Planning the best summer with your kids is on every parent’s goal list. While all parents endeavor to do so, very few end up spending a summer with kids worth their complete satisfaction. As a parent, you might be worried about how to strike the delicate balance between learning and fun. You might as well be searching through long lists of summer hobby classes already!

Regardless of which stage your plan is in at this point, sit back and read through. You can count on us for some ace tips straight out of the experience with parents and children, yet again!

Let’s first discuss the 3 main challenges that all parents’ face while planning the summer break for their kids:

  • Maintaining a balance between your remote work and your kid’s summer learning (and not to forget, have some fun too)
  • Tackling Summer learning loss – a common issue where children end up losing skills in math, reading, etc. during the summer break. 
  • The problem of too many choices when it comes to picking out summer camps/ hobby classes/ educational classes for children during their summer break

To simplify your planning for the best summer ever with your kids, we have broken down the process into 5 broad areas:

1. Indoor activities – start small and keep adding

The ideas for fun indoor activities could be endless. If you’re a working professional, you could pick out activities that your child can enjoy on their own as well. Amazon.com has an insane number of puzzles, indoor DIY projects, craft kits, and what not! But before you splurge money on random, good-looking options, consider a few recommendations stated below. It’s always best to mix up some learning value with having fun:

  • LEGOs: playing with LEGOs has manifold benefits. It encourages storytelling, open-ended play, mathematical & spatial awareness, etc. All this while keeping your child hooked for hours!
  • DIY projects with daily life use: Check out some great options here, ranging from solar projects to woodworking. You must also take part in these put-me-together projects and encourage your child by using their creations in daily life.
  • Learning a new language: Learning a new language has benefits that are well known. From Spanish to French and Mandarin, choose what your child has a liking for. Then choose a program that can teach it with lots of interactive modules to keep them interested.

Check out Talentnook’s 2021 Summer Programs to learn a new language, explore creative arts and practice writing and math

 

  • Journalling: Make journalling regular exercise for your child. It not only strengthens written communication skills but also boosts overall creativity and visualization skills.
  • Kitchen is the best lab: Yes, your kitchen could be your child’s best learning lab at home! From using math to measure ingredient quantities to using a kitchen scale and to learn how to bake a pizza – engaging your child in kitchen activities can be most fun and engaging!

2. Outdoor activities – say yes to what’s offbeat!

Yes, summer camps are a great choice, but there’s more you can do to have fun with your child outdoors! Start with camping in your backyard or driving to 50kms outside of the city to simply spot shooting stars. The simplest of outdoor activities when executed on impulse lead to the best fun memories for children. This is the secret key! Here are some ideas that you can execute without much pre-planning and surprise your child with all the fun:

  • Random trips: Does your child love to watch Jurassic Park? Next Sunday, take them to a museum where they can see dinosaur skeletons. Do this without telling them in advance and watch their eyes light up!
  • Garden walks with mud activities: nothing delights children more than getting their hands dipped in water and mud! Take it to the next level by baking their mud pies and letting them keep them!
  • Simple outdoor games like a chalk obstacle course: A simple course drawn with chalk in your porch or backyard can get you and your child engaged for hours. Watch this video for some ideas.
  • Organized outdoor playdates: throw up a mini-competition cum party for your child and their friends. Let them play a match of the ball or run a combination of races. Make it look like a real sports day by simply getting a trophy and some goodies!

3. Strike the balance – in everything.

There is no dearth of ideas as you must have gathered till now. The key is to, however, strike the balance. Adding only fun activities and leaving out the educational part of things can do little good. On the other hand, putting your child into a school-like routine even during summer break can do more harm than good. Do the following to avoid overdoing any of the two:

  • Don’t enroll your child in more than 3 different hobby classes during one summer break
  • Give them days in the week when they are completely left to themselves to plan the activities
  • Don’t punish or scold them for not following a routine on some days during the break
  • Reduce the screen time to nothing more than 30-60 min/day during the summer break days
  • Get them a tutor who can strike the balance while taking them up the learning curve. Many parents benefit from this strategy rather than trying to handle everything all by themselves!

4. Mix learning with fun – think creatively!

Don’t jump into things like just enrolling your child in mental math or a piano course during summer break! Mixing fun with learning without burdening your child is a trick in itself. Luckily, today there are a lot of options to do so, read on to know a few:

  • For children who love spending hours on video games, swap the regular games with educational ones. From the Oregon Trail to Wordscapes, you can find 15 great options here.
  • Educational podcasts designed for children of all ages are a great way to keep them engaged productively. You can explore some here:
  • Enroll your child in online contests like essay writing, storytelling, art competitions, etc. You can explore some right away on Talentnook Writing Academy!

5. Plan for that ONE main highlight of the summer break.

Lastly, try planning for one major activity/ eventful day that your child can look up to. Start talking about it, planning with your child for it months in advance. It’s a great way to teach them planning, give them responsibilities like finding out the best hotel deals, doing the math for planning their pocket money spend on the day, etc.

For example, one of the parents we know plans for one surprise 5-day vacation every summer. They throw cues at the child for a month and ask them to guess the location. Questions like: “this city was the place where Mozart spent most of his adult life, can you guess?” can keep your child thrilled for days as they look up for information. Spice it up by banning Google search for getting the answer!

We wish you the best summer with your kids!

Check out Talentnook’s 2021 Summer Programs to learn a new language, explore creative arts and practice writing and math

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Author Pragya