Summer vacations are here. My daughter is very excited. I would want her to spend time productively. Sure this is a much needed a break, as they almost spend half of the day at school and have after school activities so they are really exhausted at the end of the day. However, it is important to utilize the leisure time well. Also it is a great opportunity for parents to spend good quality time with kids and enjoy various activities with them.
These are the things I have planned with my daughter based on her interest and mine too. Something we can do together, enjoy and learn.
1. Plan a vacation
We are all very fond of travelling as a family so will take a vacation trip for a few days. While travelling with children, planning should be in place so plan taking their opinion in consideration too. Children learn the important skill of planning and organizing if they are actively involved.
A vacation need not be necessarily at some exotic place only, could be a visit to grand- parents home. Children love to spend time with grandparents and all of us know we as parents can’t teach what grandparents can to kids. I still remember spending my summer vacations with my grand- mother, these are memories the child will cherish all their lives.

2. Join yoga classes
I enjoy yoga a lot and its part of my daily regime. I would love to enroll my daughter in yoga class along with me. Yoga helps build flexibility, concentration and strength. It increases confidence in a child too. Daily an hour of yoga will help spending time with your child and it will be a good alternative to be away from electronic gadgets.

3. Take up a sport.
My daughter is a good swimmer and she is really inclined to teach me too. I got scared as a child when I used to learn. She knows this and tells me that if I teach her to overcome her fears, I should do so too. So I am planning to learn swimming from her. I believe that it will really enhance her confidence and will also improve her performance too. Most importantly she’ll get a lesson in learning to teach. So take up a sport and do it together. It’s a fun way to learn.

4. Encourage reading.
Vacations are the best time to encourage children to read. To do so I plan to subscribe to some children magazines or take up membership in a library. By joining a library the child will enjoy choosing the book of their choice. They also learn to finish the book in stipulated time plus it becomes a part of routine for the child. Alternatively you can buy books of their choice too. They could later exchange books with their friends. This will make them discuss books with their friends. Apart from developing reading skills, it enhances vocabulary too. Make sure your child learns few new words daily.

5. Engage in creative activity.

Encourage the child to spend time doing some creative activity like clay art, painting or any craft activity. The parent should join them in the activity of the child’s choice and do it together. Also you can sit together and play word games and do puzzles.

6. Make them write a journal.
If your child is six years and above, this is the right age to introduce them to the world of creative writing. The first step towards that is to make them write a journal, and what better time than vacations. They do various activities during vacations and so they would have different things to write about daily. They could also make a scrap book by sticking pictures of the places they visited and writing a small write up on it.

7. Take children for plays.
Few days back I had taken my daughter to watch a play at the Prithvi theater in Mumbai. It was the first time she watched a play. To watch actors perform so close to you and to interact with them was a completely enthralling experience. Theater helps children express and understand emotions. It is an excellent way to develop listening skills, improve communication and increase vocabulary too. Also during vacations many plays on children are performed at Prithvi theater, Juhu , should take children there if you reside in Mumbai.

8. Join a hobby class.
During vacations you can introduce child to singing, dancing, or theater classes. It is a good time to learn some art and also we as parents can find out about our child’s inclinations or interest towards any art form.

9. Fix gadget time.
With lot of time at disposal, the child may be inclined to spend most of it watching T.V or using various gadgets. Fix a time for that too. I am surely going to do that, first thing once vacation starts.

10. Time for free play.
Though joining classes and doing creative activities are important but so is free play. Let them spend most of the evenings in playground or in building compound with their friends. Most of the learning of life skills happens there and the children enjoy that the most.

I am looking forward to vacations and doing fun things with my daughter. Hope this list helps you too, but if you have some other ideas share with me by posting comments. Hope you all have a enjoyable vacation.

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