Summer vacation in confinement for city childrenUpdated: May 20, 2020 22:57 IST
From video-calling friends and family to participating in online multiplayer games and workshops, families are turning to technology to keep themselves entertained and engaged during the summer vacation amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic and Lockdown 4.0, which will be in place till May 31, several families have to skip the yearly ritual of visiting their hometowns or indulging in other outdoor recreational activities during the summer vacation, which has already started in many schools. While some parents said that they were relying on video calls and gaming sessions to bond with relatives in other cities, others said they would utilise the break from online classes conducted by schools to spend more time with children in various activities and chores at home.
Tripti Singh, a parent, said that her family can’t visit their hometown for the summer break like they do every year due to the restrictions. To make up for that, her children are relying on frequent video calls to stay in touch with their cousins in different cities. “Since the children were introduced to regular online classes, they are spending more time on gadgets. They chat with their cousins on video calls or play online games such as ludo, which keeps them engaged despite the physical distance,” Singh said.
Singh’s daughter Shivranjini Rathor said that summer vacations were usually the time to connect with friends and cousins, but with the lockdown in place, video calls were helping her stay in touch with loved ones. “Video calls with friends and family have increased quite a lot during the lockdown. They help kill time,” Rathor, who also spends time playing online ludo with her cousins, said. “There are many options, but most of my time is spent playing multi-player ludo with people from different places,” the Class 9 student added.
Pooja Mihani, another parent, said that the summer vacation usually meant a trip to her hometown in Uttarakhand, but under lockdown conditions, the break this year would be different. “Now our days usually start with a visit to the park. This time, since we are confined to the city, we will be spending time in activities that can be done at home,” Mihani said.
She said that her family was keeping children engaged with role-play, household chores, and games such as Pictionary and ludo. “Due to the pandemic, children are already living in a stressed environment. As a family, we are participating in various activities such as cooking or baking together. We are making the most of this time; we may not spend so much of it together again,” Mihani said.
Sonal Kaushik, the mother of a Class 9 student, said that her son’s school has a shorter summer break this year, which her son plans to spend at home relaxing and revising the syllabus that had been covered so far. “Every year, we travel to ensure that the children meet their grandparents in UP and Haryana, or plan trips to other locales. Not this year, though,” Kaushik, a professional artist, said. She said that she was planning to engage herself with artwork.
Jyoti Raghavan, a mother of two, said that she was contemplating enrolling her children in online workshops to keep them occupied during the summer break. “Every year, during the summer vacation, we travel to new places for around 15 days. For the remaining part of the vacation, we enrol the children in workshops or sports camps. This time, we will be spending the vacation at home,” Raghavan said, adding that she was planning to enrol her children in one of several online courses and workshops to ensure that they are not bored in confinement.
“Half their day is spent in online classes right now. During the vacation, children have a lot of free time on their hands. What will they do? We have to enrol them for something. Besides these activities, children have got used to engaging with friends via video calls and, hopefully, that will also keep them occupied,” she said.
However, summer vacation is not all fun and games, children are also required to complete holiday homework that they have received from schools. “We have given or students holiday homework so that there is some semblance of a routine in their lives and they keep themselves occupied. The homework doesn’t include a lot of written work and instead focuses on creative activities and hands-on learning. These activities have been designed keeping in mind that children will not be able to move around,” Anshu Arora, principal, Amity International School, Sector 43, said. Other schools have also assigned their students minimal holiday homework.