One side of heart jumps saying yipiiee yipiiee holiday time. No scheduled time to wake up or evening study time, or packing lunch, assignments etc. Other side of the heart beats faster for parents, “aaw how am I gonna handle and match this little one’s excitement and energy?” And then confusion occurs : Should I enroll in some summer camp for my little one to learn something new? Should I allow free play 24/7? Should I plan a nice holiday surprise? Should I teach good habits? Before we explore the options and try to find what is the best, most of the holiday time would be over. 🙂 I have been a standard parent experiencing this pattern for quite few years and now, this summer, have a 8 year old and a toddler on their holiday crazy mood, I have started planning and executing simpler and better. So, here are simple seven ideas, hope it helps
- Enjoy Summer at its best : Poor kids get packed with layers of clothing until Jan end due to winter weather and then they are busy with last 2 months of school year. So, let them enjoy summer at its best, plan for swimming or water play. Create a water tub in your bathroom either purchased or a big bucket where your child can play. Add more fun by placing some sponge balls or water toys or bubble play in the tub. Let them spend an hour (preferably before lunch) and enjoy drenching in water. While this will be fun, this would also make them hungry and after a fresh shower and nice lunch, they can sleep relaxed. Try to have the water time in a regular time everyday.
- Based on their interest : I had been enrolling my son for art classes during holidays since he was 3 years old, every year art classes, home loaded with his worksheets. When he was six years old, he understood speaking out. With that innocent face, he said, “mom, I don’t like these kind of activities and I am very bored of these”. I was shocked. Those were wonderful art activity classes I enrolled, infact he learnt quite well too. But, that is not the point of a holiday camp. I realized a common mistake parents make, choosing the best option that they find interesting for their kid. Yet, Enrolling in activities which the kid would enjoy is the key aim. So, I understood his sports interest and he thoroughly enjoys his football classes since then.
- Try some recipes without fire : Kids love to be creative and definitely kids love to try what parents do. So, giving them a scoop of ice cream, choco sauce, few gems, candies, jelly and fruits with few bowls and required utensils, let them experience making their own ice cream recipe. Give them some sprouts, bhel and boiled carrots, corn and salt, with required vessels, they will make their evening snack. Cut fruits and nuts – let them try placing them into interesting shapes, they would learn presentation of food too. To avoid getting messy, arrange the dining table for them with a washable mat or they can also sit on the mat to try their yummy specials.
- Take a visit to relatives place : Life is so busy and all of us are becoming nuclear family. Distant relatives and few good friends are only WhatsApp friends and rarely video call to introduce to our kids. Their holiday can be the time, where you plan to meet such relatives, stay over, let children enjoy their place or their culture at home. They would hear stories of their parent’s childhood and laugh at it. Remember, we have such kind of memories in bundles. Let us also plan such kind of moments for our next generation.
- Simple trips to show the neighbourhood of the city they live : Most of us live in a metropolitan city. Our kids are thorough with the shopping malls, fun world, pizza corners in the city. What they miss or what we don’t get to show them is the beauty of nature in and around their place. A long drive in Chennai ECR showing the coastal beach, the trees, a little historic explanation would wow the little ones. Bangalore has tiny hillstation and lots of grape garden around. There are also many lakes a little far from the main city – taking time to show the specialities of the city teaches a lot about the Earth we live to kids.
- Clean up together : The long pending kids room cleaning, or decorating the walls, creating your own nameboard, reorganizing the wadrobe – this is the time to let your child take charge. Be the support helpline or a companion, let your kid take the lead of the cleaning up. Even if it a bit clumsy or not as per you planned, it is the starting point of them to learn on keeping their stuffs in their way. Trust me, it gives a sense of independence and responsibility and fashion feel for those sharp brains.
- Practice a new habit : Though we wanted to teach our kids many good habits, we run in a scheduled life, more than that, they run in a timed manner, to school, then back home, sleep, snack time, milk time, play time, homework time, phone time, dinner time, sleep time – omg ! their life is more hectic than ours, so we mostly don’t overload them with any further habits. But, holiday is a blissful period where they can start practicing some. Like managing their laundry bag, folding their clothes, making their milk themselves, some creative writing or blogging , write their own diary or journal, gardening – there can be lots, choose one simple habit and let them practice throughout the holiday period – it would become a part of their lifestyle soon. It is important not to overload them on this plan 😉
As parents, we feel responsible for our child’s holiday times, so let us take the struggle of giving the right options and let our children have the luxury of choosing from the options we give. Remember, all of us get nostalgic when we think of our childhood holiday memories. Similarly, our children will also grow up and talk about the way they had fun and learnt values during their holidays.
Hope the tips helped you, and please leave a comment and share more tips if you have any .. to add to this list.