Lipica Bhattacharya, Special Educator at MHF Kolkata, speaks on various innovative activities to entertain children during Summer Holidays

Holidays are fun for children if they have company.However, they are often left alone with attendants,which makes the long vacations an ordeal for many children and their working parents who have to stay away from home, while their children are at home, alone.Summertime thus turns into a time for many kids,who experience boredom and at times turn creative to beat that loneliness. But even the most self-entertaining children at times run out of ideas.

Parents can try out these ideas this summer:
Summer camps,trips,activity classes are aplenty in metro cities. But what do you do in localities where these are not available?Conduct one in your own home.Get in touch with other parents.Plan 2-3 days leave from work.If you are a group of five or six parents,then each pair needs to do probably once or twice in the entire vacation month. Also, five to eight children get a chance to spend days together with one set of parents and maybe grandparents too. Start by planning each week in advance. Involve the children in deciding how they would like to spend their time.

Some suggested activities:

  • Listening to childhood memories of parents and grandparents – games and pranks they played,cost of things they used, markets they visited, utensils they used, food they loved to eat, homes they cherished to live in,places they dreamt to visit etc.Let the kids make charts on a timeline.
  • Cooking together their favourite dishes. Get the children to plan menu,do the shopping,preparation for the dish and talk about textures and sounds they experienced.
  • Get them to make an assault course for parents– assembling an assault course in the back garden or in a spacious room. Old pieces of wood, boxes, buckets, garden chairs, pillows, mattresses — anything that can be jumped over, under or around. Cross the assault course, show your fitness to the children or let them have a hearty laugh. The course can be completed simply by running or crawling.
  • Plan a treasure hunt. Make a treasure map with clues to find some treasure you have hidden somewhere in the balcony or in the car on the ground floor. It doesn’t have to be expensive or big — any little treat will be exciting when it is found outdoors.
  • Have a garage sale. Get the kids to clear out their rooms and have a sale. You could sell some food items and get all parents visit on this day. Pool all the money together and use it to pay for an outing for the team.
  • Study the weather. Set up a little weather station and measure rainfall, wind direction, and temperature. Chart these over four weeks to see how the weather changes in your area. Let the children compare notes with cousins who lives in a different city.
  • Explore nature outdoors. Fresh air and observation of the natural world are synonymous with childhood. See what your children can discover about the area around your house-birds,insects,animals,people,plants,shops and what they wish to have in their neighborhood.
  • As you like it day – Make sure you plan some days where they just chill, watch some movies, read some books, play some games on screen and take it easy.