Come summer vacations and all parents start looking for activities to keep their bundles of joy occupied in the daytime. Once the summer camps/ workshops are over, it is again time to search other activities to keep them engaged throughout the day. Some parents don’t want the children to venture out in the sun and so do not opt for any summer camps at all. But the concern remains to be same: how to keep the children occupied throughout the day at home? If your child is lucky to have company of friends who are not going on an out- station holiday trip, you can try some of these activities at home. So here are ACTIVITIES TO KEEP CHILDREN BUSY DURING SUMMER VACATIONS:
In this summer vacation encourage the kids to open a book bank with their friends as the borrowers. Give them a small corner/ box/ cupboard to create an issue counter. Every child gets to borrow two books and one comic/ magazine for specific days. Tell them to decide some rules and display them near the issue counter/ books box. Anybody who follows all the rules and ends up reading most number of books is declared as the best borrower and gift him with one book he liked the most. Arrange some daytime to discuss the books that kids are reading.
Make a bird house.
Mother Earth needs more sparrows and birds so let the children make a small bird house in the balcony or the lawn with old cartons/ shoe boxes or wooden planks. Let them colour it themselves and keep/ hang it in a corner with some water and fodder for the birds. It is very interesting to watch birds flocking up to drink or sometimes take a dip in the water. You will love it as much as the kid. Don’t worry about the mess they create while making it. You can clean it up together.
Grow a Plant.
Children are taught to save Mother Earth through many ways in their schools. So it will be easy for you to convince the child to grow a plant, water it every day and record its growth through photos/ daily noting. This is a good way to teach the child about the growth of a plant in a holistic way. You improve his awareness about environment, mathematical calculations (counting its height/ shadow’s length) and presentation skills (pasting photos/ making entries in the diary).
Once the children start to grow a plant, the next step of feeding nutrients to it through compost becomes easier. You can motivate them to create compost at home in your kitchen gardens or in a container at home. Use all the peels of vegetables and fruits to put in layers on soil and keep mixing and checking it frequently. Children can visit any Zero Garbage / Compost manufacturing plant to see the process and repeat it in elders’ presence. Use this compost in your gardens as well as community parks. That’s the least you can do to contribute to stop use of fertilizers and pesticides.
Children imitate the habits they see in their parents. Newspapers are a very good tool to playfully educate your children. You can start to show pictures to the young ones. Proceed with the puzzles, horoscopes and TV show timings with the play school children. With the elder ones you can funny games such as reading all the headlines in one go, word search, names search and so on.
Watch a movie.
Some lazy days can be spent watching the child’s favourite movies at home. Make it a complete experience for them by letting them have popcorn, a drink and some interesting snacks like French fries, nachos or momos. If you want you can correlate the books with the movies you show them such as The Jungle Book, The adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Three Musketeers, Adventures of Robin Hood, Heidi, Gone with the Wind, Around the World in 80 days, The Twilight series and/or Harry Potter stories.
Do a Splash Pool Party.
Arrange for a small pool/tub at your terrace, balcony or in the bathroom itself on a sunny day and let them splash some water. Let all the friends pool in some fruity snacks like C-shaped water melons/ marsh melons, litchi/ cherries and definitely mango dices. Play some music and let them enjoy the water dance.
Camping/Star Gazing at night.
Pitch a tent in the garden/on the terrace/in the balcony/corridor and let the children sleep in it for some time gazing stars and constellations at night. Tell them survival stories and interesting things like how to find directions at night, how to survive in the jungles/ enemy territories.
Hold Board Games Competitions.
On sunny days when you want to keep kids inside the house, the best way is to get them hooked on to games such as Chess, Othello, Chocolate Fix, Carom Board or Playing Cards. Fix some prizes for winners such as an extra Ice- cream scoop or an extra mango and see how it keeps them at home. If you feel they are not going to get hooked on show them some impressive biopics such as Queen of Katwe, Birth of Pele, 21 and so on.
Complete Holiday Homework.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to help them to finish their Holiday Homework. I know handwriting pages are the worst, but you can make it interesting by giving them some special treats if they do it well and in specified time. Let them make the models while you can help them with some things such as cutting/ drawing outlines and so on. If not much they will learn at least one new skill or concept. And that will make the whole effort worthwhile.
Summer Vacations are meant not only for camps, extra lessons, home works or visits to tourist destinations! They are also an opportunity to let your child relax, enjoy, prepare and bond with you. Too much of planning and engagements will defeat the very purpose of vacations. So use them wisely as a change will always rejuvenate you and add spice to your and your child’s life. So all these ACTIVITIES TO KEEP CHILDREN BUSY DURING SUMMER VACATIONS will be very useful.
Happy Parenting in Holidays!
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