5 simple ways to keep your child happily engaged this winter vacation

Text by Bhumika Vikam

As the year-end comes closer, what follows is the excitement of Christmas and New Year. For children, this excitement is always in elevation because it’s the Christmas break for them. A break from school, classes, studies and the daily routine they follow. Vacations can be a great time to bond with your children and even rejoice yourself with a lot of fun. But it can also turn out to be stressful for parents especially mothers when children start misbehaving because of boredom and sometimes nothing to do but the same old activities like playing or watching television.

What works best here is just a little bit of advanced planning to set you with a lot of activities handy that will keep your child happily engaged for the entire vacation along with your stress at bay.

Winter vacations are for about two weeks and planning for both the weeks together and keeping it ready can help a lot. There is one thing to keep in mind while planning, and that is, including your child in the planning process. Letting your child know that you are planning something for his/her vacation will create a lot of excitement and happiness. Also, the whole idea behind involving children in planning is that when they know something is being planned for them, their mind starts to think and give ideas that will, in turn, make them happier and keep them more interested. However, for smaller kids, it’s the parents who are the planners as well as the executors.

Here are the top 5 ideas that we find interesting to help your child be involved and at the same time cherish the moments forever:

Photo courtesy: Bhumika Vikam (Craft made at Serra)

1] Games

The word games and creating games, at times seems heavy for many parents, but this may not always be true. A little bit of preparation and creativity, and there you have an exciting game ready! Games for children need not necessarily always be out of the box and too fancy; simple games with a pinch of changes and creativity works wonders.

A quick game is creating a maze out of old tissue paper rolls in a box and adding a ball. This can be made within minutes and involves just sticking and painting the tissue rolls. Children can play with the maze for hours and not even get bored. You can add your own variations by changing the number of tissue rolls or balls etc.

Another game suggestion is making an indoor basketball game by using a small bucket which hangs at a distance. The child is supposed to aim and throw exactly 6 balls one after the other using the left hand(if he/she is right-handed, right hand if vice versa). Decide on a small price such as an hour together at the garden or a chocolate treat etc.

2] Best out of waste

Another very helpful idea is boosting your child’s self-esteem and confidence with nothing but old waste materials kept at home. Yes, it sounds surprising, but it does wonders. Parents just need to take out all the waste material which can be reused and is also safe for child-use. Plastic spoons, straws, old rags, broken toys, candy sticks, small boxes etc all kept together along with colours, paints, glue etc. Once the box is ready, simply ask the child to sit with the box for a set time, and create anything new out of it. As children, they may sometimes even create something which is of no use, but it is essential to motivate the child and display the final product in one corner of the house. An alternative is maybe the parent also sits with the child at the end to help improvise the product a little. You may even directly ask the child to try and make a pencil holder or a photo frame out of the materials given.

Photo courtesy: Pinterest

3] Musical Board

Music is something which is very enjoyable and exciting for little ones especially toddlers. Creating a musical board is not as challenging as it seems to be. You can choose any corner of your house where there are hooks to hang at the level of the child which is not too high. You can even stick the readymade plastic hooks available in the market. Take out all the old house keys, nails, bottle caps, spoons, beads, shells etc and tie them on different hooks. For instance, the first hook can have a string from which nails are hanging, the next one with keys and so on. Keep a couple of spoons for the child to play with on all these. A homemade musical board is created!

Photo courtesy: Manasi Gadkari

4] Engaging in artwork

Art is a very important tool for not just keeping a child engaged but also as parents helping us bond with the child. When children are exposed to art, paints and colours, they get into a completely different world. Art is something which enhances the creativity of children and gives them a platform to express themselves. You can read more about how to use art to bond with children, engage them and the importance of art here:

8 Simple Ways to Bond with your Child through Art

Why is art good for your child?

5] Carnivals, Festivals, Workshops

A good way to keep children engaged is also by taking them to different carnivals and Christmas festivals that are happening all around the city. Since it is the Christmas month, there are lots of Christmas workshops which enhance different skills such as art, craft, drama, singing, cooking etc.

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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