Mid term holidays with your children
Created by Payal Updated on Oct 08, 2012
In many schools this is the time when the mid term exams are about getting over and the 15-day holidays are about to or have already begun. October brings with it the festivals from various parts of the country- Durga Puja, Navrati, Dussera, Vijaya Dashami, leading up to the Christmas and New Year holidays. Holiday season, in short, is round the corner!
If you are a mother and primary care giver to your child, you must be dreading the holiday season as I am just starting to too. Don’t get me wrong; I love my daughter to bits. But the holiday season also means TV season, iPad season and non stop demand for attention, constant badgering to “play with me” or worst the sing song “I am bored Mamma”. Sounds familiar?
This is the time when you can utilize not just weekends but weekdays too, to spend some precious time with your kids and help them learn through experiential learning and educational trips guised as fun and games.
In the first part of this blog, I am listing some of things you may try with your kids during these holidays:
- All the practice books (Math, English, phonics as well as comprehension) which you bought for your child but never got along to finish in her school days when all her time is taken over by doing home work and preparing for the exam; this is the time when you can take out those books, dust the covers and jump into some fun, colorful study. It would be a good change from notebooks to colorful pages for her schoolwork too.
- At the age of 5, my daughter is now entering the world of reading. We have enrolled into a local lending library, which has a section for children of all ages. Here we get books for beginner readers. She gets 3 books every week and she reads them on her own. One can take any number of books from there so one can also target one book per day if the books are easy to read, or for older kids, one book per week of the range of Enid Blytons, Archie and Tintin and Asterix comics, or other books which may interest them and are age appropriate.
- There are many libraries where children have a separate section they can sit and read. Chennai has an excellent option in Anna Centenary Library where one can get lost among the 7 floors covering every subject, but for children it is a treasure trove with one entire floor devoted to them and also a play area where smaller children including toddlers can have something to do, while seeping in the ambience and atmosphere of the time spent in these library visits.
- For children between 3-6 years of age, reading can be an important daily activity. When the child has started writing sentences, say grade I onward, one can utilize reading as an excuse to start the writing work. An easy children’s book can lend itself to writing small and large answers. Buy a scrapbook with colorful pages and designate it for writing comprehension. Each time your child finishes a book, follow it up with some relevant question and answer session, so s/he can have a clear understanding of what s/he has read. Books like Charlotte’s Web, the Horrid Henry series, Mary Poppins, Little Prince, Ramona the Pest, the Wimpy Kid series are all good for younger children.
- This is the time when the weather is just cooling down, and it is safe to venture out even during the day. Great time perhaps to take your children to the museum, botanical gardens, zoo, or an animal park. If you can do some research beforehand and give them a commentary of what they are seeing, it would be really educational for them. Another tip is to maybe make them write about their day trip as a short essay, ranging from a few lines for standard 1 and 2 students, to longer one page essays for older kids.
- A trip to the park, beach (where available) or river or a lakeside would be fun. Take toys along: a sandcastle building kit, or cricket kit, and just let go. Take a packed picnic to make it a day trip. If you are working and cannot take off, do this on a weekend.
- For your teen, this is also a good time to go on a movie and popcorn date, with dinner or lunch thrown in. Use the time to bond with your daughter or son, ask them what’s happening at the school. You might be surprised to know about the latest happenings in your grown ups life, which you are no longer privy to.
- If you invest a little time and energy in making this a fun season, both you and your child will look forward to the next holiday not just for a break from school, but perhaps to spend time with each other.
- Image source - Chillli Breeze