They say, ‘Time is the only Luxury’, rightfully so, with the fast-paced world, it has become a challenge to take out time and simply unwind. For parents, especially with school-going kids, it is all the more tedious to take a break from their regular office work, household chores, and kids’ homework and make plans. Kids have their schedules lined up from the earliest hour of the day till the night. But then comes the best time of the year which everyone waits for.
Summer vacation is the one time of the year when everyone from a parent to grandparents to kids, get the chance to let loose and relax. With schools ending their academic sessions, it's a great time to explore, travel and discover new things. From relishing ice creams and popsicles every day to long play hours, or just lying in the bed, summer gives the time to kids where they can be carefree and enjoy their time to the fullest.
But no school also means dealing with kids who might easily get bored and land at your hands. Bored Kids staying all day at home might mean too-much screen time and we definitely don't want that.
Here are some amazing ideas to engage your kids and have a great family time.
Summer vacation brings a fresh breeze of air to unwind and what better way to relax than travel? Travel opens the heart, broadens the mind, and fills our life with stories to tell.
I am sure many of you must have had some amazing travel stories back from your childhood days and summer gives us a chance to relive those fond memories of travel and experiences.
Come summer, Traveling with the whole family actually seems a possibility after many postponed trips and long-awaited ones. Visiting different places, and cities, and trying different cuisines prove to be an enriching experience for the kids. It gives children an opportunity to learn new languages, and cultures, see new places and meet different people.
You could visit your hometown for the break, visit your relatives or plan a trip overseas and collect a bag full of memories.
Planning your travels in advance always eases the whole process and if you are worried about engaging your little one throughout the journey, we got you covered.
While a long vacation sounds nice, sometimes it simply does not fit your calendar. In that case, you could plan for a weekend getaway to a nearby destination. You could take your kids on a nature trail and jungle safaris. Try out different adventure sports like Rappelling, rock climbing, trips on a Hot air Balloon, etc. A trip to the Waterfall, Beaches, and Farms will give a new perspective to your kid and it's a great way to teach them Empathy towards nature and people.
If you are someone who wants to stay indoors and chill, you could also make sleepover plans at your cousin’s or friend's place. Or plan a get-together at your place and invite the close ones.
Weekend trips are always refreshing and act as a great kick-start for the next week.
If you are someone who wants to make your kid’s free time productive, you can plan trips to the museum or visit the zoo or Planetarium, etc.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Be sure to choose the place carefully, for example, if your child is not ready for the zoo, a petting zoo or a farm is a great option.
- Schedule your time keeping in mind the heat and demands of the venue as little children could tire easily.
- Dress your child in bright, easy-to-spot colors and avoid crowds. Teach your child what to do in an emergency and in case they are lost.
During school time, a child’s day is typically busy. Summer vacation is a great time to try out different activities that might turn out to become hobbies to last lifetimes. It's always better when you have hobbies that don't require too much effort and grow with you.
Like going to a Dance class or learning a new Sport is a fun way to learn something new and at the same time, keep fit. Observe your kid and find out which activity is of their interest and you can enroll them for professional coaching. Activities like painting, coloring, Dancing, Learning to play a new Musical instrument, or simply enrolling in Sports like basketball or football are great ways for skill building and utilizing time constructively.
While you might want to try out different activities for your kids, be mindful about not overdoing it, and keeping it stress-free for everyone.
Parents always have a lot to do and not enough time to allow kids to learn things at their own pace. We tend to jump in and finish the work, like feeding them food, washing their hands and changing their clothes, etc.
In this process, the child starts depending on others and doesn't learn how to take care of themselves. It is important for parents to teach their kids various life skills that will help them in the long run. Summer vacation is a great time to teach your kids different skills that they might not get the chance with the busy schedule of school days.
Teaching kids to take care of themselves is an important life skill. Encourage your child to eat by themselves, tie their shoelaces, brush their teeth, and take a bath independently. These small activities will help build their confidence and independence.
Cooking is not only a way to prepare meals, but it also involves planning, organizing, and problem-solving. Children can learn about nutrition, how to follow recipes, and how to use kitchen equipment safely. Cooking also provides a great opportunity for parents to spend quality time with their children while sharing family recipes and cooking tips.
Start with simple, age-appropriate tasks like measuring ingredients and stirring. Followed by fireless cooking (salads & lemonades). Move on to complex skills like using knives and cooking on a stove. By learning to cook, children can gain confidence and independence, and develop a lifelong love for healthy eating.
Simple tasks like making the bed, dusting, sweeping, and folding laundry can help children learn about organization, time management, and cleaning techniques.
By involving children in housework, parents can also teach them the importance of teamwork and sharing responsibilities. Children can learn to take pride in keeping their homes clean and tidy and develop a sense of ownership and accountability.
Additionally, learning housework skills can prepare children for their future, where they will need to manage their own living spaces and maintain a healthy and hygienic environment. By teaching children to do household chores, parents can help them become self-sufficient and confident individuals who are ready to face the challenges of the real world.
Repair & maintenance:
Teaching children repair and mending skills is another important life skill. It can be as simple as how to sew a button or hem a pair of pants, or more complex tasks such as fixing a bike or repairing a leaky faucet. By learning to repair and mend items, children also develop an appreciation for the value of things and the importance of taking care of what they have. It is important to start with simple tasks and gradually move on to more complex ones as they become more proficient in their skills.
Just Have Fun:
Lastly, leave your schedule open.
Free time and boredom are actually beneficial for our mental and emotional well-being, boosting creativity and personal growth. It allows children to explore new interests, hobbies, and ideas without any pressure or deadlines. Over-planning schedules and filling every moment of the day with activities can lead to burnout and stress. Thus, it is crucial to leave ample time and space to unwind, relax, and let their minds wander.
Here are some open-ended activities for those stretches of “unplanned” summer afternoons.
You could take your child to the beach, introduce them to pottery, or take them to the swimming pool.
Messy play with play dough, paint or sand is an amazing way to engage your child and develop their creativity. Let your child explore and have fun with different textures and materials.
Mixed Age Groups:
While schools and classrooms contain children within similar age groups and backgrounds, summers are an excellent time to encourage informal, mixed-age groups.
Older children can act as mentors and role models for younger children, while younger children can bring a sense of wonder and enthusiasm to the group. It could be as simple as forming a group in your neighborhood or getting cousins together on a family trip.
Activities can include outdoor games, sports, crafts, and even community service projects. These activities not only promote physical and mental well-being but also build positive relationships and enhance social skills.
Spend time with grandparents:
Grandparents offer a wealth of life experiences, wisdom, and insights that can be invaluable for their personal growth and development. With stories from their childhood, family history, and cultural traditions, they provide children with a rich understanding of their heritage and identity. They also offer advice, guidance, and support, serving as a source of comfort and reassurance. Spending time with grandparents can also be a source of joy and laughter, creating cherished memories that will last a lifetime. So, in case you are living away, make time for the child to spend with their grandparents.
These are just a few ideas to engage your child during summer vacation. You could also try whatever gives you joy - gardening, cooking, or even learning a new language together. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it's fun, engaging, and stress-free for everyone. Remember, summer vacation is all about relaxation, rejuvenation, and spending quality time with your loved ones.