*In this series, we talk to parents who have found creative and engaging ways to spend time with their children.*
Parents from BeauMonde, a building complex in Mumbai, have given new meaning to the experience of living in a large residential society by working together to organise camping nights, literature festivals and science and arts clubs for their children. One of the parents in charge says, “We utilise the whole year to conduct activities for our children. Every two months, we conduct events that bring together children of various age groups.
January and February are reserved for sports activities wherein children participate in a triathlon—cycling, racing and swimming. In March and April, a summer festival is conducted wherein children put up various game stalls. This is also the time when children work on art installations together, which are then used to decorate the surroundings. We take a break in May, June and July as most families travel then. In the monsoon season, we all plan an outdoor trek for the children. November is designated for a literature festival while in December we organise an overnight camp for the children. About 100 children participate enthusiastically and pitch tents. The older ones are responsible for the younger children. Games and activities are conducted. The children pack, clean and carry out their duties responsibly. It’s always a great learning and fun experience.”
Creative Parenting Tips from one of the mothers at BeauMonde:
- Encouraging group effort brings true childhood back. When parents and children put together something as a group, it brings out more creativity.
- Join in with other parents and let the children interact. Children learn better from each other. They also begin to value the other person’s effort and get motivated.
- Children should be given time. Then creativity will happen automatically.
- Children should be given exposure to different aspects of creativity. Parents shouldn’t assume that if their child is interested in drawing, they should only be given paints and paintbrushes. Go on a trek and let them explore nature and be inspired by the colours of nature.
- Parents should allow their children to play sports as it can help them excel in academics. In a game like basketball or football, children are made to focus and concentrate. They have to track and trace the ball and their responses are also made sharp. Such factors are prerequisites of any subject and help develop the brain. This is called cross functional learning, which should be brought into practice.
- Lesser screen time, more play time. Screen time blocks the mind from being able to think. Everything comes too easy as your hands are not doing it. Handwork is far better as it makes you the creator.
- It’s an age-old belief that some amount of boredom is necessary for creativity. Creativity only comes with time, so give children as much free time and they will create something innovative.
(Image courtesy Thinkstock)