Ever wondered what to plan for children on those short and long vacations!!!
To be filled up with lots of fun but not losing out an element of excitement to learn, experience a new aspect..
Well here are a few tips which will want you to be a child again:
1. Explore outside.
Being outside in nature is important for all children. Fresh air, exercise, and observation of the natural world are synonymous with childhood. See what your kids can discover about the area around your house, and about themselves.
2. Make a pet rock
When they are out exploring in nature, kids can choose a rock. Something not too large, and with a smooth enough surface to take paint or sticky items. When they bring it back, once washed and dried it can be decorated with paint, glitter, sticky foam, googly eyes, or whatever is needed to make the rock into a new pet. And here's the best part: It doesn't require food or cleaning up after.
3. Study the weather
Set up a little weather station and measure rainfall, wind direction, and temperature. Chart these over time to see how the weather changes in your area. Compare notes with a cousin who lives in a different city.
4. Catch up on geek classics
This is a fantastic opportunity to indoctrinate your kids in the all-important geeky movies, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, Princess Bride, Back to the Future, WarGames, Tron, and others. And for older kids, set them on Monty Python, The Matrix, Akira, and Highlander.
5. Build with Lego
Kids can build free-form projects, or modern art pieces. If they run out of ideas, challenge them to build a spaceship, a plant, or a robot. See who can assemble the most realistic Dalek. But no instruction is really necessary here. We've all been building with Lego since we could hold up a 2x4 brick. Give them a tub of Lego and let them go.
6. Experiment with cooking
Even very young children can try their hand at cooking or baking. They can help to measure ingredients, stir, and arrange the final result. Older kids can cook on the stove, or use the oven. Contributing to the family meal is a very rewarding experience for kids of all ages. And the more that they learn how to do, the more they can help out on a regular basis. Best if luck on after cleaning though.
7. Family Tree
This is a great activity for teenagers. They can make this on chart paper or on their computers using a template. They can go back as many generations as they want depending on how complex they want the family tree to be. It’s interesting to learn the names and ages and relationships in one’s family – going back to great grandparents, granduncles and aunts. Rummage through old picture and add those too if possible.
Basically, a family tree is the most common form of visually documenting one’s ancestry. Most family trees include a box for each individual and each box is connected to the others to indicate relationships. In addition to an individual’s name, each box may include dates, birthplace, and other information, depending on the desired complexity of the family tree diagram. You can find many resources online to create a family tree.
8. Rediscover old toys
If your kids are anything like mine, many of their toys get forgotten, or perpetually hidden behind other toys. Summertime affords plenty of time for kids to go through their rooms and rediscover some of the toys that haven't been played with for some time. Perhaps they've outgrown some of them, and can donate them or pass them on to others.
9. Play board games.
Of course, this activity is good for any time of year. But if you have more than one child, or a child with nearby friends, encouraging them to play board games together always bears fruit. Kids often come up with their own set of house rules for old favorites, and often have more patience with each other for repeated rounds of the same game, over and over. And any time that parents have to join in, all the better.
10. The Leaf Hunt
This can be done by kids from ages 5-12.Pick an outdoor area green area like a park or a garden where you are comfortable sending the kids on their own. Now, leave the kids indoors while you secretly go and pick leaves from different trees/plants/bushes – one leaf for each child. Hand the kids a container with these leaves and let them loose in the green area. The idea is for them to match the leaves they are carrying with those growing on the plants/trees. You can then tell them the name of the plant or tree as well and as much more information as you think can absorb.
11. A to Z Scavenger hunt
Give the children a big box and send them off on a scavenger hunt indoors (if you don’t mind your home being turned upside down) or outdoors to a park. Give them a time limit and have them compete against each other if they want. Ask them to collect in the box any items they can find starting with different letters of the alphabet. So your kids may pick up an apple from the kitchen (starts with A), or a safety pin (starts with S) from your sewing box, or a ballpoint pen (starts with B) from your work table. All letters of the alphabet must be covered. And all items must fit in the box provided. The kids can play this in teams with their friends too. A single kid can go on a solo scavenger hunt
12. Balloon volleyball
When you need to keep the kids active but it’s too hot to play outside, string up a rope or two dupattas tied together across your hallway. Then hand the kids a balloon each and have them play balloon volleyball. Add a couple of rackets or paddle boards and it becomes balloon badminton!
13. Hold a car wash
Park your car in the driveway and let the kids give it a good scrub with a bucket of water and sponges. If you don’t mind getting wet yourself, get a garden hose and join in the fun. A great way to cool off on a hot summer day.
14. Indoor Bowling Track
You can make a very addictive indoor bowling game using a wooden board or flattened cardboard box laid out on a flat surface. Use pencil erasers or fat crayon stubs for bowling pins. And marbles or a ping pong ball as the bowling ball. Keep score and have fun!
15. Spinning top/ Lattu
And finally, take the kids down nostalgia lane to your own childhood. When there were no playstations and video games and everyone went outdoors to play with other kids. This very typical Indian game is virtually on the verge of extinction so you may have some trouble finding the necessary equipment. Do you know where to buy a spinning ‘top’ or lattu (Hindi) or bugari (Kannada)? Maybe a small toy shop in the older part of the city? The game involves spinning this wooden toy, which is spherical at the top and tapering at the bottom. A string is used to wrap around the top to spin it. It is knotted at the end to hold between the fingers. You throw the wrapped top in the air in such a way that the toy is spinning when it lands on the ground. Two people can compete to see whose top spins for the longest time. You can also pick up the spinning top on to the palm while it is still spinning and pass it on to others also.
What do you think and how do you spend or plan your vacation with kids? Write to us at [email protected]