5 unconventional activities for kids to explore this summer vacation - Hindustan Times
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5 unconventional activities for kids to explore this summer vacation

Jun 05, 2024 01:00 PM IST

From outdoor expeditions to artistic expressions, and from scientific explorations to social impact projects, the possibilities are endless.

The summer vacation break is finally here, and kids are ecstatic to trade in their textbooks for sun-kissed adventures and unforgettable memories. While reading books is an excellent way to spend the holidays, there are plenty of other exciting and unconventional ways for kids to make the most of their break. From outdoor expeditions to artistic expressions, and from scientific explorations to social impact projects, the possibilities are endless. In today's fast-paced, ever-evolving world, it's essential to equip their young minds with skills that go beyond books.

Backyard Camping: Camping trips are a classic summer activity. But, you don't need to go far from home to experience the fun. Set up a tent or a fort in your backyard, roast marshmallows, and tell ghost stories. This activity will not only create lasting memories but also encourage your kids to appreciate the outdoors.(pexels/Matheus Bertelli4)
Backyard Camping: Camping trips are a classic summer activity. But, you don't need to go far from home to experience the fun. Set up a tent or a fort in your backyard, roast marshmallows, and tell ghost stories. This activity will not only create lasting memories but also encourage your kids to appreciate the outdoors.(pexels/Matheus Bertelli4)

1. Explore outdoor adventures

While Indian kids are no strangers to the excitement of summer camps, there's a whole world of adventure waiting to be explored beyond the confines of traditional camps. Outdoor adventures like trekking, camping, and hiking offer a thrilling way to get kids to disconnect from their devices and reconnect with nature. Outdoor adventures not only provide a much-needed break from the monotony of academics, but also foster important life skills like teamwork, resilience, and problem-solving. And it's not just about the thrill of adventure - outdoor activities have also been shown to have a positive impact on kids' physical and mental health. With a little planning and preparation, you can create an unforgettable outdoor adventure that will leave your kids feeling refreshed, revitalised, and ready to take on the new academic year.

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2. Start a DIY project

The possibilities are endless when it comes to DIY projects, and the benefits are numerous. Not only do they foster creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking, but they also teach valuable skills like patience, persistence, and resourcefulness. In India, where traditional crafts like woodworking and pottery are an integral part of our rich cultural heritage, introducing kids to DIY projects can be a great way to connect them with their roots. You can start with simple projects like building a bird feeder, or even upcycling old furniture. DIY projects can be adapted to fit your child's interests and abilities, making it an inclusive and engaging activity for kids of all ages.

3. Learn a new language

One innovative and enriching idea is to encourage kids to learn a new language during their vacation. Not only does this provide a fun and mentally stimulating activity, but it also broadens their cultural understanding and opens up new doors for future academic and professional opportunities. With the abundance of language learning apps, games, and online resources available, it's never been easier to introduce kids to the world of languages. Parents can start by setting aside a few hours each week for language learning, and make it a fun and interactive experience by incorporating games, songs, and videos in the target language. As the vacation comes to a close, kids will have gained a new skill, a newfound appreciation for different cultures, and a sense of accomplishment that will last a lifetime.

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4. Learn a new sport

Kids can now explore a plethora of unconventional sports that will not only keep them active and engaged but also help them develop new skills and confidence. The options are endless - from playing lawn tennis, basketball, roller skating, surfing to rock climbing. Not only will these activities provide a much-needed break, but they will also help your child develop essential life skills like teamwork, perseverance, and strategic thinking. Many of these sports offer classes and workshops specifically designed for kids, with trained instructors and safety equipment to ensure a fun and safe experience. Encourage them to try something new, and watch them grow into confident, well-rounded, and fearless individuals.

5. Volunteer for a cause

While many kids might be tempted to spend their break binge-watching their favourite TV shows or playing video games, there are many more meaningful and enriching ways to spend their time off. One such way is to volunteer for a cause that resonates with their heart. It will give them the sense of purpose and fulfillment that comes from dedicating time to help those in need. By lending a hand, kids can not only make a difference in the lives of others but also gain valuable life skills, such as empathy, teamwork, and communication. Whether it's helping to care for furry friends at an animal shelter, participating in a beach cleanup, or assisting at a local food bank, volunteering can be a fun and rewarding way to spend the summer break.

Dealing with fear and resistance

As your child sets out to explore unconventional vacation activities, it's inevitable that they'll encounter obstacles that might make them want to give up. Perhaps they're afraid of trying something new, like rock climbing or public speaking, or they're resistant to stepping out of their comfort zone. Fear and resistance can be overwhelming, but it's essential to acknowledge and address them head-on. Encourage your child to express their concerns and worries, and listen to them without judgment. Help them break down their fears into manageable, bite-sized challenges, and celebrate their small victories along the way. As they overcome each obstacle, they'll become more self-assured and motivated to take on new challenges, unlocking a world of possibilities and experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. Trying new things can help kids develop a wide range of skills, from problem-solving and critical thinking to creativity and communication.

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It's time to rethink the traditional summer break, where kids are encouraged to explore, experiment, and express themselves in ways that are both fun and fulfilling. By doing so, we can help shape a generation of curious, creative, and confident individuals who are ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century. By embracing these unconventional ways to spend their break, kids can develop new skills, build lasting memories, and return to school with a fresh perspective and a renewed sense of enthusiasm.

(Author Dr Maithili Tambe is CEO of The Academy School, Pune. Views expressed are personal.)

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