Till a few summers ago, one would have thought that the only way kids could spend the long holiday period was by going online to download the latest version of Super Samurai or SpongeBob’s adventures. But in a happy curve ball of events, some city enthusiasts have come up with surprise new activities for kids that go beyond filling the scrapbooks with doodles of sun and stars.
Psychologist Pulkit Sharma says, “Children form a lot of their identity from the activities they engage in during formative years. There is a need to go beyond structured school classes to recreational units where a child is encouraged to think, learn and talk.”
Akshay Sethi, who has set up a kids’ activity museum in Gurgaon, says,“There are over 300 children’s museums in the world but sadly India didn’t even have one.” Experts also stress that the current textbook education system is not enough for kids’ overall development. Parenting columnist Arti Jain says, “Indians may excel academically but we lack soft skills as our education system is uni-dimensional. Parents may encourage participation in organised sports especially the ones with future ‘returns’, but ignore the less structured activities that help kids to discover things on their own.”
Perhaps keeping this in mind there’s plenty happening in the NCR right now. From radio jockeying lessons for the kids to online toy rental services to classes where kids come up with crafts masterpieces that are uploaded on YouTube; the activity calendar for the tots just got busier this season.
Lulupu – the craft lounge
USP: A dedicated YouTube Channel – Lulupu TV where video tutorials of children’s craft classes are uploaded
Need to know: The craft workshops for kids are an extension of the website lulupu.com, which sells stationery and craft raw material sourced from abroad. The kids workshops during summers include lessons in paper quilling, card making and scrapbooking. The team helps amateurs learn various tips and techniques by uploading images and videos of the products used and the final projects on their blog, Facebook page and YouTube.
Age group: 8 years onwards
Fee: Rs. 700 onwards
Where: www.lulupu. com
USP: The online library also sells used books.
Need to know: To inculcate a love for reading in children the online library offers many genres of books. You can join and select books that will be delivered at your home. Besides reading new titles you can also buy from a large collection of used books. The library includes a dedicated kids section and also a section for teenagers that stocks books on varied subjects.
Age group: 4 years onwards
PRICE: Rs. 50 – Rs. 200
Godrej nature’s basket
USP: Culinary classes for little chefs
Need to know: Masterchef re-runs on TV have fuelled enough interest in the kids to look at kitchen counters with a new interest. The gourmet chain has introduced cooking classes for kids. Baker Kishi Arora will guide the kids about the nuances of cooking and baking. Each participant will carry back a goodie bag with recipes that they toss up in class. The kids will also get an apron and carry back a little chefs’ memento.
Age group: 6-14 years,
Fee: Rs. 750
Where: D-15, ground floor, Defence Colony
USP: More than 350 sanitised kids
products available on rent
Need to know: An online rental service, it allows parents to access a different toy and book or puzzle every week for their kids. You can subscribe to membership plans and receive the items at doorstep free of charge or with an option of cash on delivery. Every toy is sanitised before it is sent out. The selection is non – violent, and no toys look like weapons, have sharp edges or are unsafe for kids.
Age group: 6 months to 7 years
Fee: Rs. 300 onwards for a monthly plan
Where: Tower 7, Vipul Greens, Sohna Road, Gurgaon
Stellar children’s museum
USP: Lessons on gravitational pull and magnetic fields
Need to know: Designed by the experts from Children’s Museum in Chicago, US, the edu-recreation space has seven interactive areas. Every textbook experiment is shown here in an interactive format. So kids can look and learn everything from science and magnetic field to geography and culture. They are taught basics of aerodynamics via tubes and blowers. Kids are also shown how to pluck fresh produce from plantation fields.
Age group: 2-8 year olds
Fee: Rs. 600 for one child and adult
Where: Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
USP: Radio jockeying lessons for kids
Need to know: If you thought youngsters cannot write, produce or direct and present a dance-drama while acting alongside life sized puppets, made by themselves, then you need to take a look at these classes specially crafted for kids. RJ Simran has come up with a concept of merging voice modulation with acting and puppet making workshop. The purpose of the classes is to educate while enhancing the skillset of the children also making them more communicative, confident and aware of their heritage.
Age group: 5-15years
Fee: Rs. 5000
Where: F-1109, Chittaranjan Park