5 Things Your Child Needs This Summer!
It’s that time of the year again! Exams are done and the summer vacations have officially begun for most children (and their parents). For children this is the time to wind down, relax and enjoy the sun! For most parents too this is the time to let their hair down. But for some (like yours truly) who work, vacations take on a whole different meaning. Even in case of parents who are at home with their children, keeping children busy for two whole months does seem like a daunting task. I mean, if left to be by themselves, most children today would choose to watch endless hours of TV and munch on as much junk food as possible! Right?
So then most parents start looking for summer camps and classes to keep their little ones busy. Many take this opportunity to teach their children something new, some try to start taking interest in new hobbies and all, but eventually either the parents get tired taking children to and from their classes, or children get fed up because of their overscheduled activities! And that’s just too bad.
It’s their vacation, right? It doesn’t have to be so difficult! Well, believe it or not, there are ways to keep children happily engaged in our own homes! And that is exactly what I intend to tell you through this post.
Here is a list of things to give your children in abundance this summer to ensure that they have a great time this vacation!
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I am biased when it comes to books! For me, no matter how many books you have in your home, there is always room for more. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Research has proved that books help reduce stress in children as well as adults – and I am sure many children need stress busters during vacations after their stressful exams and heavy duty studies. Research has also shown that books help increase the feeling of empathy in the readers; not to mention the fact that books help expand imagination, help increase the vocabulary, increase memory power and end up making you smarter! Now, books lovers will agree with me, I know; but for others who haven’t given books a try yet; I would seriously recommend stocking up on some! Join a local library, or visit a local bookstore this weekend, or maybe just order some books online so that your children have a stock that they can root through on the lazy, hot summer afternoons!
Stationery and art supplies
Now you are wondering, how children would react to a bunch of plain white sheets of paper and pencils/pens when it is vacation! But believe me, it is when they have nothing to do with these things that they will engage children more! Keep a steady stock of drawing paper, cutting paper, all sorts of paper basically, and markers, sketch pens, glitter, water colors – just about anything that can create a mess – and see your children gleefully stay engaged for hours on end! For most of us art means beauty, appreciation, precision and what not. But for children, art is so much more! It is interesting and can keep them occupied for hours! So stock up on stationery and art supplies and let your children loose. With no restriction on what they can and cannot do, children will really enjoy their time creating master pieces! So unleash the hidden talent in your kids, and who knows maybe you may end up encouraging a future Picasso!
Puzzles, board games, card games et al
Reading and art are great, but they can keep your active little geniuses occupied only for so long. There will come a time during the day when children would be bored out of their wits! It is at such times that toys and games come in handy. Remember those board games that your child got as birthday gifts? Or the ones you rarely get time to play with him when the school is on and you are both busy? Remember that 100 pieces puzzle you always started with your little one (secretly wishing he would finish it himself) but never got to complete because of the lack of time? Remember the classic card games from our childhood? (I know playing card is banned in many homes, but playing a well-meaning card game to pass the time does not mean you are raising a gambler! Instead, you can use card games to teach witty games to children where they will really have to learn to use their grey cells!) And last but not the least remember that carom board that is sitting covered in dust somewhere in your attic? Well, now’s the perfect time to bring all these games out in the open!
Lots of opportunity for outdoor play
Ah, the great outdoors! Who wouldn’t enjoy a fresh breeze and some nature time? But as the temperatures soar and the summer officially takes over, more and more children are forced to spend time indoors. However, just because it is summer does not mean children just have to stay shut inside their homes all day! Growing children need all the exercise they can get, and then some more! So it’s up to the parents to help them make the most of the pleasant mornings and the evening when the sun is not so bright. Let them play outdoors in the morning and the evenings. Let them cycle, walk or run around the block (under supervision), or take up swimming or tennis or basketball or anything, really; just ensure that they get enough exercise and are nice and tired at the end of the day! As a bonus, this will ensure that children eat well and sleep well too! Believe me, nothing better than physical exercise to whet that appetite of your little ones!
Loads of free time to do nothing
This one is the most important! After all the activities and the busy schedule for the day, children need a bit of down time. That is why this “doing nothing” time is extremely important! We may or may not like it as parents but children do need a little time that is absolutely unstructured and where no rules apply. Keep some time aside every day for this “doing nothing”. Children can do whatever they want during this time. They want to watch TV? Let them. They want to watch you make dinner? Let them. They want to laze on the sofa with their action figure? Let them. Just let them be; period. Give them space. And they will take up one or the other activity all by themselves once they are good and ready!
So what are you waiting for? This summer, go ahead and let your children enjoy these 5 things abundance! And as for parents, you just need to make some fresh lemonade and soak in the sun!