Summer holiday is a time for me to slow down and explore what interest me and my family. I grew up in a small town where everyone went to their nani’s house during the holidays. There was an occasional Mount Abu or Kashmir. More importantly most of the day was unorganized playtime with cousins or neighbors. And that time spent with nothingness form my fondest memories even today!
It’s not much different now. Surprised! Nani still comes over, we still do an occasional Switzerland, US or Norway. However there definitely is a lot of hoopla around summer activities. There are zillions of summer camps that come alive during this period.
But for my kids, it will remain the same. Un-Routine the schedule. No school, no exams, no early mornings! And most of the time spent on unorganized playtime. Sometime back a wrote about it in my article “10 Must-Do Things At Home With Your Kids This Summer!” Here are some more interesting things that I have been enjoying with my kids. If you like the idea of ‘un-schedule’ and you are the kind who enjoys the little things in life then you are sure to have a memorable vacation with these.
#1 Make a “Collection of your favorite songs”
My kids have been humming ‘Let it Go’, ‘Drag me down’, ‘We are going to Ibiza’ for a while. So we sat down a few afternoons and downloaded tonnes of songs from my growing up days, of the likes of ‘Summer of 69’, ‘My heart will go on’, ‘Its Black or White’, ‘When you say nothing at all’. Something we enjoyed listening together for the rest of the holidays, almost everyday.
#2 Read a “Book based on a movie you have seen”
We typically choose to read the book after the movie and not the other way round as the book usually is far superior to the movie in more cases than less. Summer holiday also means that I am always around in the house to cuddle up with my kids. So I and my daughter spent hours discussing the Harry potter series, something I find difficult to do during school-homework-classes days. We plan to watch and read the Narnia series next.
#3 Organize a “Garage Book Sale or Swap”
This is also the time of the year when I and my kids raid our wardrobes to throw out the old so that we can fill in with new! They landed up with a good heap of books that they had outgrown out of. So my kids invited their friends in bunches of 3-4 though many afternoons. The kids came with their own bundles for the book swap and lingered on for extended play. We saw the long summer afternoons vanish in laughter and play.
#3 “Star gazing” at night
Some nights we stay up late, mostly on Mondays, well placed after the weekend madness. The conversation steers from solar system to outer galaxy, Indian mythology, NASA, Peter Pan and much more. It gets really interesting when my kids start weaving their own stories. The best part is they feel they have truly arrived if they can blurt out a few lines like Dr Suess !! Not a surprise given the amount of Dr Suess they have read.
#4 Look through “Old family scrapbooks & photo albums”
We did a lot of this. The baby pictures, the toothless smiles, the first playdate, the fancy dress, all their friend’s pictures through their growing up years. Mamma, papa growing up year pictures and why they were not invited to our wedding!! Answer that now!
#6 A good dose of “Sunshine vitamin”
We did try to catch up on our sunshine vitamin, as much as we could. We cycled or played football in the mornings as a family. Swimming, many breakfast picnics, flower picking at the neighborhood park. And the kids beaded them together to make beautiful garlands which gave way to hours of roleplay between siblings sitting under their makeshift bedsheet tents.
#7 Visit to the “Farmer’s market”
On some of the mornings I took my kids to the local farmer’s market. How happy they were to pick their own tomatoes and peppers and zucchinis. The mouthwatering mangoes. There were also occasional promises made by them that they would try new sabjis. Could I ask for more?
Summer holidays are downtime for my kids. Their timeout with family and friends. If anything, I want summer holidays to be longer so that they have time to do nothing. Happy Holidays!!
This article was first posted here
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