Yes, summer vacations are just around the corner and most of the mothers must be worried about how to keep your children busy. Being a mother of a hyper-active 8 year old girl I too was about to hit the panic button as we are not going out this time. But then thought of figuring out ways I could keep my daughter engaged &involved .Sharing some ideas that can keep your kid occupied for sure and keep boredom at bay
Vacations are a good time to bond with your children and also a time to bring out the child in you that maybe was long lost. But the real catch is to come up with activities that the kids would not get bored of soon and in turn throw tantrums. I’m sure you have enough on your plate already and you don’t want an add- on of misbehaving children. So now is the best time for you to plan out the agenda for the summer vacations in advance to keep your little ones busy, engaged and happy.
Start by planning the activities for each week. Involve the kids in this planning phase. They will not complain much about the activities chosen if they have been a part of the decision-making process. Also, if the kids are aware that they have things planned for them, they would really look forward to it.Have a variety of activities to select from: things to do at home, in the garden, outdoors, and some hobby classes like dancing, singing, painting etc.
Here are some ideas that you can chose from.
Create your own games. Get coloured cards, scissors, glue and all that you want to make some fun games. Games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Hoopla or Snakes and Ladders can be made at home easily and keep the children occupied for some time.
Baking & Cooking: Plan a cooking or baking day atleast once a week. Involve the kids in the process right from the start. Allow them chose from a selection of recipes as per your convenience because you have to get all the ingredients. Older children can also read the recipe book and start the cooking process .Let them follow the process step by step and try not doing it yourself for them .It is always better to start with flameless cooking especially for younger children . Try to use an induction base with older children, else be extra careful with the normal gas stove.
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Go green with Gardening: Allocate a small patch in the garden to the kids. If you stay in an apartment, then get some small pots for them .You can plant flowers, herbs, vegetables or anything that grows fast so that they are happy to see the results. Small children, just love to play in the garden, give them a spade and set them free. They say that gardeners are very happy people as there is some form of bacteria in the soil that makes them happy. So add this enjoyment in your child’s life as well.
Camping time : No you don’t require fancy tents.You can build them blankets and sheets which can be used both indoors &outdoors. Give them a camping basket & torch once the ten is ready .Be rest assured , they would be busy for hours .
Go on picnics: Yes, you may wonder how is possible to go out on a picnic in this heat. You really don’t have to go far for a picnic, your garden or your balcony can be the perfect place .Choose the morning or evening as the picnic time. A nice bright mat or a sheet, some healthy & interesting food and giving your kids company is all that you would need for that perfect picnic.
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Treasure Hunt: Oh yes, kids would love this. You don’t have to make it very fancy or big. Make a treasure map with clues to find some items that you have hidden somewhere in the room or the garden. A small prize in the end would be an added treat. For a single child, you can time the hunt and ask her to collect as many treasures she can within that time . Keep kids busy for as long as you want.
Story Writing: Encourage your children to be creative and write some stories with nice drawings and illustrations .You can do this atleast once a week. You can compile the stories written as one book at the end of the month .Create a nice cover page with the author’s name & photo. Your child would really love it.
Diary or Scrapbook: A nice way to record memories. Make them write what they all they did, every day .Younger children and write a few lines or paste pictures around what they did that day. They would surely have fun reading their diary or scrapbook later.
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Sing –along: My daughter loves the karaoke. Again you don’t need a heavy duty karaoke player for this, I don’t have it. An I- pad or a laptop would suffice and you have YouTube to get all the favourite karaoke tracks. If you have a microphone then good, else you can record your little one’s singing talent on your phone .Sing along with your kids for more fun.
Make a movie: A video camera or a camera phone can be used for this .But yes this is limited to older kids. Let your child be imaginative and create his own movie, but yes it has to be a short one.
Draw & Paint: Get drawing books, colouring books, chart papers or if you can create a drawing wall at home. Children love to express, especially with paints. Allow them to use crayons, colour pencils, water colours, sketch pens. Small kids and also use their hands & feet to paint …yes they would really enjoy it .Join in and bring out the child in you .Prepare in advance if you don’t want a lot of mess as it is only you who has to clean it later.
Swimming: Is your house near the sea? Great, you can go swimming with your kids. But don’t worry if you there is no natural water body around, swimming pools are there for you. Kids love to be in pool.
Jewellery making: Girls love jewellery. So they can utilize the holidays to make all the jewellery they want. There are loads of kits available in the market as per the age groups or else you can also shop for beads, wires and clasps separately. Boys can make nice bracelets and chains for. At the end of it the kids would be proud and happy to wear or gift the jewellery that they have made.
Nature walks. Go on nature walks in parks, botanical gardens or the sea-side and you can educate the children too. You can ask them to collect items flowers, leaves, stones, shells and also tell them about some interesting facts about the place .They can record their experience in their diary or scrap book
Visit book stores or a library: You can encourage children to read my taking them out to a book store or a local library .There are a lot of online libraries as well that deliver books at home. Books are great; make your children to read as much as possible
Play dates are fun: Plan some play dates especially for younger kids. While they have fun with their friends, you can utilize that time to do your pending work or connect with other parents
“No Activities Day”: You don’t want your children to be bombarded with activities, give them and yourself a break too. Just relax, watch some good movies with them, or allow them to play with the pet. Let them just do nothing for a day.
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