We are one month into summer holidays here, and it was only apt that I wrote an update. On 22nd March the younger son finished his exams with huge whoops from all of. 23rd March we took off for a fabulous vacation to the Andamans that was even better than what I had expected. We got back on the 29th and then began summer holidays in earnest. Like every year, I am wary of this time. As you are aware I am a work-from-home mother, and I relish my peace and silence. With kids, never mind if they are a tween and a teen, you can expect noise, a lot of it, yes you can!
After the exams, I sat them down and explained that I really needed to work. Add to it I took on A to Z challenge for my food blog this year, which I didn’t expect was so much work. So by evening, I am exhausted (also thanks to the weather) and ready to bite anyone’s head off. Overall they have been well behaved. Otherwise, squabbles, yelling, uncontrolled giggling etc. (you get a drift) break out at regular intervals and without a warning. And then sometimes I yell and threaten. At other times, I mutter curses under my breath. Oh, and I must tell you about the summer activities that all of us have listed down including the time limits. There is a time table somewhere as well. Don’t roll your eyes.
So here are parent and therapist approved fun summer activities that perhaps you can also allow your kids:
1. TV time:
We had disabled our TV connection since last year and a half and finally reinstated it this April. They get 1 hour of TV time daily and a movie once every 3 days unless they watch something with parents. Of course, they also get to watch their Formula 1 races and some IPL matches which have been a disaster for RCB but that’s another story. The funny part is that I never switch on the TV. I still turn to my online streaming for what I want to watch. So I am guessing I am over TV for good.
2. Screen Time:
Now this is what the kids hanker after the most. This applies to any kind of gadget or online play time. They strictly get 1 hour daily.
While mum accompanied them for a few days, the kids have been going an hour daily for their swim. Since both of them swim well and are old enough, no chaperoning is needed on my part. They have been handling it pretty well.
With both parents who mean serious business when it comes to workout, the kids have to be out playing, cycling or brisk-walking for an hour every evening. Sometimes all of us walk together along with Coco. Some of the perks are catching some pretty sky views, flowers blooming, meet and greet other dogs. J
All of us love this hence this is the easiest to implement. Two or more hours of reading daily where they can read anything of their choice from Harry Potter to Asterix.
The kids help me out with gardening. Since they have been hands-on since before, this is one area that does not bother them at all. I finally got the raat ki rani plant. Fingers crossed it will thrive. The husband took over gardening in April and a lot of new plants have come up. Let’s see how that progresses.
I was planning to teach the younger son how to chop vegetables using my badass chef’s knife and also some basic cooking but have not had the time to do that. I just recently showed him how to cook rice in a rice cooker. Plan to teach more. But they do make their own breakfast and sometimes snacks. I really want them to get a hang of more cooking. Hopefully this month, I can devote some more time to this.
8. Pick up a skill:
I could initiate them into stitching or some other skill but I haven’t come up with anything so far. Would love to hear if you have any ideas here.
9. Online learning:
Don’t groan but I did ask the younger son to do Hindi spelling with me. It is very simple. I will give him dictation of a random paragraph daily which helps him improve his spelling. He is also doing some interactive Math online in a couple of concepts that he faltered in. Nothing heavy duty, just 30 minutes in a day.
10. Lots of day dreaming and journaling:
I am encouraging the younger son to take to writing. Not only will that better his language and writing skills but his creative thinking too. He has promised to do some, but I have seen only one page of writing from him. He has a private blog that can be a good place for this. Let’s see how it goes.
11. Fun time with Family:
We are playing carrom and cards with some mix of Scrabble. This is so similar to what I did when I had my summer holidays. And it really is loads of fun for all of us. No time limits here. We want to do a few more fun outings together too.
Overall, I believe this is a good mix of fun activities for tweens and teens for summer vacation. May is also typically the month for covering books, preparing for June reopening for younger son and mid-May school reopening for older son. One thing that they are enjoying the most is staying up late and waking up late. 🙂
Would love to hear from you about how you are engaging your kids.
Pics courtesy: By Anna Om and Africa Studio
These activities sound great. And I can just imagine all of you indulging and enjoying each others company while doing so. Hindi spellings is a great idea. I could do so with my about to turn 11 tween too in the summers.
Btw why dont you give 5 minute crafts a go online. Great place to learn some fun craft stuff if that floats their boat.
Oh I love your list – it’s so practical and useful too. I am amazed that you manage to enforce an hour of TV and and an hour of screen time. While I’m strict all year through I cannot find myself to set rules during the summer. I do hate to see them glued to their tabs. I need to get them out more, except it’s so terribly hot here. The only time they can be out is during the mornings but that’s not happening either. Sigh! Oh and I need to get to the Hindi spelling too. For now it’s just Maths with my FIL for which I’m ever so grateful. This is a great reminder for me, though the kids might not agree :-).
I used to love the kids’ summer vacations. Miss those days. You have a balanced list here. I like that you have a bit of studies thrown in the mix. Great parenting. I am looking forward visiting my son’s home for my grandson’s first birthday in July and spending time with him.