Life has changed for all of us across the globe, and our children are hit hard too, spending all their time cooped up indoors; anxious, perplexed as many are unaware of how severe this pandemic and this second wave is.
As parents, it can get overwhelming to dabble into too many things, there are household chores to client deadlines to be met and to top it all the children are seeking attention more than ever.
Have gadgets become the best friends to your child too?
Listing here some interesting ideas to make these summer holidays memorable for you and your children!
Best Summer Activities Ideas
Gardening– A brand new toy does bring instant happiness, but what happens after few hours, or minutes? The toy lies abandoned in one corner. Gardening however is a very calming activity, so get a gardening tool kit, some pots, soil, and seeds and let your children experience the joy of growing their own food.
Make funny, quirky planters out of plastic and tin bottles or cans and let your child use these for gardening. Get them into a routine of taking care of their plants by watering and weeding regularly
Art- Create an art corner for your family, have frequent family art sessions inspired by traditional folk art forms or inspired by famous artists or you could simply be yourself.
Cooking & baking Most children enjoyspending their time in the kitchen, what more if you together prepare their favorite dishes. Some easy-to-cook things are sandwiches, salads, summer coolers. You can also teach your child to roll chapatis/paranthas or prepare laddoos. Cooking offers tactile stimulation, is also very good for fine motor skills and hand and eye co-ördination. There are a number of things children can learn from cooking, they learn about measurements, counting like we are making 5 chapatis or 10 laddoos or 1 loaf of bread, and cooking can even teach about shapes.
Hand-building pottery: Creating things out of nothing is a magical process, requiring hard work, patience, and creativity. Get started with playdough or children’s clay, if you see your child having fun get potters clay. If you have access to potters clay, you can get started with it, else you can order it online. Potters’ clay is also available on amazon. It is an interesting activity for both, kids and adults alike!
Book reading or Storytelling: Reading and storytelling make children imaginative. Do try to spend at least 30 minutes every day reading with your child. Make reading a calming and soothing affair for your child, choose a time after an active phase. Reading after lunch or dinner will be a great time as children are exhausted and there are fewer distractions around that time.
Byju’s Kids Camp ’21
Along with the ideas shared above, do explore Byju’s kids Camp ‘21; a summer camp that will keep them constructively engaged with fun activities, games, and much more. The children have fun and at the same time learn Mathematics, languages and do DIY activities. facilitators at Byju’s Kids Camp ’21 are trained and experts in their respective domains, making sessions fun and interactive with minimum guidance and interference from parents.
Why choose Byju’s Kids Camp?
Summer Camp helps children become confident speakers
Summer Camp improves their communication skills
Keeps them engaged for a longer period
Children learn new things
Children get to see and interact with different people
What makes Byju’s different?
Did you know your child could check Byju’s The Learning App to see and study the portions he missed during his online classes? Download Byju’s The learning app to explore a world full of learning. Also, parents don’t forget to visit Parent Plus on Byju’s app and website. Parent Plus has a plethora of articles on parenting and much more.
This is a guest post by Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd).
The Mumbo Jumbo of Personality
Wow! She has a terrific personality, but… what about me?
Do I look good? Am I cool enough? Here, we have a mini personality and personal development plan, little inspiration for all moms feeling lack of self confidence.
Well, if you have ever run any of these three questions in your head, then read on. By the time you finish reading, you would have a smile on your face, a spark in your eyes and additional energy in your gait. what I talk about here is not only about personality, but selfcare and holistic personal development.
Personality is all about a beautiful smile, a wonderful heart and open arms. As we run through this page, let us figure out this personality gig. We may not know each other, but we are all sisters, helping each other build stronger images of our own selves. These are a few pointers which I keep reminding myself as I look at the girl in the mirror and as I experience the seasons of life, because after all it is about looking within for inspiration.
Building the girl in me, the woman I respect.
Who am I?
Love yourself, love your size, shape, complexion, skin and hair. What the beauty industry tells you is meant only for the beauty industry. Beauty of a woman lies in her smile, patience, compassion, feelings, thoughts and actions.
Throw these things out of the window: guilt, low self-esteem, ‘I’m not good enough’. Give yourself a hug and usher in, ‘I am sooooo beautiful’, ‘I love myself’, ‘It is OK that I made a few mistakes, I have learnt my lessons and am growing wiser’.
2. Dress de-stress
Clean ironed clothes of any style are good.
For interviews: If you love Indian wear, have at least one formal kurta with a simple dupatta that can be slung on a single shoulder. A plain saree always looks classy. If western wear, a formal trouser with a light coloured shirt goes well. Hair tied up in a bun gives a tidy look.
Have a black and brown pair of formal bellies. A pair of sport shoes. These would be adequate, unless you love fashion. I’ve never had more than 5 pairs of footwear.
3. The walk, the talk, the unspoken
Walk, talk, sit straight… have a good posture. Yoga, walks, exercise, breathing techniques help.
Stand against the wall for back correction. Practice walking while balancing a paper glass on your head. I’ve always admired the rustic village girls with earthen pots on their heads, what stride, what style and charm!
4. Practice what you speak and how you speak:
Clear well-formed sentences with the right tone / modulation are tools of expression.
What language you speak is not important, ability to speak English is over emphasized. Be proud of your mother tongue.
Silence works well when you are angry, tired or irritated. Let that moment pass. All humans must master to express their feelings and opinions.
Say what you like or dislike, but rationally and respectfully. It is a helpful skill to master the ability to express your feelings and your needs.
Create ‘me time’. Invest in it. It could be listening to music with a face mask/pack or sipping tea by your window after a good shower.
Give time to your hobbies- trekking, reading, dancing, shopping (no indulgence, only moderation)!
Select a beautiful and happy picture of yours, preferably with someone you love. It could be your childhood photograph with your grandparents or anything that makes you feel that you are you. Use that as your WhatsApp / FB profile picture. You will begin to be more accepting of what and who you are, of the wonder God has created of you.
6. This is what I can be:
Learn a skill, master it. It is better if it is related to your interests: cooking, drawing, singing, studying, oratory, dressing up well, computers, mantra recital, mathematics, spiritualism, reading, working professionally. It may be related to art or craft / academics / professional knowledge. Invest your time and energy in learning / gaining knowledge/ empowering yourself. You would be a better version of yourself by trying and stepping forward.
Start reading the newspaper / news app to be aware of current affairs. Reading nurtures the mind.
Learn how to ride a scooter / cycle/ motorcycle/ car / jeep, to be able to be independent to meet your daily requirements.
Be fearless. Make mistakes. Try, learn, grow.
7. The plastic glam girl, I wouldn’t be:
Remember that fashion shows, television programmes, other people’s Facebook and Instagram posts, brands don’t rate our personality or define who we are. We are, who we are. We define our own standards of excellence.
8. Me and my people:
Have at least one friend who you respect. Respect is different from love, laughter, fun. Filter out / restrict time with friends who make you feel inferior. Better to have friends who accept you with your flaws and nurture you.
Work on all your relationships joyfully. We all work on friends and relatives. By ‘all’, I mean your maid, neighbours, hawkers, shop keepers, school teachers and all people in the community.
Work on your relationship with God. It need not be ritualistic. Simple heart to heart communication when you hit the bed each night and after your bath. It is a fool proof solution for all personality traits!! He guides, leads, protects and shepherds. Prayers are a tool to further our plans. Prayers are a weapon to fight our follies and roadblocks.
Stay in touch with your parents, children, friends and teachers wherever you may be. They will build you up in your downtime, encourage you when you need them, show you the righteous path when you can go astray, bring out your grey areas when you falter and love you unconditionally.
9. The party begins:
Enjoy your outings, dress up in a way that makes you feel beautiful. It may be your favourite perfume or lipstick or none at all!
If you drink, ‘enjoy ‘your own drink, don’t go over board to please friends with a one more, one more.
Be the person in charge and in control of what your feel / think / speak and do. Don’t go overboard in anything.
Use the magic words: thank you, sorry, may I, please, excuse me. Warm gestures, generous smiles, good manners add an aura to every personality. Help, whenever you can.
Pray. Love and peace within, radiates love and peace around.
The above is the essence. These practices may take time to develop, so, there are some quick solutions too.
The instant solution to deal with peer pressure:
If you want a quick one, wear a pair of goggles, wash your hair well and leave it open, wear your favourite dress, your loved lipstick, sit at the steering wheel, click a pic and post on FB!! It’ll give you a high!! 😊😊.
Rethink. Give this one a thought.
Write down what according to you is personality.
What makes you feel that you need personality development? What is it that you feel you lack?
Is it others who make you feel that you need to work on your personality. Do you think they are right or could they be wrong?
Most important: What is it that you feel if you gain you will have a good personality. Can these traits be learnt / practiced? Do you need others help for this or only your will power and practice?
Rethink over, who you are, what you are meant to be, and how you can rise to your full potential. Work on it!
I’m not qualified or trained to write this. My only ‘experience’ in the field is being a 42-year-old married woman with 2 kids and all bag and baggage that life offers.
Love and light,
Lt Cdr Vibhuti Agarwal (Retd).
Vibhuti is an author of a book, The Inner Chord, printed in 2003. She is a dreamer, a lover, a poet, a writer and often smitten by the wander lust, explores the countryside with her family.
This pandemic has tested everyone’s limits; especially when it comes to engaging the kids. Going out, family outings, movie and shopping is all stalled thanks to this novel Corona Virus.
The kids are getting bored and anxioux; while I am an advocate of free play, we definitely need to have some activities in place in order to keep them occupied for at least some part of the day.
Sharing here some bonding activities that you do not need to shell out any money for and these are easy and simple without requiring advance planning.
Shadow play: Remember those frequent long hours of power-cuts from your childhood? Yes, you know what I mean here, you don’t need to wait for a power cut. Just turn off the lights and play. Create your own stories. Take this game a step forward, make shapes out of cardboard or any thick paper. Use your hands, or any other prop for shadows. You could even make puppets out of old socks. We make broom from chart-papers and we a have a witch-hat, all perfect for room on the broom play. I even went ahead with creating a mini shadow theatre for my son out of a big amazon carton. Don’t forget to share the stories about power-cuts from your childhood, my son loves it when I talk about my childhood incidents and share those memories.
Create a home spa- You could have fun converting a small corner of your house into a home salon or spa. We recently did nail art activity together with pretend play where I was obviously the artist. We often turn the bath times into pedicure times. I pretend to be the beautician and my little one becomes my client. Waiting for the times when we would reverse the roles and I could demand a nice foot massage
Pillow Fight: Another one from our childhood, wondering how to let your kid vent out his/her aggression? Simply engage in a pillow fight. Make your own rules, simple or silly. Better still, ask your kids to make the rules and play along.
The tickle game: May not be everyone’s favourite, but yes 5 minutes of this laughter therapy are good enough. We recently started playing the “Tickle game” before our afternoon quiet time/nap time. I call it quiet time because my son doesn’t let me nap, not that he remains quiet around that time, it is just that I wish to get some quiet, restful moments before starting evening chores.
Camping at home or in your backyard: Camping is fun, just the thought of it is so refreshing and fills your mind with adventurous ideas. But what to do when you can’t camp for real? Camp at home, yes, inside your home or in your backyard!! Make your tent out of chairs, clothes drying stand etc. find a spot in the house that has good sunlight and ventilation and set-up your tent there. Prepare everything like you would for a day if you were to go camping. You could prepare some of your and your kids favorite dishes. Keep the whole family off screen for those few hours or that whole day/night. Make sure your tent is big enough for all to snuggle up at night. Keep enough pillows to make it cozy. Get a board-game, prepare some camping songs and you could also do a treasure hunt in your house. At night put some fairy lights and use your flashlight to read bed-time stories, we love doing shadow plays even inside the tent.
Hide and seek and Dark Room: We often play these two games. Mostly just my son and me. However these can be fun if there are more family members involved.
Family water play: Kids love water and so do some adults. If your bath area is big enough, just get in your swim suits and get that shower on and enjoy some splashing and playing with bubbles or soapy froth. To add to it you could arrange for some disco lights and music.
Did you like these ideas, please share which one you liked the most. If you have tried anything exciting do share it with me, I would love to try those too, after all time spent with your family is worth every second.
We thank Priya Kathpal, Founder Nutrify for this article.
Priya is a Nutritionist with over 15 years of experience. She works with health and fitness enthusiasts, people with medical conditions like diabetes, PCOS, hypothyroid and other lifestyle disorders, sportspeople and children. I happened to attend one of Priya’s workshop and that is where I could get all the insights for this article.