Hurry! Get a head start in prepping for the summer break. For many parts of India like the south and the west with exam season at its peak, summer break is right on the beginning in April. For the rest, summer is not too far away.
So moms (dads too) it is time to get ready for the big 2 months with your kids. We have some tips here:
- Get the fun material ready and handy! Stock up on fun toys, books, project ideas for your kids and to do with your kids. Crafts, science experiments, cooking, reading stories, dancing with them to the latest bollywood beat, picnics, movies or just plain hanging out. No dearth of ideas. Ask the Parentree community for ideas.
- Nothing like you for them! Make sure that you or your spouse or some other loving adult (like a grandparent) are spending some time with them. If you work, plan at work accordingly. If possible, get help if you cannot spend much time with them. Perfect time to have a loving grandparent spend time with them. Good for all the three parties! - for the kids, for the grandparents and some respite for you as well.
- NOW is the time to research and sign-up for summer camps or summer courses if you have not already. Swimming, tennis, fun camps, outdoorsy camps, theatre, art, craft, music, dancing, martial arts, eclectic stuff…there is no dearth of all sorts of summer camps for kids these days. Ask the Parentree community for leads.
- Tread the fine balance between keeping them busy and keeping them chilled out. Do not overload them with structured activities, classes, summer camps. Make sure they have some idle time to just be and just chill. Remember our own leisurely summer hols with mangos and Enid Blytons. Little bit of that old fashioned leisure can be rejuvenating for them after the regimen of school, classes, birthday parties…
- Thirsty kya? It is summer time. So stock up on juices and ideas for soft drinks. Nothing beats fresh nimbu paani. What about making a big jug in the morning and keeping it for whenever they are thirsty. There are watermelons galore at this time. Just blend some watermelons and you have fresh water melon juice. Keep water handy so that they help themselves.
- Hungry kya? Swimming, cycling, romping, playdates and yes driving you crazy…all these activities are bound to make them hungry all the time. Keep good stock of fun and healthy snacks and snack ideas. Perfect time to cook / bake with them.
- Cool cool clothes! Make sure that they have some light, cotton clothes which breathe well to keep them cool. If possible make sure they are 100% cotton. It can make a lot of difference to how cool and comfortable they feel. Look around for great deals in your local export surplus shops. Can get some cute bargains. Again ask your friendly Parentree pals for leads to some cool summer shopping.
- Stay healthy. There are some do’s and don’ts. For example, try and avoid icy cold water as soon as they get back from the hot sun all sweaty, especially if they are prone to sore throats. If they go swimming for a long time in the hot sun during noon time, do put some sun lotion with a SPF of higher than 30 or even SPF 45. Make sure they stay hydrated and drink lots of fluids.
- Reading, reading, reading! This is where it is good to give them some free unstructured time so that they get a chance to read and actually feel like reading. I remember how once when I was little, I was bored and then just read my first Enid Blyton and never stopped the reading habit. Get some books. Scour the used bookstores. Exchange with friends and join some libraries. Keep lots of books around the house.
- Workbook time! Not just fun and games. The summer break does get long. And many experienced teachers fret that when the kids get back, they get pretty rusty. So do keep some quality workbooks in math and writing. Get them to write a journal for summer. Get a fun diary for them based on their interest - even if it is Spiderman, Ben 10, Hanna Montana or Barbie. ;-). Have them write a book, letters or emails to their friends and relatives.