My girl goes to an IB school and while I am thrilled at her progress and overall development, the biggest challenge is the lack of summer holidays. While the rest of the country is having summer vacations, she goes to school and when the school is about to resume for others, our holidays begin. With the conventional holidays between March and June for SSC, CBSE, ICSE and even IGCSE kids, the IB board which follows the International curriculum has its annual calendar, study and schooling pattern similar to the US and UK schools.
Her vacations begin May end and last till mid of July and while we try to plan all our outings and holidays in these months, the lack of ‘play’ partners make it a tedious job to keep her engaged on regular days.
Here are some of the activities I plan with my daughter to keep the days engaging and fruitful:
- Make a schedule: While me and my girl love to make charts and plan timetables for our days together, I assure you, we rarely follow it! But what it does help in is understanding how she wants me to schedule her day. I get an insight into how much time she’s willing to allocate for reading, pretend play, board games, TV time and this helps me plan my calendar accordingly! We also have a fun outing everyday during the holidays which could be anything from going for a walk (we love walks together), going to the local park, a visit to the mall or at times, just a simple visit to the local toy shop or sandwich guy.
- DIY stuff: I confess, I hate doing art and craft activities of any kind but as fate would have it, she loves these activities. We have come to an acceptance where every afternoon, post lunch, we would do an art/craft together. It could be something as simple as making a card for a friend or creating a poster with a social message, scrapbook making with sticking photos, mementos and knick-knacks which matter to her. At times, we also try to replicate a painting by looking at step-by-step YouTube videos. These activities are not just a fun way to bond with your child but take up a good couple of hours without any direct screen time.
- Pretend play: She loves to put on skits and shows and ever since, her school started Theatre workshops; every birthday and party celebration has an ‘act’ directed and acted by her. I help her write a script and get things organized for the play. Once we used an empty cardboard box, cut it out in the shape of a TV screen and she pretended to be a TV news reporter for the next hour. These forms of pretend plays are not just fun but stimulate creativity and imagination.
- Master Chef: She loves to help out in the kitchen and while on a daily basis, that can lead to a bit of a mess- we have a ‘masterchef’ session once a week. She writes down the recipes, I get all the ingredients cut and chopped for her and remotely guide her in to cooking a fantastic recipe. This could be anything from a pasta salad to a burger, sandwiches to waffles and most of these recipes are cooked by her. Obviously, her time with the gas is supervised and she’s never left alone with the flame on. It is endearing to see her put in her best to cook a recipe and understand the nuances of tasting and experimenting with flavors to find a taste liked by all at home. We also have a Children’s Cooking book which gives us ideas on recipes with photos and steps to cook with kids.
We also have lego sessions and competitions when her father is around on weekends, football and volleyball sessions down the building.
Hopefully some of these ideas can help you, as well!