Summer vacations are still on and most of you may be done with your travels. Guest blogger Anupama Vijayakumar of www.mom-of-all-trades.blogspot.in brings you five fun ways to make the most of stay-at-home vacation time.
Stay-at-home vacations are often a time of mixed feelings for most parents. While you look forward to your kids being at home without the seemingly never-ending school routine and the paraphernalia of pick ups, carpools and extra classes that seem to accompany it, it is also the time for the dreaded, "Mom, I’m bored” drills.
Kids of this generation feel the need to be entertained all the time, thanks to electronic gadgets and television, which ensure hours of mindless entertainment. As well-intentioned parents, most of us cringe at the thought of our children "wasting" time instead of attending workshops or camps. But most child psychologists agree that children need some unstructured play time to develop their imagination and creativity. It’s completely normal for them to feel bored. You don’t have to hit the panic button each time your child asks you what he/she should do next. Here are some suggestions on how to make a stay-at-home vacation fun-filled and memorable for both your kids and you.
1. Little Green Fingers: Introduce your child to the joys of growing flowers and fruits and being close to nature. If you have a garden, give your child a small patch or a few pots where he/she can grow things. Get the necessary gardening tools; if possible child-friendly ones so that your child can help you with the potting. Once you have all the basics in place, decide on the type of plants you want to grow. For first-timers it is best to start off with growing herbs as they are very easy to grow. You can start off with mint and coriander.
2. Happy Campers: Camp in your living room. When it’s too hot to venture out, make a fun day of it and camp right in the middle of your house. Pack all the necessary things. Pitch a tent (even an old bed sheet would do) and darken the room. Arrange for some munchies, sit in your tent and tell each other stories, sing songs or anything else that you normally do while camping out.
3. Nature Magic: Get your child to enjoy the everyday magic of nature that we so take for granted. You can help your child make a small bird house or a small bird bath for his/her winged friends and enjoy watching the birds splash around. Make a summer nature scrapbook by collecting natural treasures like leaves, stones or feathers and making a collage. Go star watching. Choose a clear night, arm yourself with comfortable rugs, some snacks and drinks and a book on stars and have fun tracing out celestial patterns.
4. Go Clubbing: Encourage your child to form a "club” with like-minded friends. For instance, he/she can start a nature club or a social service club and raise money for a good cause. Your child can hold a garage sale with friends or have a cultural programme with "tickets” too. You could also organise little book reading sessions for your child and his/her friends. Make it more exciting by rounding it up with a DVD of the book and some snacks. For example, 'Jungle Book' is a good book to start off with. This will ensure that the kids are interested.
5. Whip Up a Storm: Make a meal from scratch. In our busy lives, where having a fully home-cooked meal together as a family is a luxury, involve the whole family and cook a favourite meal from scratch. The whole process of cooking and sharing a meal is one of life’s most underestimated pleasures.
With a little planning and effort, you can make this stay-at-home vacation time into a treasure-trove of memories that your family can cherish for a long time!
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