Vacations are the worst nightmares for many parents these days. In many cases, parents shove their children into camps or extra activity clubs so that they can go back to their normal life. But, Vacations are not meant only for camps, extra lessons to learn, home works or visits to tourist destinations! They are also an opportunity to let your child relax, enjoy, prepare and bond with your children. Too much of planning and engagements will defeat the very purpose of vacations. So use them wisely as a change will always rejuvenate you and add spice to your and your child’s life. Try some of these exciting activities to handle your vacation blues and bond with your children:

               Books Bank. All of us buy lot of books for our young ones but rarely let the kids to use
them to spend time with their friends. In this vacation encourage the kids to open a book bank with their friends as the borrowers. Give them a small corner/ box/ cupboard to create an issue counter. Every child gets to borrow two books and one comic/ magazine for specific days. Tell them to decide some rules and display them near the issue counter/ books box. Anybody who follows all the rules and ends up reading most number of books ends up as the best borrower and gift him with one book he liked the most. Arrange some daytime to discuss the books that kids are reading. It sure turns out to be a very fruitful activity if all the children like to read books/ comics.

               Make a bird house. Mother Earth needs more sparrows and birds so let the children make a small bird house in the balcony or the lawn with old cartons/ shoe boxes or wooden planks. Let them colour it themselves and keep/ hang it in a corner with some water and fodder for the birds. It is very interesting to watch birds flocking up to drink or sometimes take a dip in the water. You will love it as much as the kid.

               Grow a Plant. Children are taught to save Mother Earth through many ways in their schools. So it will be easy for you to convince the child to grow a plant, water it every day and record its growth through photos/ daily noting. This is a good way to teach the child about the growth of a plant in a holistic way. You improve his awareness about environment, mathematical calculations (counting its height/ shadow’s length) and presentation skills (pasting photos/ making entries in the diary).

               Composting. Once the children have started to grow a plant, the next step of feeding
nutrients to it through compost becomes easier. You can motivate them to create compost at home in your kitchen gardens or in a container at home. Use all the peels of vegetables and fruits to put in layers on soil and keep mixing and checking it frequently. Children can visit any Zero Garbage / Compost manufacturing plant to see the process and repeat it in elders’ presence. Use this compost in your gardens as well as community parks. That’s the least you can do to contribute to stop use of fertilizers and pesticides.

               Camping/Star Gazing at night.Pitch a tent in the garden/on the terrace/in the
balcony/corridor and let the children sleep in it for some time gazing stars and constellations at night. Tell them survival stories and interesting things like how to find directions at night, how to survive in the jungles/ enemy territories.

               Hold Board Games Competitions.On cold winter days when you want to keep kids inside the house, the best way is to get them hooked on to games such as Chess, Othello, Chocolate Fix, Carom Board or Playing Cards. Fix some prizes for winners such as an extra Ice- cream scoop or an extra mango and see how it keeps them at home. If you feel they are not going to get hooked on show them some impressive biopics such as Queen of Katwe, Birth of Pele, 21 and so on.

               Complete Holiday Homework.Whatever you do, don’t forget to help them to finish their Holiday Homework. I know handwriting pages are the worst, but you can make it interesting by giving them some special treats if they do it well and in specified time. Let them make the models while you can help them with some things such as cutting/ drawing outlines and so on. If not much they will learn at least one new skill or concept. And that will make the whole effort worthwhile.

And to top it all, do spend some time watching the Kabbaddi Pro League (seniors and juniors) matches in the evening.

Happy Parenting in Holidays!
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