The mouth-watering smell of freshly-baked cake wafts through Divya Gwande’s home as she practises her newly-acquired baking skills. Divya has been learning to bake cakes and cookies during her summer break. “I am really fond of cakes, so I decided to learn baking. I was so excited to watch the cake rise. I got it right on my first attempt,” said the 12-year old.
Moving on from the regular arts and crafts summer courses, city students have been exploring new avenues by enrolling for cooking, ballet and yoga classes.
This year, yoga seems to have really caught on as several young children have been enquiring about new yoga techniques at Nrityanjali Foundation, a group that conducts out-of-town personality development and yoga classes. “We have received a good response this year. Through our camps, we help children recognise their capabilities and develop the right skills from an early age,” said Anonna Guha, the organiser.
Meanwhile, children, bored with the usual arts and craft summer courses, love the wide range of options available to them. “It was great to learn something different this year. I have taken up western dance and drama. It is difficult but it was fun to try something that is outside my comfort zone,” said Karan Jha, a 10-year-old from Andheri.
Even parents are looking to engage their children in activities that are educational. Dev Khurana enrolled his five-year-old daughter into a summer programme at ColourCrates, an activity centre at Kemps Corner, that teaches students about different countries through canvas art, craft and games. “I want my daughter to participate in activities appropriate for her age. She would also pick up qualities such as sharing and team work there,” said Khurana.
Mixing sport with studies for smarter, athletic children
Mumbai: Aditya Jat has discovered a new method to learn maths. His method involves a game of cricket, Angry Birds and darts. The 12-year-old from Mira Road has been attending a summer camp by Dinasim Learning, a group that mixing sports and learning. “I quickly understood confusing and complicated maths concepts by playing games based on them. Now, I can calculate faster and my skills are improving, both at sports and maths,” said Aditya. “I am looking forward to learn new tricks.”
Divesh Bhatija, founder of Dinasim Learning, believes that subjects can be made more interesting and engaging simply by tweaking the teaching method. “Students study keeping exams and scores in mind. They don’t really understand the matter. We try to mix learning with sports to make it more interesting and fun for students,” said Bhatija.
Sports continue to remain a favourite summer-time activity for children. To keep up with the demand, city clubs are offering training for popular sports such as football, cricket and tennis as well as less popular activities such as archery and martial arts. ‘Swimnastic’ – an activity that combines swimming and gymnastics – has already become a hot favourite.
Last year, YMCA’s Agripada branch launched Pickleball, a concoction of badminton, table tennis and lawn tennis and the children were hooked. “The name amused me so I decided to try the sport. It’s a superb sport and you get lots of exercise,” said Rupen Jande, a 13-year-old who is now a fan of Pickleball.