Sunday, May 02, 2010

26 Summer Ideas for children

These are primarily no fuss ideas for working mothers. Most of them need play dates with other children, but can be done solo also. Best of all, they can be done indoors.

1. Origami - get them a book, buy enough origami papers, and empty a showcase to show their work.

2. Reading and Junior Book Clubs - Junior book club is where children meet once a week, to discuss a book they have all read that week. It cld be Chacha Chaudhri, Enid Blyton or Winnie the Pooh. A shared library in the building is a great idea too. All kids can borrow from each other using "tickets". Meaning , 5 kids get together and start a book club. Each child is given 2 tickets. These tickets can be used to borrow books from other members of the club. When you borrow a book from me, i get to keep your ticket for the time that my book is with you. At the end of the holidays, all children must have their tickets back. Books kept for more than a week lead to loss of ticket permanently. Try it, its a lot of fun.

3. Painting.

4. Theater - Give the kids a story and let them make the play that will finally be staged for all adults. Excellent time pass. A parent with some knowledge of theater can help part time. But no supervisor. Let the kids work it out among themselves.

5. Finger Puppet Theater and Puppet Making - Give them a book, a slightly older child to supervise them, and let them do their finger puppet theater once a day, or once a week. The other puppets that are made can be given to charity at the end of the holidays(save one for memory).

6. Story Telling - Give the children a story. Let them find props from within the house, and tell a story. This is super gud fun.

7. Gudiya ki shaadi (Doll's wedding) - The making of dresses, the bridal jewelry painstakingly made using beads and pearls and sequins. Gud Time pass for everyone. The boys can be the groom's side.

8. Paper Models and Craft Work - Vikas Paper model books are available at a very affordable 40 rs for 6 models. They are worth a try.

9. The usual - blocks, sculpting clay, baking, embroidery, jigsaw puzzles- 300 pieces and above, logic puzzles (try , Sudoku, Scrabble Tournaments.

10. Gardening - For the summer, turn over the maintenance of your garden to the kid(s). Ditto for keeping a pet.

11. Quiz Show - The kids have to prepare a quiz show for the adults of the house. The show is called "Kya aap paanchvi pass se tez hain?"

12. Dance Drama - No, not your regular bollywood jhatkas. The children have to do a dance drama - using just dance, a story has to be told. It can be any dance form - Ballet, Indian, bollywood, anything. Basically, i believe that kids need to know that there is more to dance than bollywood and salsa.

13. Classical Music - Classes at home or in a group.

14. Yoga - Great time to start. Every morning.

15. Prayer - Yes, seriously. They have to learn some part of the scripture in the holidays.

16. Calligraphy - Get them a book to learn Calligraphy, a set, and some blank sheets to practice. Then get your new name plate made at the end of the season.

17. Speed Reading - This is a vital skill for children 8 years and above. Find a class near you and get them started.

18. New Language - The child has to invent a new language and teach it to others in the family. Everyone has lots of fun and this makes for the most memorable summer ever!

19. Stamping Fun - Create greeting cards, books and what not ! Get some rubber stamps made and let them loose with a stamp pad and a blank book. There is Stampit! series available at all game stores, but its more fun to get special family stamps made, esp ones with everyone's names and caricatures. They will make special cards to be sent to everyone that year - Happy Birthday cards for grandparents and special relatives, Happy Diwali and Happy new year cards.. all the greeting cards that year.. and this year, you will send hand made greeting cards AS A FAMILY, without fussing about it at the end because viola! you made them all in summer! (Dont worry abt the beauty quotient of the cards. Their being hand made by grandchildren is quite enough to bring grandparents to tears)

20.Eklavya's Best from Waste - Just make a kiddie group in your colony, give them some of these books by Eklavya, and let them loose. Eklavya has some fantastic books and phenomenal ideas!

21. Dumb Charades - The beauty of this game is that it can be played at the end of the work day, can easily become a family game, and is a great bonding tool. Other things that fall in this category are - scrabble, card games, monopoly, ludo and pictionary. But nothing beats Dumb Charades and the quiet undertanding it creates.

22. Cartoon Strip - The children have to create a cartoon strip. One cartoon every day. They can pick up anything in their environment. But each day must have one cartoon. The characters have to be consistent. At the end of the season, a cartoon book will be created and published and kept in the family chronicles. Drawing skills are not important, but if your kids are sensitive, give them . On this site, you can create characters and comic strips easily without drawing skills.

23. Learn Sign language and Braille - This is one education that all children need. Because it will teach them something about their own gifts. How to be grateful for their own senses, and how to treat those who are not as lucky. "The summer i learnt Braille / sign language", is going to be among the most memorable summers for them. Braille can be learnt at the local Blind School (or contact me if you are in Gurgaon, India). Sign Language can be learnt thru online printed manuals. Its easy. Download the manual, give it to the children, then practice together as a family . Easy to do after office hours, and fun.

24. This one comes from a friend - Take an old carton and give it to the children to convert into a doll house or a castle. Her 5 year old daughter managed this! Using cardboard, thermocol, and paint and sundry accessories.

25. Record for the blind - While the kids are reading, they can pick up some books that are not under copyright, and record them for blind students all over to download and listen in audio. There is a serious shortage of books for the blind, and a service like this - where they can just download and hear, is not available at all. As part of Esha i m doing a summer project, requesting everyone to contribute anything, even a small recording, so it can be put up for free download. Please record. All it takes is a simple voice recorder or laptop.

26. Film Festival @ Home - Seriously. Bimal Roy. Satyajeet Ray. Other masterpieces. One film a day. There is nothing better than a film festival, complete with tickets, to budget the TV watching time of kids in summer. Needless to add, good cinema is as relevant today as it was years ago.

What are your summer ideas?


Shankari said...

Thanks for so many wonderful ideas! My daugther's vacation is starting in a couple of months..and I don't really want to spend on summer camps..they are outrageously expensive...

A couple of mom's were planning on getting together and keeping the children thanks for the pointers :)

Onkar said...

Good ideas- many of them are known, but you did a great job in putting them together. Can't think of anything that you left out.

CY|\|O$|_|RE said...

nice and dance drama are really the innovative one' can go for that.......:)

Piyush said...

nice collection..will implement all of them on my niece.. :D

Piyush said...

nice collection..will implement all of them on my niece.. :D

Piyush said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BK Chowla, said...

Just the right timing for such an intelligent post.

Renu said...

beautiful there are many classes for shlokas also and its a good thing as children can learn about culture at leisure.

Anonymous said...

That's one creative list!!! Great.

Himanshu Tandon said...

I am in Gurgaon and would really like to pick up braille myself. Please let me know where can I enroll.

Swati said...

very nice list ..loved it ..i shd see eklavya books ..never seen those

How do we know said...

Hi Shankari : Yes.. i think this should work well for mothers ganging up! :-)

Onkar sir: :-)

Hi Cynosure: Now all u need is some kids :-)

Hi Piyush: do that, and tell us how it goes.

Chowla sir: Thank you.

Hi Renu: Yes, and about time, methinks.

Hi ihm: Thanks! :-) a compliment from u is always so much more than a compliment!

HI Himanshu: Pls email me at Where in Gurgaon are you? It takes about 20 minutes or so to learn Braille. You will need to carry some chart paper thickness sheets cut in A4, and a pen and paper for notes.

Hi Swati: Yes please.. do give them a shot.

Double-Dolphin said...

I really like idea number 25...I'll try it...but err...public domain short stories are gonna be difficult to find dude!

How do we know said...

Hi Double Dolphin: Ek dum nahi.. all Hitopadesha, panchtantra, akbar birbal, aesop's fables, Jatak Kathayein, are all out of copyright.. also all folk tales. bahut material hai..

kj said...

i work with kids as a psychotherapist and these activities are great!

i always enjoy your comments on my blog. thank you for your visits. i am glad to be here!


Double-Dolphin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Varun said...

Sleep ZZZZZZ :-)

How do we know said...

@kj: Thanks!

@Varun: g night.

Deepak said...

Mine ideas ?

1. read your blog.
2. remember the 1st one.
3. Above 2 are good for knowledge.. so keep doing :)

Happy summer with Mangoes,Lichi, watermelon and other seasonal fruits.

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