how to engage child constructively during vacation
Engaging kids constructively during vacation is a concern of every Parent. Since there is no school during vacations, kids tend to become stress-free and burden free which results in being carefree or getting careless. They are full of energy and need to exhaust their energy for constructive and developmental work. If they are not engaged constructively then such energy will be utilized in vague and may result in destructive activities or non – productive and useless activities. Seeing this, the parents may get irritated and may start reprimanding their children which in turn will create an unpleasant atmosphere in the house and may also discourage the child to be good. Rosary is concerned for such issues faced by Parents and children. Thus, we have taken an initiative to be suggestive to Parents as to how to engage the child constructively during vacations. With this initiative, we will be sharing a Tip every day with the parents using social media platform. Hope you will find such Tips useful and helpful.
Tips for Engaging child Constructively
Try to keep a regular schedule for you child. Meaning; let your child wake up at a particular time daily and have a normal breakfast, lunch, and dinner schedule. Do not allow your child to sleep for long durations unnecessarily just because it is a vacation. For example, if you set a wake-up time for 8:00am then follow it on a daily basis. Maintain a normal schedule for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Set a weekly timetable for your child where you have a different activity on the same time every day. This will enable punctuality and sincerity in your child and the different activity will maintain the interest level of your child. You may not give that timetable to the child but you must maintain such a timetable yourself so that you are clear of what activity you want for your child to be done.
Maintain a daily journal for the child where the child will record his daily work and activity in the book. This will ensure that reading and writing skills remain sharp.
Get membership of a Library for the child and let your child visit the library on a daily basis to refer to different newspapers, magazines, books, Cds etc. Ask your child to check for some new information every day and record it in his daily journal.
Ask your child to have a shared routine with friends where they would visit each other at respective houses turn by turn and play accordingly. For example, your child has four friends A,B,C,D, E(your child). Let them get together at A’s house on Monday, B’s house of Tuesday, C’s house on Wednesday and so on… turn by turn. Ask them to play with toys or articles that are available at respective homes. This will strengthen the value of sharing and tolerance amongst them.
Set a day and date of day outing with family or friends and let your child visit some local parks, community play areas, zoo, museum, or such local attraction that will further enhance their knowledge and skill. Ask them to record such experience in their daily journal.
Set a day, date for an outdoor game even with family and friends where you may get together in a group and play outdoor games like Cricket, Badminton, Kho – Kho, Hide and See, Treasure Hunt, etc. Have such outing along with packed lunch or dinner from home. This will strengthen the bond between family and friends.
Enroll your child for some sort of skill development in his or her area of interest like drawing, music, singing, art, game, etc. While enrolling your child please make it clear to him that this is vacation activity and will get eventually over as the school reopens. Also, set him some attainable goal that he will have to achieve if such enrollment is done. For example, you can set a goal that in vacation drawing classes you will master the skill of shading.
Teach your child some shopping. While you are busy working chores of the house, you can ask your child to buy some grocery for home and thereby teach him/her the art of shopping and helping with such work. For example, you can ask your child to bring some Sugar or Tea or Soap etc. from a nearby provision store. Give him/her some money and tell an approximate cost of the product and what money will be got back. This way your child will learn the art of shopping and also will understand that they should also help in such work at home.
Visit to nearby Vegetable Market. When it’s time to purchase some vegetables for home, take your child along and ask him/her to carry the bags. Discuss with him/her what to purchase and how to make selection for such purchase. For example, if Tomatoes are required to be purchased then show him/her how to select the Tomatoes from the bunch, get it weighed and pay for it. This will teach many concepts to the child that is not possible for them to learn in school. The child tends to get more responsible with this activity.
Set a house cleaning day. Ask your child to help you for some non-routine cleaning of the house where they can help easily and will be ready to work with you. For example, take their help in re-organizing their Shelves, desks, storage houses, etc. Ask for their help in re-organizing the position of the bed or other such articles in their room. This will keep their charm intact as they will be interested to have some new arrangements in their room.
Set a house decoration day. Ask your child to decorate his/her room with their own imagination. Ask for their suggestion and avail them with some decorative stuff like, strings, ropes, wall papers, paints, stencils that are within your reach and tolerance capacity. Discuss what they will do with such articles and allow them the day’s time to get it finished. For example, you can ask them to their favorite cartoon character in their room, ask them how they will do it and allow them to work it out within some limits.
Set a reading time once in a day. During odd hours like bright sunny day or sunny hours when it is not advisable to play out, set some indoor activity. Set a daily reading time where your child will read some story or interesting facts from newspaper or magazine aloud in front of the family to which you will listen patiently. Mark the errors that they make and report them after they finished the reading. Ask them to read it once again with corrections implemented.
Create a Scrapbook. Ask your child to collect their favorite cartoon character cuttings from newspaper or magazine and have them pasted in a scrapbook. You can also ask them to cut out some important news or fact from the newspaper and get them pasted in the scrapbook. This will help develop identification of important news matter and keeping a track of it and also maintaining such copies.
Create a Collage. On any fine day when you are free, sit with your child and view all the childhood photos of the child. Ask him to separate the photos that they like and prefer. Then ask him to paste it in a Drawing Book or on a chart and prepare a collage with them. This will engage them with memories of their childhood and strengthen the bonding amongst the family and will help the child develop a skill for creating collage.
Go for a Holiday. Plan a trip to a remote place or to a fun park like Theme Parks, Water Parks and get your child some excitement along with some refreshments for yourself. Going for a trip with your child on such theme park will bring back the fun and excitement in the family along with a sense of tolerance and adjustment.
Share some cooking tips with your child. Vacation time is the best time to be with your child and share some self-feeding tips with him or her. Teaching your child to prepare their own food will relieve your tension when you fall ill and would not be in a position to make their breakfast. Show them how to prepare snacks of their desire with what is available at home. Allow them to have a hand on practice using the sandwich maker or microwave for preparing their food. This will be an exciting activity for your child and also develop a sense of self-reliance at times of need.
Preparing dough. Give some flour to your child and teach him / her how to prepare dough out of it. This will not only give a good engaging activity but will also make him /her aware of the proportion of material to be used for such work. This will indirectly develop some math and calculation skills along with fine motor activity like using fists to prepare the dough.
Use indoor games. Set a daily routine where you can play with your child some indoor games like carom, cards, snakes and ladders, solving puzzles, playing monopoly etc. Change the game every day, say one day carom and another day monopoly. This will not only keep your child engaged but also will enable some mental development by maintaining score, developing tricks, etc.
Drama Time. Allow your child to watch his or her favorite TV program and ask them to enact their favorite dialogue, play or character while all the family gets together. This will not only improve their observation and memory skills but also will develop representation skills which are very much essential in day to day life.
Morning Walk. If possible, wake up your child early and take him for a morning walk. Show him how pleasant the mornings are and make him listen to the birds chirping or tweeting. Take him to a nearby park or play area and show him how people exercise to remain fit and let him take some inspiration from them. Such occasional excursions early in the morning will make him considerate towards nature for its flora and fauna.
Movie Time. Plan a Movie day with the kids. You can take them to theater or have a DVD or CD rented for home viewing. If such plan is made for home viewing then you can also ask your child’s friend for such session as well. Having a movie day will serve their need for entertainment and edutainment. Select appropriate movies that promote some educational or patriotic values.
Teaching your child bicycle and cycling along with your child would be another exciting activity that you could engage your child in. This will not only give some physical activity to the child but will also boost the physical growth of the child and some sport activity. Cycling in early mornings could be very rewarding along with blissful nature experience in the morning.
Computer Skills. Allow your child to learn some computer skills during the vacation. Enroll in a nearby computer class or a community driven computer classes where he could not only learn basic computing skills but can also make friends. Basic computer skills involve learning computer hardware, software, Ms-Office. Typing is an essential skill of 21st century, a candidate with accurate typing skills would be most sought after in present times.
Visit to Railway Station. For a change of activity fix a day or date and take your child to visit the Railway Station. Make him familiar with the arrangements at Railway Station. Show him how ticket is booked, what could be the charges, how to obtain the ticket, how are trains loaded to the platform, how is the platform organized, where are the refreshments available, what facilities are there in the waiting room, how to approach the Station Master, what do the passengers do while waiting for the train, how is the announcement being made, etc. Spare about an hour at the Railway Station and observe all these details minutely. Ask him to write a short note or an essay on “An hour spent at Railway Station” in his journal. This way he will not only make himself familiar with the station but also will be occupied in writing and recalling what he observed.
Visit to City Bus Station. For a change of activity fix a day or date and take your child to visit the City Bus station. Make him familiar with the arrangements at City Bus Station. Show him how ticket is booked, what could be the charges, how to obtain the ticket, how are trains loaded to the platform, how is the platform organized, where are the refreshments available, what facilities are there in the waiting room, how to approach the Station Master, what do the passengers do while waiting for the train, how is the announcement being made, etc. Spare about an hour at the City Bus Station and observe all these details minutely. Ask him to write a short note or an essay on “An hour spent at City Bus Station” in his journal. This way he will not only make himself familiar with the station but also will be occupied in writing and recalling what he observed.
Visit to Mall. Plan a day out in a Mall. Spend around two or more hours at any local mall let your child familiarize the purchase process at a Mall. Let him note down as to what shops are there in the mall and what do they sell? Ask him to prepare a list of categories of products that are available at the mall. Prepare a list of home grocery that can be purchased from the mall and ask your child to search those articles and collect it in the trolley basket. Let him have a hand on of how to select the article. Once done, let him wait for his turn in the queue for the payment and allow him to do the entire process of payment. With this activity you will not only teach him how to shop from the mall but also will be rest assured that he will be helping you when you next visit the mall.
Visit to City Hospital. Just as visiting the Railway and City Bus Station, it is a good idea to make your child familiarize with the City Civil Hospital. Show him where to register for treatment and how to take such appointment. Spend some time in the hospital and let him observe the process and transactions happening at the Civil Hospital. Ask him to learn as to how to get one admitted at time of requirement. This activity will make him capable of helping others at time of requirement and will make him more settled by seeing the health trouble of other people. Explain him to show gratitude towards what he is made available and is capable of as compared to other that he observed at the hospital. This will develop a sense of affection and sensitivity towards the patients and will also make him responsible at times of your requirement.
Set up Reading and Writing Sessions. So that the child does not get detached with regular studies and learning, have a reading and writing session on daily basis. Ask him to take out his text book of English, Gujarati, Hindi, etc. and read aloud the chapter or the poem. Ask him to explain the same once reading is over. Ask him to copy write the paragraph or question – answers so that the academics won’t get erased from his mind. This is much required as he will remain connected with school subjects during vacation.
Visit to the University. Make a point to visit to the University with your child. Show him the atmosphere of the university and set him a goal that one day he will also be coming here for higher studies. Visit to the University will motivate him to study well and go for further education. Show him the different departments of various disciplines and the facilities within the department. Introduce him to any of your contacts at the university and explain him the importance of getting higher education.
Visit to City Library. Having membership of a library during vacation is very important. You may have membership of any library that is near to your home but make sure that you make your child visit the City Library. Make him familiar with the facilities of library, the discipline inside the library, the rules of borrowing / issuing books, magazine and electronic material, the process of membership and book issue, etc. Ask him to get a list of books that would be suitable to him or his age group and get a few issued for him for his reference and reading. This activity will enable his liking for reading material other than the academic books.
Participation in local events. Being vacation, many charitable trusts, NGO’s, Community Groups, etc. would be declaring some kind of competitions like, lemon and spoon race, drawing competition, treasure hunt competition, one minute work outs, etc. Depending upon the age of your child and area of interest you can have your child participate in such competitions and brush some of his skills for sportsmanship and talents.
Arrange a family get together with siblings. Holidays are good time periods for some get-together and group event organization. Arranging a family reunion or a siblings party would be a great idea to ignite the family spirit and maintain a healthy relations amongst the family members and cousins. This activity can be done during vacation at each other’s home in rotation.
Visit to the Planetarium. If you have a planetarium in your town then it would be a great idea to visit one during summer break. Let your child take a notebook and pen along while visiting it. Taking snap shots and photographs of particular display at planetarium and then noting it down in his journal would make him remember the visit and the matter. Let your child prepare a sequential note on what he observed in the planetarium.
Membership at Regional Science Center. If your town has a Regional Science Center then taking its membership would be an added advantage. There would be many events and lectures on different topics of science at RSC. If you do not have one in your town then you could still access the one nearest to your city. A day trip to RSC will ensure that the child has definitely learnt something new on that day which worthwhile and may be a topic of his study.
Participation in Workshops. Many workshops would be conducted in the town like art and craft workshops, engineering basics workshops, music workshops, games workshops, etc. Enrolling in any of those workshops will develop the skills of your child along with new friends and colleagues. Workshops would be a great source of inspiration for your child and encouraging him to be more worthy of participation in certain competitions. Your child could also earn a certificate at the end of the workshop which will serve as a source of motivation for him.
Science experiments at Home (Science Journal). Purchase a science journal of his grade or the next grade. Solve the experiments of the journal and write down the findings there in. This will not only create interest for science in the child but would also make him bright as he could have solved a full journal in entire vacation before he would go to his next grade. This activity will make him more confident in the subject which will work as motivation for better score.
Preparation for the Next Year - New Class: This is one of the most important activities that you could be engaging your child in. Most of the students and parents purchase the books of the next grade at the time of school reopening that is after the vacation are over. If you purchase the books in the mid vacation then you can engage your child in the course content of the next grade. You can engage the child in getting the books covered, getting it labeled and named. Learning some of the topics of the next grade would be added advantage and the child will be prepared for the learning on school reopening and would be saved from the blues of next grade.
Attending an adventure camp would be a nice idea if your child falls in the age group of such camps. Attending adventure camps would make the child ready of life experience. He would have experience of being out of the home, managing self with luggage, managing in the pocket money provided, deal with some hunger and thirst, learning some life skills, etc. Such experience would prepare him for life challenges which he would otherwise never experience under your care.
Regular Exercise. Encourage your child for some regular exercise or yoga. Allow him to join a gym or a yoga class that will develop a sound physic. It is said that a Healthy body is the sign of a Healthy mind. Thus, having a regular exercise will increase his endurance power and thereby increasing resistance against diseases. Yoga helps in improving concentration of mind and body and improves overall health.
Thus, there are numerous ways to engage your child during vacations. Above are just a few of suggestions that would ignite some thought process in your mind. Hope, such suggestions come at handy solutions to your day to day issues and you can make your child’s vacation a worthwhile learning experience apart from just holidays at school. As Gandhiji said, “There is No School Equal to a Decent Home and No Teacher Equal to a Virtuous Parent.”
Wish you all a happy vacation.