If you’re wondering how to keep your child busy this summer without spending too much, check out these pocket-friendly ideas!
By Vijaishri Aniruddhan
Summer has brought with it the unbearable heat. It has become impossible for children to play at the park or run around the backyard. So, it’s quite a challenge to keep your toddler occupied and that too within your budget! Here are a few low-cost summer activities for your child that will keep her engaged and let her have fun while learning something new.
Cost: Rs. 300-500
Buy: Non-toxic finger painting kit
Finger painting is an activity that will instantly grab your toddler’s attention. It will prompt your child to use two of his senses: touch and sight. Your child will be able to explore patterns with his hands and improve dexterity. He will also learn to differentiate between the various colours and learn about the effects of colour mixing.
Developmental tip: Painting helps a child express her emotions. During painting, both sides of the brain get activated. This helps improve the child’s ability to process logic and also spurs the creativity in her.
Cost: Rs. 350-500
Buy: An inflatable pool
Water fascinates children, especially if you let them drench themselves in it. On the one hand, it is a soothing pass-time for summer, while on the other it ensures your energetic, curious toddler is occupied. An inflatable pool is about a metre in diameter or less and can fit into your bathroom. This will ensure you have minimal cleaning trouble. You can also fill the little pool with various child-friendly objects like a ball, toys, spoons, dried leaves, etc. You can add bath bubbles to make it a more interesting experience for your child.
Developmental tip: The sink and floating toys will kindle the curiosity in your toddler to explore and learn.
Cost: Below Rs. 100
Buy: Flour, salt, food colours
Children like to explore with their playthings. They tear, crush and break the things you give them. So when you give your child some colourful clay, he is attracted to its soft, moldable texture and starts playing with it. He will poke it, throw it around, squish it and will be delighted when it yields to all his demands. If your toddler accidentally tries to swallow the clay, it will not harm him because the clay models are made entirely out of edible products. All you need is flour, salt, some food colour, water and a saucepan. Heat the water, dissolve salt and food colour and stir in the flour until it forms a firm dough.
Developmental tip: Clay modelling helps the child learn about textures, shapes, and cause and effect relationships.
Cost: Rs. 200-300
Buy: Soil, pot, seeds
While your toddler may not be able to do gardening by herself, helping you when you are gardening will be a great learning experience for her. It will help her bond with nature and learn valuable lessons. Your little one can help you water the plants, dig up a hole to plant a seed, and pluck the flowers that bloom.
Developmental tip: Gardening will help your child understand the food she eats and the importance of toiling to reap benefits.
Cost: Rs. 200-400
Buy: Play Piano
Children love sounds, especially loud ones. Play piano is a toy version of the real piano, with five-six different keys in bright colours. Your child, in addition to having fun, will associate each key’s colour with its musical note and start understanding rhythm and beats.
Developmental tip: Music has long been associated with the ability to do mathematics and boost memory. While your toddler may be too young for school, music puts them on the right path for cognitive development.
Cost: Under Rs. 100
Buy: Pen and Paper
All you need is a paper and a pencil. Draw dots to form alphabets, numbers and shapes, and ask your toddler to connect them by drawing lines. Your toddler may not understand the meaning of those characters, but they will be naturally intrigued to draw lines with a pencil, and explore.
Developmental tip: Even if your child gets creative and starts doodling, it will still her explore and learn.
Make summer fun for your children by engaging in some low-cost activities. Know more by going through this ClipBook.
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