Day-in and day-out, the kids are at home, school's out, and your free time is gone. Many parents look forward to the summer holidays with mixed feelings, some thoughts may bring you delight, while others can be dreadful. So the question comes to mind:
"What can I do, that helps me, helps my child, and still make the holidays memorable?"
To not make this long with a lot to read, we've got it down in bullet points for you because we are keen to give some quality time for your kids this summer, but not the kind that requires them to get off bed at 8 AM in the morning for classes. Anyhow:
1. First, complete your tasks together with your child.
First and foremost, there will always be moments where everyone will be at home and your kid needs you around, while you have other things to complete. Never keep aside your important tasks at home in order to do something less important for the sake of "fun". Give your child the example of completing your own task, but get them to help you to complete it. Okay, now that this point is out of the way, let's get to the new ideas.
2. Make your child feel like an engineer.
By that, I mean making stuff like Robots! There are a lot of thing that can be done from simple stuff. Search "DIY Robots for children" on YouTube, and all they will need are some batteries and motors (available at any hardware). We can also take care of this part for you, giving them robotics sessions where they will learn a little more advanced stuff like programming instructions from scratch. This can make them feel like Tony Stark. Details here.
3. Program an App.
This is something that can get them occupied well, the moment they build their own functioning app (it can be anything small) on the computer, the excitement will keep them going. Some programming tools like Arduino can do some pretty amazing stuff, like animating drawings and other art. We have Arduino sessions coming up which will teach children to make apps, animations, etc. And will also teach the how to draw their own characters, which I will explain in the next point. But teaching them any programming will be very beneficial for the next generation when they grow up.
4. Bring out the artist in them.
It might be unlikely that most children will get interested in drawing on paper. In that case, introduce the to Adobe Photoshop or some digital art application. Playing with brushes or having an assignment to draw their first art will keep them occupied and learning. This summer we will have sessions to teach children digital artistry using Photoshop, we will teach them about drawing anime-style art that can also be animated.
5. Math can be fun!
That's right. Not usual math, but interesting techniques and methods like the Japanese multiplication table, etc. This is something that can involve a lot of games, so there's a high level of potential for engagement if done right. Talk to us and we can help sort this one as well.
6. Teach them to gauge the weather.
A few simple kid-friendly gadgets can make them interested in whatever it is that the gadget does. And did you know? you can get many toys relating to the weather, with ways to figure out stuff like wind-speed/direction. There are also plenty of methods on YouTube that they can try. We have a session to conduct weather experiments and teach children everything they need to know. Details here if you need them.
7. Board games!
Nope, not the usual ones stuck in the bookshelves and the cupboards. But newer ones! Some tend to be unnecessarily expensive, but there are also many that can be played without getting any resources. Like Spyfall for example. But this summer we have got new board games at our centre, for kids to be occupied with. These are primarily aimed to help with their cognitive & interaction development. You should check them out here. We will even create our own game together with the children during the course of the workshop!
8. Take social media with a pinch of salt.
"Some families spend tens of thousands of pounds on exotic holidays but then don’t actually enjoy the time together, while other families can go for a walk in the park and have their happiest day ever". Facebook and Instagram have the notorious side effect of getting people to compare their lives and feel let down. Remember, everyone only shows their best moments, or sometimes make it seem like a great moment just for social media attention. So don't waste time on these platforms if it isn't for anything productive. Social media tends to waste a lot of time, causing despondent moments in holidays.
So there you go, if none of those will help, get some easy and cheap stuff that your child can make use of and be occupied during his/her time at home, such as a board game, baking ingredients, a tool set, and don’t underestimate how much fun can be had with a basketball.