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Kids' summer vacation activities

Keeping them busy during summer holidays
summer vacation July: School-AGE children are full of energy making it an uphill task for their parents, especially the mothers, to keep them occupied and away from mischief. While ordinary tricks may work during routine tracks, school holidays make for a long stretch of time that requires special planning. Apart from the time taken up by fun activities, weekend picnics, sojourns and other amusement-filled events, there is still a lot of time remaining which needs to be utilised creatively and usefully. There are a few options that are worth trying out in this respect.
Some children like to sketch, draw or paint. Others may like to sing, dance, act or even mimick. Yet others would cherish reading, writing or storytelling. It is always very productive to identify the interests that a child possesses and refine them to a higher degree.

The holidays make a near ideal stretch to consciously acknowledge such talents and evolve a premise to develop them in a befitting manner. It may be remembered that there is no magic formula of universal application in existence that will treat all as one. The best way is to apply a combination of means and pick on those that seem to click.

For independent-minded children, it is appropriate to discuss ideas along with the possible ways of realising them. Often inspirational modes and motivational techniques seem to work well. For instance, a child with interest in art and painting can be shown the various works of arts displayed in the galleries, museum and similar venues. Pre-planned visits with a few instructions can be very fruitful. Children can be encouraged to record their observations by sketching from memory. They can also draw subjects as to their liking.

If the talent is ripe and has also acquired a mature status, an interface with an artist or a visit to an art school can prove to be a bountiful experience. Young folks can be driven to set some approximate targets to be achieved during their vacations.

In some cases, the parents will have to take the initiative to help streamline the activities for their children according to their interests. For example, those budding talents interested in performing arts may be encouraged to prepare and perform part plays, skits or lines from classical texts. With familiar audience and surroundings, the children shall be able to overcome shyness and intonation problems of speech.

Step by step improvement may be observed and lauded. The parents may seek expert advice once they feel that the child is ready for it. With the vast audio-visual resources freely accessible through the internet, the task can become all the more exciting to follow.

Few older children display inklings of entrepreneurship of various kinds. It is a rare but worth fostering ability. An entrepreneur is an individual who has an idea and also knows how to implement it. Normally this attribute is linked up with business and commerce. But we also come across accomplished social and philanthropic entrepreneurs. A child may have a genuine zeal to help out his less-privileged classmates or friends in an innovative way.

The first step could be to understand the band of thoughts that the child is able to sound about any imaginary project. Thereafter, he may be given tips and hints to develop it further. If rational, the child may be encouraged to pilot it as a demonstration work. It will boost his confidence to no end.

Grooming a raw but visible talent and nurturing it into a skill is a deed that inculcates enormous confidence. Self-realisation in a young mind to be able to master a skill and display the same with command becomes a lifelong asset in personality development. And very basic input and support by parents and peers can lead to that high achievement. -By Dr Noman Ahmed (The writer is professor and chairman, Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University, Karachi) Dawn

Your Comments
"It is quite necessary for children otherwise the constant stress they feel during regular days wouldve decreased their efficiency."
Name: Salim
City, Country: Islamabad, Pakistan

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