New Skills Your Child Could Learn This Summer

Summer vacations are all about fun, games and road trips. But, it's also a great time to teach your child some new skills. Here's a list of activities that'll make sure he learns while having fun.

By Hannah S Mathew

New Skills Your Child Could Learn This Summer

A song by Cliff Richard goes like this -

“Everybody has a summer holiday, doin' things they always wanted to

So we're going on a summer holiday, to make our dreams come true.”

Summer holidays are a time to make up for lost opportunities, catch up with friends and relatives, learn new skills, do charity work, connect with nature and so much more. Your child’s summer vacations can be a time for true learning. Here's a list of fun activities that'll keep him engaged and help him learn some new skills.

Life skills

These skillsare essential to ensure your child’s success at school, as well as later in life. Here are some activities that'll help him master them.

1. A tale's tail end

Ask your child to construct an alternative ending for a story that she has read, or that you’ve read with her. For example, the story of Cinderella could end with the heroine becoming a queen who sets silly rules for all stepmothers in the kingdom. Choose more complex stories for older children and try this activity with movie endings too. This task will teach her to be imaginative. 

2. Arrange, rearrange

This task will help improve your child’s flexibility and organising skills. Gather all his toys or books and stationery and put them in the centre of the room. Then, ask him to think of best ways to organise his things. Advise him on what is feasible and not feasible and let him go ahead with his plans.

3. Home alone

Give your child the responsibility of doing basic house chores one day while imagining that she is home alone, (like the movie Home Alone) so she has to do them without any help. Ask her to do her own laundry, water the plants, feed the fish, cook simple meals, make grocery lists and plan her schedule for the next day. This activity will teach her to be independent and boost her confidence levels.

Social skills

These skills are crucial for your child to be able to work with a team or build relationships over the years. Even when the communication is virtual, the people involved are real. Invite his friends for sleepovers and parties as you guide him and his friends to try out these games.

1. Cooperative play

This activity requires each child to be cooperative. Whether it’s writing a story, creating a picture storyboard or dolling up and enacting a play, your child and her friends will need to cooperate with each other to complete these activities.

2. Copycat

Ask your child and his friends to stand in pairs while facing each other. The child on the right can do facial or physical movements that his partner, standing opposite him, has to copy. By doing this activity, children not only learn to cooperate with each other but also bond through play.

3. Power presentation

Hand out age-appropriate topics to each child to make a presentation on the subject given to her. For example, children between the ages of two and five years could tackle topics like ‘Favourite foods to eat’ or ‘My favourite moments during the day.’ Children between the ages of six and 10 years can make a presentation on subjects like ‘A trip to the zoo’ or ‘Going to the dentist'. Allow them to draw pictures and prepare a presentation. This activity will help develop their communication skills.

Creative skills

These skills will help your child be innovative and original. Get his creative juices flowing with these fun activities.

1. Gifts for aliens

All you need for this activity is washable paint, glue, ribbons and old paper and plastic items. Ask your child to create a decorative gift to welcome friendly aliens from another galaxy. She can glue the items together and make a unique gift for her extra-terrestrial friends.

2. The birthday singer

Tell your child that you are getting gifts organised for all the upcoming birthdays in the family. And tell him that this time you’d like to gift everyone a song composed by him. Help him compose a one-minute rhyme or a limerick for each person. Record them on your phone and set reminders to send them out on the right days.

3. Dance, dance

Play simple songs like ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ or ‘All Kinds of Everything’ and ask your child to choreograph a dance based on the lyrics and music of the songs. Help her out with the difficult words. Use more complex songs like ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ or ‘Moves like Jagger’ for older children.

Problem-solving skills

Teach your child these skills to help overcome obstacles. These activities will teach children how to think critically and be patient while solving problems.

1. The problem-solver

Make a list of interesting problems in the house and ask your child to come up with a solution for each of them. Your list can include items like the 'tree around the corner that’s drying up' or 'toys lying around the house' or a 'bathroom door that creaks.' Ask him to suggest three practical solutions for each problem and help him solve them.

2. Renovate and innovate

Ask your child to come up with conditions, clues and consequences for popular board games like ‘Snakes and Ladders’ or ‘Twister.’ For example, while playing ‘Snakes and Ladders’ if someone lands on a number that is a multiple of three, that person has to go fetch a snack for all the other players. Older children can create their own board games from scratch.

3. Delegation and rotation

The summer holidays may entail a trip to the beach, a picnic, a visit to the grandparents, a road trip or even spending quality time at home. Give your child the leader’s role to delegate and rotate daily tasks for everyone in the family. The tasks can be anything from packing water to organising games.

Of course, you can create your own summer activities to ensure your child’s recreation during the holidays. Don’t pack the days with activities but make sure he learns something new from every fun task he undertakes. 

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