Summer vacation means long boring days and endless hot afternoons in India. It also means kids all over the house, running rampant because it is too hot to go outside. While a short trip to the hills does soothe the heated heads, it’s only make-shift respite because, before you can say, “hot” you are back in the burning plains.
Kids end up feeling claustrophobic and drowsy all day because of lack of activity. It is not at all sensible to make them go outside in the heat to run around especially if you live in North India where the mercury has been static at 40 and above, often rising up to 46 degree Celsius.
How to keep the youngsters reigned in is a question that becomes every parents’ nightmare once the schools shut their gates for summer vacations. Here are some ideas,
Art is something that most children love to dabble in. Introduce the kids to art and crafts. Let the children use their creativity and imagination and fly. Let them dabble in colors, squabble over glue and come up with innovative art. It’s the best way to let them go. Sky is the limit for a child who has not been conditioned by the society yet. Expect only the best from your bunch.
If the kids are a little older then let them do some research. Ask them to make a scrapbook of whatever seems interesting to them. It can be a hobby, current affairs, the books they love, the places they have been to or just show them how to press leaves and flowers between pages and save them in the scrapbook. Tell them that these are going to be the memory keepers of their holidays.
Music and Dance
Music and dance are great outlets of releasing all that potent energy looking for outlet. Find a good teacher nearby and put your child in the classes. Music soothes the soul and dance is a great exercise. Both these activities inculcate discipline and a sense of culture in children.
Though it is too hot to play outside, you can put your children into indoor sports activities like swimming, table tennis, skating or squash etc. Sports is a great way to learn hand-eye co-ordination, fairness and discipline. Let your young ones learn sportsman’s spirit. It will go a long way in building their character and keep them fit.
Since it is too hot to go outside, don’t let the kids become couch potatoes. Wean them off from the television and video games and introduce board games in the household. Enjoy a game of carrom or ludo at the end of the day and involve the entire family in the fun. Not only will it bring the family together and build a bond but, also games like Scrabble and Jenga will make the kids learn vocabulary and teach them lateral thinking among others.
This has been found to be the best exercise of all. Inculcate Yoga in your kids’ schedule and watch them grow into supple human beings with strong muscles and great health through their life.
Not asking you to use your kids as kitchen help but, you can from time-to-time allow them a small project like, making raita, tossing a salad, making lemonade etc. If the children are a little older, you can ask them to help you with baking a cake or making homemade ice cream. This will go a long way in making them self-sufficient, liking home-cooked food and learning a life skill.
Again not asking to make them take over the garden plot but, ask the kids to water the plants early in the morning and dig up the weeds thereafter. It not only keeps them occupied but also inculcates the habit of getting up early to do something every child enjoys – play with water and muck around in mulch. By the time they are done, they will be ready for a hearty breakfast and looking forward to an exciting day at home.