Hobbies

Choosing the right extra-curricular activity for my child

Parentune Support
All age groups

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Updated on May 12, 2014

With summer vacations on, it is difficult to keep the young ones occupied all the time. Children are restless and full of energy and therefore it is important to keep them creatively involved in some extra-curricular activity. But what is the right activity for my child? How should I choose one for my child? And importantly how can I encourage her to go outdoors and explore the natural surroundings? If like most parents, you too have these questions in mind, now is the time to get answers to them. Our expert, Nalini Dhariwal, Experential Learning Expert, Youreka will answer your queries round these issues live, on a webinar. Date: 22 May, 2014Time: 11:30—12:45Topic:--choosing the right outdoor and extra-curricular activity for my child--encouraging him to participate in outdoor play

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

You're welcome Rajat!

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Keep up the nature/outdoor connect as nature has many valuable benefits to give us like reducing stress, hyperactive behaviours, general well being & life skills. Bye for now!

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

thanks very much Nalini.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Surabhi, not Youreka ones & I think they are too young for such camps. You can do a family camp instead which can expose them young.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Keep up the nature connect as nature has many valuable benefits to give us like reducing stress, hyperactive behaviours, general well being & life skills.

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Surabhi Chatterjee

| May 22, 2014

can 5 year old child join these champs?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, Rajat, Surabhi, our webinar time is up. It's been lovely chatting. For futher queries, you may write to helpdesk@parentune. com.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Surabhi, different camps are structured differently & have their own rhythm & activities. For Youreka, there are various activities to choose from like river activities, outdoor survival, rock climbing, mountain biking etc. But these adventure activities only form part of their typical day at camp.

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Surabhi Chatterjee

| May 22, 2014

Thank for your suggestions :)

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Surabhi, if you scroll up to the conversation with Ravina, there is a discussion on safety & activities there. do take a look.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

As Indian parents, our focus is usually on the negatives so we can help 'improve' our children. That actually works in the opposite way than what is desired!

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Rajat, I think it is important to keep talking to the child & go below the surface as to what may be bothering him. What you can do is to find the positive aspects of him & keep talking to him about those. Eg. , if you really like the way he takes care of his sibling, you may want to find opportunities to appreciate that, or if he plays something very well or if he listens to music & you like the music he listens to, you can appreciate that. etc. It could be anything, even that lemon juice he made the other day or his analysis of a tv show etc. The idea is to find the positive & keep talking about that. The negative should be given as little importance as possible & slowly as his confidence builds, those negatives will not bother him

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Surabhi Chatterjee

| May 22, 2014

are these champs safe what all activities can children do there?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Surabhi, since we ourselves do summer camps (wilderness camps & not workshops), I can only recommend us :) There are a few more but Youreka is the pioneer & largest one in India. The schedule & cost is available at www. youreka. in/schedule. html. Costs range between 17000-19000 for a 7 day all-inclusive camp

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

I think he is overweight so he doesn't like to talk and go out to meet people.

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Surabhi Chatterjee

| May 22, 2014

Please suggest some options for summer camps and how costly are they?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Rajat, all my kids are introvert. But confidence I have realised is something separate from being introvert or extrovert. What do you think?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Rajat, I think swimming is a great sport. Provided, it is something he likes. Many children have a fear for water or may not like the idea. Starting with something that he likes is more important than anything else, I would say

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Sorry, I meant what is important in building....

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Sorry, I meant what is important in building....

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Surabhi, I believe it to be absolutely true. What is important is building self esteem is 'success experiences' & outdoor activities gives a lot of opportunities in various aspects - social self esteem, self esteem to do new things, self esteem in coping & being independent

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Surabhi, I believe it to be absolutely true. What is important is building self esteem is 'success experiences' & outdoor activities gives a lot of opportunities in various aspects - social self esteem, self esteem to do new things, self esteem in coping & being independent

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Making positive statements takes a lot of conscious parenting & effort but can do wonders in building a child's confidence

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

My wife suggested i should join swimming with my child. he is introvert also. Going out would help ?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

One of the things we must refrain from is to berate a child. As a parent, I often do that unconsciously saying things like 'you are becoming lazy because you are on the screen all the time' or 'you will never make any friends at the rate you are going'... things like that

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Surabhi Chatterjee

| May 22, 2014

Hi Nalini, i have read somewhere outdoor activities help children build self esteem is it true?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

If you are a close knit family & your kids like to spend time with you, another option is to go to a nature camp for a holiday this time. They will see an alternate world where they can have fun. Since he lacks confidence right now, he may not want to go for one of these camps alone in the first instance

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Confidence is built when people try something new & succeed at it. Each success builds confidence sub-conciously because the brain records the fact that 'I tried something new, I liked it', or 'I tried something new & I did it' etc

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Start with something short & easy & not something ambitious. Eg. , telling them you are going out for 2 hrs to play football when he is overweight may be too ambitious. But saying that you are going to play ball with them at home (for starters) may be fun to explore.

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

Nalini . i live in Hyderabad.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

What I have found may work is to engage them in different activities that take their mind off the screen. These activities could be board games or outdoor play or cooking or whatever the child may be interested in

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

One of the things I have found is that kids play on the phone & watch TV because it is 'easy' to do, it is path of least resistance. However, given an alternative, they may be willing to give it up

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Rajat, this is a real problem that many parents of our generation face. May I ask where you live? Which city?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Been lovely chatting with you Manas. Good luck!

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

Hi Nalini. I have two kids. They all time watching TV , playing on phones. One has become overweight and now he is having lack of confidence. tell me some activity which i can also do with my son.

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Rajat

| May 22, 2014

Hi Nalini. I have two kids. They all time watching TV , playing on phones. One has become overweight and now he is having lack of confidence. tell me some activity which i can also do with my son.

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

also Nalini, one very big factor that concerns me is safety of my daughter against abuse. it happens even in cities as there are many perverts but when children are away... I am scared. what is the safety standards against this

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

also Nalini, one very big factor that concerns me is safety of my daughter against abuse. it happens even in cities as there are many perverts but when children are away... I am scared. what is the safety standards against this

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Keep the eye on nature & outdoor exposure as the benefits of that is proven to be great. It reduces stress, develops life skills & increases well being. By evolution, we are programmed to need nature!

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

Great! Thanks for your help Nalini

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Manas, you can send your queries on wellness corner. The parentune team will forward them to me.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, I think the best thing to tell her is to be open to doing new things & making new friends & to speak up in case anything is bothering her. All other rules will be told at camp & following them is important for safety reasons.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Manas, My belief & experience (I have 3 children aged 7. 5-12. 5) is that rhymes & numbers they will learn. It's the creativity & curiosity that we have to protect & encourage. Outdoor play encourages those. Let your son take the lead in telling you what he wants to play with you & you can build on that. If you are going out on a weekend, choose an outdoor place vs a mall whenever weather allows.

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

Thank you Nalini that's very helpful. if in future i need help from you how can i reach you?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Manas, we do have a blog where we put up stories related to outdoor play. These are original stories we create & I think would be interesting to a 7yr old to read oe be read to. The site is yourekaheartbeats. blogspot. com. There is stuff like bug hunt, making music, cooking out etc

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

before sending my daughter what should I brief her about or teach her to be prepared.

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

Both me and my wife are working and we don't get enough time to spend with our son, teach him rhymes or numbers etc can this free play time be maximized in any way. Is there any constructive games we can play when he is outdoors

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, normally bullying should not be a concern but good camps should actively be looking out for it & ensuring that it does not happen. Some ways to do that is to ensure very big children are not put together with very young children. Another is to keep talking to the children so that any change in behaviour can be picked up & checked on

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

bullied

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Sand play also teaches a child to play on his own which is a skill many kids nowadays don't have because they think others have to 'entertain' them

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Manas, playing in the sand is fantastic! Research shows that playing in sand helps in a few ways - there is something in sand that helps calm kids (or even adults) & also it encourages a lot of creativity

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

ok... is bullying a concern? I never thought of that. is there some way I can teach my child to not get bullies

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

There are many options on activities - trekking based activities or rock based activities. Usually, good camps have a routine in the camps that includes adventure activities, on camp activities, fun & games etc so that kids are engaged & trying new stuff

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

that seems important on safety questions

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, you should also ask on emotional safety - how do they deal with bullying? How do they ensure that a child speaks up?

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, I missed your question on safety. I think the questions you need to ask are around the following - i) instructor to child ratio (not adult to child), ii) how big are activity groups, iii) what do they do when someone gets hurt?, iv) is there a doctor on campus?, v) where is the nearest hospital & how will they take the child there in case of emergency?

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

oh ok... another thing I wanted to fid out are what are the summer camp options... what activities are there. I have heard of only river rafting, living in tents...

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Sorry. Ravina, on our camps, we don't encourage that because our experience of 18yrs tell us that kids become more homesick when they speak to their parents. They tend not to settle down. If they don't speak, usually a 12yr old would settle within a day or 2. This is also an important learning process for them.

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

i do send him out for an hour or so where he plays in the sand,on swings but is that helpful in his development. does it teach him anything or any skills, i wonder. most children there are just doing this and that and nothing concrete

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina,

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina,

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Especially at 7yrs, the pressure of academics, homework etc is not set in & you can give this freedom. As he grows up, he will himself learn to balance & you can guide him along

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

is there a way for mothers to talk to the child when she is away on the camp

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Manas, are you able to send your son out to play? Sometime, in metros, safety concerns become a problem. If that is not the case, it is important to let the child play as long as he likes to. He will come home when his energy is spent & will be able to concentrate on other things better as well

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Ravina, homesickness is natural & most kids go through it. The key is that when kids are engaged in something they enjoy, they forget home. There may be times in the day when they remember & miss home, but that's where trained & experienced instructors play a role. For Youreka, the instructors are told that 'you are the 'mom' for the child through the camp'

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

He loves to play ball games and is very fond of water also.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Free play with peers is always recommended over supervised activity as kids learn social, interpersonal & other life skills through free play

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

There can be 2 ways to get outdoors - planned, supervised activity like football, cricket etc coaching or free play in the park

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

But what if she becomes home sick in the midst of the camp... how do the camp authorities deal with it

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

I think the 1st thing on outdoor activities is to ask the child what he/she likes to do & involve him/her in the decision

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Manas, 7-yr olds have a lot of energy & in this day & age where kids are restricted to the home a lot more than evolution has meant them to be, we find that energy concerning :)

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

yes, I want to send her on an outdoor trip where she can have fun with children of her own age. what are the safety questions I should ask

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Checking on how they deal with safety, girl-boy issues etc can help you gauge whether they have the right protocols

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Mansi Srivastava

| May 22, 2014

Hi Nalini, i have a hyper active child of 7 year could you please suggest how can i channelize his energy in outdoor activities.

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Any company with a good track record would take care of safety. What you could do is ask for a few references from the company of girl kids who have been on the camp & talk to their mothers yourself

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Nalini

| May 22, 2014

Hi Ravina, I can understand your worry. I presume you are talking about wilderness camps in the outdoors

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Ravina

| May 22, 2014

Hi Nalini, I have a 12 year old daughter and want to find out more about summer camps, but am worried about sending her alone anywhere. please guide me.

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