Forced to keep your little ones at home because of the sweltering heat? Are they bored doing the same activities? Here’s what you can do to ensure they have maximum fun inside the four walls
By Kavitha Ravi
Four-year-old Heena has been pestering her mother to let her spend time in the outdoor play area within their apartment complex. As school is out, she seems to have run out of ideas to use her time productively at home. Heena’s mother is at her wit’s end as it is too hot to let her daughter out in the blazing afternoon sun. To her dismay, many of the other children in the complex are on a family trip or have gone to their grandparent’s place. The little girl’s mother is trying hard to devise ways to keep her occupied and happy indoors.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation during the summer holidays? It is a problem that a majority of urban, nuclear families face when schools are closed for the vacations. Your preschooler might not care too much about the weather outside. She would love to frolic in the sun and keep playing outdoors till bedtime. But being out in the sweltering heat for long can have adverse effects on the body. It can lead to a whole host of problems such as rashes, headache and severe dehydration, which can result in hospitalisation.
Devise some interesting and unique activities indoors so your child can have just as much fun inside the house, as she does outdoors. Here are 10 offbeat activities to try:
There is absolutely no one on this planet who does not love bubbles. While it would be great to have your children chasing bubbles in a nice park somewhere, bubbles are in fact quite indoor-friendly as well. Let them make their own DIY bubble blowers and liquid using water and soap solution. You can keep children occupied for a good while chasing and popping these magical wispy nothings.
Getting lovely handmade cards from cute kindergartners can make anyone’s day. Imagine how delighted your relatives, especially the children’s grandparents will be to receive these beauties. Let them think of their own ideas and use their creative skills to make interesting cards that express their feelings. Suggest they use leaves, dried flowers, ferns, twigs and other items from the outdoor environment to give a beautiful twist to these cards.
Nothing can get preschoolers going like dancing to their favourite songs. You can surprise them with this activity as it doesn’t require too much preparation on your part. Just cue up appropriate dance numbers and start moving to the beat. Encourage your child to invite other children in the neighbourhood or apartment to share in the fun. You can have some healthy snacks for after as well if you want to go the extra mile.
Summer is the ideal time to put your best board game forward. When your children get fidgety and restless, bring out age-appropriate board games for children and watch them expand their minds trying to crack a puzzle or figure out a clue. Encourage them to be imaginative and make their own board games or puzzles and set the rules for it. Game on!
This activity can awaken the creative genius in your children. You can get your children to make finger puppets with a little help from you. Then you can put on a finger puppet show for the rest of the family. Your children can come up with a concept for the show and you can help fine tune their ideas.
An indoor obstacle course can be just as fun as an outdoor one minus the heat. It just involves some rearranging of furniture on your part. Your kids can build a great obstacle course from in their bedrooms to the corridors and the living room with just pillows and cushions.
This maybe an oldie but it is still a goodie. Pencil and paper games have been entertaining children the world over for centuries and they have stuck around for a reason. They are easy to play and engaging as well. Games like name, place, animal and thing, and hangman are some great examples.
Indoor picnics are a great way to while away time and get some food into your child if he is a fussy eater. Spread out a blanket in the middle of your hall and get your child to pack some of his favourite food items – let him decide what he wants to pack based on what’s in the kitchen and in the fridge. If you have time, make some quick, healthy bites to add to the goodies he has already picked. her around the blanket, read comics, play simple games. Enjoy the next few hours chatting, playing and eating.
Children are intelligent storytellers and good at spinning a yarn with many elements. All they need is encouragement. Write down some random words on chits and put them in a jar. Ask your little one to pick a few chits one after the other and as she gets the words, let her go along building as funny and unbelievable a story as possible. It can also be a family activity, where all members get together and read some passages from famous stories and try to give it an unexpected twist ending. It will also be a good way of building your child’s vocabulary.
Turn your hallway into an indoor bowling alley by placing some bottles and using a rubber ball to bowl them over. You can fill up these bottles with water or sand if they seem to tumble over easily. Let them create a racket, as long as they agree to do the clean-up later. Children will love this game and you can give the winners a little treat at the end of it.
Children can become lazy over the summer holidays if you let them. With the sun beating down mercilessly on us, it might be an easy thing to just give your children a mobile phone or sit them down in front of the television all day long. But where is the fun in that? Get them involved in these indoor activities and play along with them to make summer holidays a memorable part of their lives.
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