As the world tries to come to terms with the severe pandemic and its aftermath, people across the world are celebrating frontline workers. They are also empathizing with businessmen and others who lost their livelihoods to the economic slowdown across countries.
But amidst all these, one must not forget our small heroes who haven’t seen schools or their friends in over a year. Many countries have started a heavy vaccination drive and the children are slowly but surely returning to schools. In India, however, it has been slow progress. Even though states have started vaccination drives, there is no clarity on when or how the schools will open for the next academic year.
There was a time when after a whole year of academics, children used to look forward to summer vacations. This year, however, it is a different scenario. With online classes and a complete lack of social interaction, children are actually dreading summer vacations as they fear the loss of the little interaction they are able to do via the classes.
It is up to parents to make sure that they are able to take out time to enjoy with the children through various activities. It is up to the parents to plan the summer holidays in a manner that children do not just while away time in front of the screen.
Here are a few fun activities you can do.
Dance and Exercise
Before the pandemic, you would have planned some trips or camps for your children for the summer holidays. However, with the raging pandemic and lockdown restrictions in many states, it is not a safe bet anymore. Going out to a nearby park or mall is also not an option. So how would you keep them occupied and fit?
Plan a dance exercise routine with them. There are many videos available on the Internet which show simple steps to a dance routine. You can join in the fun with your children and learn the steps. You can also add in costumes with whatever you have and make a home video out of it.
Then there are exercise routines available for children and adults. You can simply put on the video and do your bit every day. Change up the routine alternate days or weekly to keep the interest of the kids. Get them great-looking exercise outfits and click their photos while they exercise. You can also motivate them by keeping a check on their fitness levels, making them fun and delicious smoothies, and asking them to keep a fitness diary.
It is never too early in life to learn the value of fitness and you, as a parent can infuse fun into it to keep the children interested and motivated.
For the quiet and patient of the lot, this set of activities can work wonders. Get some newspapers, coloured papers, and crepe paper ribbons, and sit down with your child. Work your way through various art and craft projects, coloring, painting, and making various origami items.
You can make these items and can post their pictures online. You can help them make a catalogue of the items they made. You can even help them make a scrapbook of all their creations.
For younger kids, the crepe paper ribbon obstacle course is one of the best things there is. Stick the ribbons in a criss-cross manner across a small hallway. Ask your children to cross the hallway without touching the ribbons. If they do touch the ribbons, they have to begin all over again. Watch the children try to work their way through the ribbons and have loads of fun.
Tent in your room
Adults and children love tents unequivocally. If you have space in a corner of your room or your kids’ room, string up a thick bed sheet to make a tent. Put a small mattress in it, add some quirky and colourful throw pillows and if you make it big enough, you can even add a small table in it.
You can help your children set up their favourite toys, art and craft items, and a few special family photos inside the tent. You would be surprised how much time they end up spending inside the tent, from drawing and painting to munching on snacks while reading a book.
Hone a hobby
If your child had missed out on learning something new during the lockdown or online classes, this year, many professional singers and dancers have put up their classes online. While some are available for free, some may charge you a subscription fee. Depending on what your child requires, you can enroll them in various classes.
From cooking and baking to doodling, ballet to calligraphy, there are a number of hobby classes that can be learned through these online sessions. If you feel like it, you can join in with your children, to enjoy a fun-filled yet productive activity.
Simply play with them
Most of the time, when children feel bored, it is not because they are bored of playing. It is mostly because they are bored of playing alone. If you are working on your laptop, while you ask your child to go and play, chances are they would start cribbing about how they cannot go out and how they miss their buddies.
The best way, therefore, is to sometimes shut down the laptop and play with your children. Pretend to play with smaller children, dress up and act out scenes from the stories that you read to them at night, or simply run around the house, playing catch or hide and seek. Join in that game of Jenga or cards or some other board game with your older children, bring out that old set of Monopoly and join in the fun or if your kids are playing any online game, set it to multiplayer mode and join in.
Whatever the activity, the idea is to do these together. Hopefully, the pandemic situation may improve soon and the kids would be back in school. Even with the lockdown and pandemic, they should be able to say that they had a fun summer holiday.