Want to involve your children in some interesting and fun activities before the school routine kicks in? Here are some creative ideas for kids to try this summer
By Vikas Sharma
There are reasons why we have ‘summer break’ in schools. First, it provides ample time to bond with the family. Second, it allows children to explore and indulge in activities for fun and learning. It also helps them gear up for the upcoming academic session.
While many parents take time off for a week or two to go on a vacation with their kids, to hill stations or beaches, a big chunk of the children’s summer holidays may be spent unproductively. This time can be made useful, if planned properly. After all, just because it’s holiday time doesn’t mean kids can’t be creative or productive.
So, here it is. A list of engaging and productive activities for your kids, this summer:
Parents who were born in the 80s and early 90s, would remember and even relate to this! There was a time when summer did not mean watching endless hours of television, being busy on cell phones or indulging in mindless conversations. In those days, it was about getting lost in a book, playing interactive outdoor games, writing letters to pen pals, and so much more. How cool would it be if you could bring back such activities for your kids and let them have a feel of old-school summers. Activities like these are not only incredibly fun but also educational for them.
“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” The decline in the reading habit in children is a cause of concern across the world. Voracious reading plays a central part in developing a child’s cognitive skills and in preparing her for life after school. It helps her develop emotionally, socially, intellectually and culturally. Reading books can help kids develop better SPAG skills (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) leading to better fluency, appreciative vocabulary and a more refined exposure to ideas and concepts; book clubs initiate a better understanding of perspectives that instil participation and discussion. There are many interactive online book clubs that can help your child develop a reading habit in an engaging and fun way, at just click of a button!
If you have a child between the age of 3-5 years, we know you have a lot on your plate! Keeping these cute devils engaged is a herculean task. Coding is not a rocket science and your tiny tot can learn to code while playing a game! Imagine a wooden robot, designed to teach children how to code that doesn’t use screens or require children to know the written word. Play sets that include robots, a physical programming board, colourful coding blocks and so on encourage imagination and exploration. They also provide gender-neutral play that boosts a child’s creativity, critical thinking, spatial awareness and communication skills.
The weather is hot, and we are all used to being in a controlled environment, with the air-conditioning switched on 24/7. But we have all grown up in schools, which were not ‘centrally air-conditioned’ and our immunity seemed to be better than what kids have today. Nobody would want to send out their kids to the park mid-afternoon, but if your kids are concentrating only on indoor activities, it may affect both their physical and emotional health. Whether team-based or individual, sports can build confidence, self-esteem and teamwork skills. Apart from ensuring an active lifestyle, it develops a steady passion for discipline, motivation, and commitment. Parents with no background in sports can enrol their children in a sports club. So, this summer don’t slow down, let the kids enjoy their favourite game.
Today, a very important thing is to encourage children to be responsible towards the environment and help them bond with nature. Free from the distractions of technology, a nature camp for a week can be a big booster in fostering the love for Mother Nature and make them realise the importance of sustainable living. Other benefits of nature camps include - ample time to relax, share, explore and learn a whole lot of fascinating things about nature. Children can also indulge in nature photography and bird watching.
In today’s digital era, we cannot completely move kids off screens, but we can try and ensure that the time is used productively. Using the approach of ‘learn by doing’ in a game-style environment, various online platforms allow children of different age groups to learn various concepts while having fun. With the help of blocks and visualising tools, kids can be taught literally any subject, and this will help them to be better prepared for the new school year.
In the end as parents and educators, it is our duty to pave the path of interactive learning and move kids away from rote learning. Enjoy the holidays!
The author is AVP (Marketing), Eupheus Learning.
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