday.
 
Wondering what to include? Well there are plenty of options like salads, sandwiches, canapes, chutney and pickles.
Along with basic preparations you could try food art too. Check out this link to get some food art ideas.
This activity could be done around mid-day meal time or evening snack time.
8. Book reading and Story telling with friends
Book reading can make an interesting exercise if you include friends and family members. Invite your child’s friends, make a group and use props and puppets for story telling. Let other parents too pitch in to help, have snacks or some goodies ready for kids. You could also turn this into a book sharing activity between the kids.
9. Picnics once in a week or fortnight- As a child I loved going out for picnics and I am sure kids these days would enjoy family outings just as much as we did.
If you are in Mumbai, here is a list of few places you could consider taking your little one – picnic spots in Mumbai
10. Make a routine to feed pigeons, stray dogs especially if you do not have a pet. Let your child experience the joy of giving.
11. Participating in social service activities- If you have time during your kid’s summer break, try engaging in some social service activity, cleaning your society and areas around,  joining an NGO with your child, supporting an orphan house or an old age home. These small acts can teach big lessons of benevolence to your growing kid.
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