LifestyleSAGA CORNER

5 Fun Summer activities for families

Summer vacations are here, and your usually busy child is free and excited to do anything and everything under the sun, including bringing down your roof!While a much-neededbreak from the stressful schoolroutineis welcome, finding activities to keep children fruitfully occupied can be challenging. As an age-old proverb goes, “a guided missile is always preferable to a loose cannon,” especially in and around the house when it gets too hot to play outdoors.

Here are five ideas to channelyour child’s boundless energy productively and to help keep the mood at home peaceful and fun:

Playing Outdoors

Nothing matches some fun in the sun, a roll in the mud, and an odd fight over a toy being snatched or a turn being skipped! It’s all good and a combination of natural and social activities is an essential part of a child’s holistic development.Family picnics and community gatherings can somehow be limited to weekends only. As it gets generally warmer across the globe, parents are now watchful of their children’s time spent outdoors, and children tend to end up spending more time on gadgets than outdoors. So, how to ensure they get their daily need for optimum physical activity?

Local Summer Camps

The next best option to keep children engaged in fun activities in theirage group isto signthem up for summer camps. Organised play sessions with a smart blend of outdoor and indoor activities are great opportunities to socialise, learn new skills, and pick up new hobbies. This could include sports, swimming, dramatics, arts, Vedic or mental maths, baking, and more.The icing on the cake would be the new friendships with other children with similar interests.

What’s more interesting is that most camps issue certificates for the activities covered which is helpful to children in many ways, other than the joy of having learnt something new.

Fun at Home

A child’s first playground is the home, and their first playmates are parents and siblings. Board games, karaoke singing, watching movies together, and sharing childhood stories are some of the fun ways of family bonding.

However, frequent breaks from work and/or household chores, apart from being demanding; can oftenbe impossible as well. And parents must resort to handing over their smartphones or tablets to keep their children occupied.

Television Time

There are oceans of curated, informative,as well as entertaining programs available on a multitude of kids’ channels. Children tend to pick up elements of what they see and ape the behaviours of their favourite superheroes or cartoon characters. Research-backedevidence proves that children watching violent cartoons tend to develop aggressive behaviour. Hence, parental supervision is paramount to controlling what a child is exposed to while watching television.

Gadgets for Children

Each child is unique, with different aptitudes and capabilities. While some are highly energetic and do well in competitive team sports, others are quieter and do well in single-player games or sports. Then there are those who prefer no sports at all but love shooting zombies in combat games or racing games. Whichever group your child falls into, there will be times when they are all on their gadgets. And why not? They are, after all, digital natives. Parents should, however, limit the gadget time to avoid children becoming lethargic.

Games likeLuca& Friends(4-8 yrs.),Kerbal Space Program (11 yrs.) and The Portal(15 yrs.)can be worthinvesting in. These games offer an amazing combination of mindfulness, engagement, and skills in STEM (science, technology, and mathematics).

Particularly worth mentioning is the latest gamified learning app,Luca & Friends.This innovative app uses motion capture technology through the gadget’s camera.So, the game only progresses when the child moves to “catch a yellow banana,” or “kick a football,” or “count the apples.” The “hands-free” way of operating keeps children active in mind and body.

Enjoy the summer bonding with your child over these five activities. So what’s your plan for keeping your kids busy and active, both physically and mentally, this summer?

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

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