The summer vacations are upon us. Hooray! This is the time of the year that all kids wait for eagerly. But wait, we are all locked indoors thanks to COVID-19. So, what can you do with your kid (s) at home in the summer with a pandemic paying its second visit? Definitely a challenging scenario – to entertain children within the closed doors of the house on such beautiful, sunny days. So, would you like to explore some of these ideas to help your child spend time productively and happily this summer?
How to spend the summer vacations with kids in a pandemic
- Learn a new language – This is a very useful skill for kids as they learn to mix with people from different cultures. With their sponge-like minds, children can pick up several languages, which increases their understanding of vocabulary and, consequently, people. Also, speaking in a different language helps kids think from a different perspective. Plus using their tongue differently to pronounce some of those words can really give them a different physical experience. Some feel smarter too!
Try to guess what these words mean and which language they are from – Le clavier, Lied, and Baiollin.
- Do a jigsaw puzzle – This is a great way for you to bond with your child. Normally, parents feel too tired at the end of a workday to spend some more time locked up with activities that tire them. But a jigsaw puzzle makes you feel relaxed – and you bond with your little one at the same time. Both you and your child will feel happier with the quality time spent together.
- Read, read, read – The lockdown might just be the introverted bibliomaniac’s paradise. Imagine – no going out, and long days of deliciously free time to spend with your nose buried in a book. Life couldn’t get any better. It is something the hyperactive children can also explore to engage their restless minds. And, if your kid is a fast reader and you run out of books, you could try to organise a contact-less book-exchange program with your neighbours in the summer till the local libraries open up.
- Bake goodies – Children as young as 7 can bake – or assist their siblings or you in baking. There is a warmth, friendliness, and homeliness in the air with baking smells wafting through the house. This is a feel-good factor you must exploit this summer – the goodies you bake will definitely bring that angelic smile on your kid’s face! Start with chocolate cakes – they are a universal favourite. Once bitten by the cooking bug, you can introduce kids to healthier treats – salads, chana chatpata, and smoothies. If you are very lucky, you could introduce staple food too!
- Start a home garden – Have you ever asked your kids where vegetables and fruits come from? If you didn’t hear the name of your local veggie vendor, congratulations! Introduce your children to the exciting world of nature with practical lessons on germination and photosynthesis. Some veggies can be grown all year round – tomato, coriander, chilli, spinach, and lady’s finger. Don’t fret if you don’t have a front or back yard. These can grow in pots on your balcony. When children feel inspired and tap into their productive side, they are less likely to be cranky and hanker for your attention.
- Learn bhajans and shlokas – Summer is the perfect time to expose children to various aspects of our culture. Exposure to bhajans and shlokas can help your child spend some peaceful time bonding with other children. Research studies show that shlokas and chanting increase memory and concentration power in kids. The harmonious sounds will also help calm your hyperactive child who has been cruelly detained within the four walls.
- Ask your older kids to take a class – Children are multi-talented today. They have a lot of knowledge on computers, gaming, and especially your cell phone! Apart from the other skills you must be training them for. They could impart their knowledge to younger, under-privileged kids this summer. You could start with a one-on-one online class with your house help’s child, for instance. The experience will give your child confidence, make him/her respect his/her teachers more, train them to speak in full sentences (no Dudes, Bros, and whatevers!) and even help them practice their mother tongue or local language.
- Learn for fun: If you manage to stop your kids from Netflixing and YouTubing seemingly mindless videos and series, you must share your ideas with us! For the rest of us lesser mortals, you could try introducing them to some of the fun learning videos out there. These don’t have to be certificate or exam-oriented. Kids could simply explore learning for fun! Something universally appealing – age no bar like David Attenborough’s A Life on our Planet, or even The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – it gives children a larger perspective of life as well as ideas on the possibilities of life.
- Learn an instrument – Playing instruments can help children develop their motor skills as well as their sense of coordination, creativity, and teamwork. It is an indoor activity and has the potential to turn your house into a home theatre or concert hall!
At the end of the day, children seek fun in everything they do. They don’t like their summers booked with classes – a far cry from the carefree summers we had growing up. Allow kids to be kids without trying to make every moment of their time useful and accountable. Let’s take a step back and admit that the best days were those that were unplanned, unorganised, and filled with nothing!
Hope you got some interesting ideas of things you can do in the summer vacation. It is definitely a challenging time for everyone concerned. But, since life has given us a lemon, let’s make lemonade.
SaPa has some exciting summer plans for your kids – bhajans, shlokas, flavours of Indian music, music and movement, and pop for kids. The classes are for just 45 minutes a day and for children from the age of 4 years. We would love for your kids to join our 8-day camp! A place for your kids to interact, have fun, and feel loved!