Residents of a housing colony working at a kitchen garden. Readers cite the importance of spending more time with kids during the summer vacation. Children should be encouraged to take up activities that they like, namely music, drawing and gardening and should be made to follow a routine every day. (Pratik Chorge/HT REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)
Residents of a housing colony working at a kitchen garden. Readers cite the importance of spending more time with kids during the summer vacation. Children should be encouraged to take up activities that they like, namely music, drawing and gardening and should be made to follow a routine every day. (Pratik Chorge/HT REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO)

Your Space: Make vacation fun for kids during Covid

Now, spending summer school holidays cooped up at home with their parents, who maybe working professionals, will add to the already unprecedented situation. What steps should schools and authorities take to keep kids busy in a productive way? Redears share their views
By Namrata Devikar
PUBLISHED ON MAY 23, 2021 04:26 PM IST

The Covid lockdowns confining school kids to home and online study may have had an impact on their educational levels and learning abilities. Now, spending summer school holidays cooped up at home with their parents, who maybe working professionals, will add to the already unprecedented situation. What steps should schools and authorities take to keep kids busy in a productive way?

Spend more time with kids

Everyone was at home throughout the academic year 2020-21 busy with online lectures. Teachers tried well to keep every student attentive in class and conducted exams. Now, kids are not interested in online studies. They want something new. Parents are busy with jobs, online meetings and task completion radar. So, some school students are getting bored or getting angry as they pass their time during the day. My son is also getting irritated sitting at home. I tried to find what may be the solution on this? For that I have to at least think like a kid and what the child finds interesting. So, I tried including a new habit for a few minutes every day. Enjoyed every childish emotion like sprinkling water on his face and allowing him to do so, enjoying his favourite indoor games, and allowing him to enjoy his time his way. I found it refreshing to become a child myself with my kid. The stress just vanishes. One more luck was waiting there to enjoy summer vacations at home. Online summer camp offered by his school is also an activity which is fun. Nice summer camp was planned by his teachers and the principal under the guidance of management. They offered four modules of 30 minutes each. These were different types of music play, different forms of dances, different enjoyable sports activities, ball bottle games, small projects which should be completed in just 30 minutes like making biscuit sandwiches, story creations on pictures, interesting movie show, and drawing but in a new way. There were also basic scientific concepts through small practical things like static energy with comb, composting wet waste material at home, planting seeds and growing. Many more interesting activities were taken and planned by the team of teachers to make time memorable and keep students busy with different emotions like tasks to complete to gain certificates. There were also winners in these activities. Kids spoke enthusiastically on different tasks. Initially they refused to follow the schedule for online activities, but later enjoyed them. Children have gone through a plethora of emotions during the pandemic. Kids are observing their parents in all roles like friend, teacher, brother, sister, aunt, uncle. We, as parents, should try every role to make our kids happy. It’s difficult, but if we decide we can do anything. Everything is possible for us. So, let us start new roles every day or just for a few hours in a day, as we in our childhood enjoyed every relation, everything like happiness, sorrow, fighting, arguing and loving. We used to meet everyone, neighbours and relatives. Now it’s not possible, not for our children for the last one year. So, organise video calls with neighbours, relatives to keep the spirit up and stay in touch.

Vidya Patil

Schools should hold fun activities

As we all know that due to Covid students are confined to online studies which end up resulting in a lot of screen time for them. This may have a good as well as bad impact on them. Instead of conducting classes online, full-time schools can conduct fun activities like watering plants, origami, dance, making best out of waste, vermi compost, fireless cooking and much more with the help of parents. All of such activities will help boost their physical activity which was restricted due to online classes. Schools can also conduct yoga and meditation which will help in boosting their mental health.

Deepali Satpute

Draw a daily schedule for child

This lockdown and pandemic has been a great challenge to everyone, from students to teachers to parents. In these times, one should not forget that the children need some new activity every now and then. So, keeping them occupied is one of the most important things. Earlier every summer holiday, there was a trip mandatory for the family. If not a trip, then at least we would visit grandparents and extended families. Now even that cannot be done. During this pandemic time, it is important to form a proper schedule for the child. And keep him occupied. For example, we have made it compulsory that the morning tea and coffee will be made by my 10-year-old son. He is also assigned the responsibility of cleaning his own room. Such activities give children a sense of responsibility and also a target to achieve in a day. With this, there is also a physical activity that the child does in the evening like skipping. This keeps him occupied throughout the day.

Sandeep Thite

Engage child in activities

There are various activities that schools can arrange through online classes. I encourage my child to get involved in gardening and try new recipes at home as she likes it. I think staying indoors during summer vacation does impact the child a lot as this is the only time when they are not bombarded with studies like the whole year. I suggest every parent should decide what their child likes and engage them in it. We have to introduce variety in the activities. But in case a parent is not able to give their whole time to the child because of work, they must plan ahead as it can definitely work. My wife and I are both working professionals, so I totally understand how difficult it is to keep a child busy. Both my kids have their share of work. We also give them group activities so that they learn to share and work together. I love to see my children do, “Do it yourself” projects. They have made so many amasing things under DIY. This has given them a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Shashank Kimbhaune

Grandparents play vital role in upbringing kids

I don’t think all the role of keeping children busy in productive ways can be taken up by schools and authorities. It all eventually falls on the parents to keep the child busy. In engaging the child, grandparents can play a very active role. Since the senior citizens at our homes are a treasure who know so many easy and simple activities, they can certainly help. My younger daughter has learned so many skills from her grandmother about gardening. She now spends most of her time with plants. She has grown coriander, spinach and even a rose plant in our limited space. When the rose first bloomed the smile on the face of my daughter was priceless. Such activities that can help children be closer to nature can help them handle the stress of being at home 24/7. My mother-in-law has also taught my young daughter other crafts that she finds very occupying. Parents should focus on such small activities that the child may like and learn from.

Asmita Kulkarni

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