It’s that time of the year when the mercury keeps rising everyday and so do energy, enthusiasm and excitement levels in kids. Yes, it’s summertime and parents are in a dilemma on how to engage their little battery of energy. Mommies and at times even daddies start their research months in advance to plan out their child’s summer break.
First time mommie, Mrs. Agarwal who has an adorable 4 year old inquisitive and chirpy daughter visited our centre last week and spoke her mind out.
At The Kids Company, we organise sessions for kids with a view to enable learning through an interesting blend of internationally best selling and award winning educational board games, creative LEGO sessions, mind bending and stimulating puzzles, mazes, crosswords, sudokus and many more brain tickling activities.
“Miss, I know I am here to enrol my daughter for a Summer Workshop with you, however I must share the thought running at the back of my mind. Should we as parents plan out our child’s summer break (the way I am doing it) or just let them be?”, Mrs Agarwal asked me, confused.
Here are my thoughts on the same. Mind you, I am a parent first and an educator later.
‘VACATION’ - what thoughts run across your mind on reading that word? Breaking free from routine, fun, positivity, happiness, memories for lifetime!
So your first reaction to this will surely be, “Ok, so we should let our kids be!” However, is just letting them be the answer? We are talking about kids who are a powerhouse of energy and are like a sponge, always hungry for more (unfortunately not always food :))
Here are some pointers which shall help you PLAN your child’s SUMMER BREAK
1. Use this time to engage and expose your child to activities which his/her regular schedule does not permit:
In the pic: A dress stitched by my son for his bear during the winter break!
Let’s face it. Once vacation is over, your child’s schedule is packed with school, attending birthday parties, pre planned set of classes and catching up on homework leaving very little or no time for exploring something new. It could be an ideal time to introduce your child to a new sport, or a hobby (music/origami/stitching) or even visiting some landmark places in your city. It’s quite ironic that there are so many kids who have not visited the museum, aquarium or science centre in their OWN city but would have been to all the tourist destinations in the other cities they have visited!
2. Sprinkle in a little routine to your child’s vacation:
It will help them bounce back to school in no time. School teachers often complain that post vacation they have kids who are dozing off in class, are not attentive, more cranky and take a long time to settle in the class. Don’t wake your child at 7:00 am every day but do set in a little routine in your child’s holidays. Have an exciting schedule : waking up and going to the beach or a park, followed by a playdate, a structured activity in the noon, free play in the evening and some quality family time in the night.
3. Balance indoor & outdoor:
As much as children need and enjoy outdoor play, one must not forget the soaring temperatures. Keep your little ones hydrated and cool by engaging them with some indoor activities like board games, puzzles, role plays, storytime, craft and painting. These activities also help in building their concentration, focus and patience. You could also weave in some educational games to brush up on their concepts and thus making a smooth back to the school transition.
4. Let them get bored too!
It’s not about planning it all for them. Let there be days when you have absolutely NOTHING in store for them. Leave them with their set of toys and imagination. Allowing them to figure out how to entertain themselves is also equally important. That’s the right way to stimulate their creativity.
I remember when my son was 5 years, one noon I couldn’t locate him anywhere in the house only to realise he had made a picnic spot under our dining table with half of my kitchen tools and 3/4th of his soft toys by his side :)
5. Surprise them!
Make impromptu plans like baking a cake, watching their favourite movie at home with a popcorn tub and some ice cream, taking them to a toy shop and letting them pick WHATEVER they want (of course with a pre set budget), inviting their friends over for a pizza party. The sheer joy and memories these small surprises will leave on their minds with these small acts of yours will indeed be PRICELESS!
6. It’s not just your child’s VACATION, it’s yours too!
Lastly, in the process of making it an ideal vacation for your little one, don’t get overwhelmed and forget that it’s your vacation too! Take some time out for yourself. If you stay nuclear, sign up your child for a summer camp for a couple of hours and use that time to pamper yourself. You need some ‘me’ time too!
So all you lovely parents, don’t get worked up in planning an ideal vacation for your child, rather have a stress free and a memorable one!
Disclaimer: All photographs in this article are original and belong to the author. Reproducing them in any form without the permission of the author will not be allowed.
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