As exciting as they sound, these are now the most exotic summer destinations we can plan this year. Yes, now, our ‘balconies’ and ‘terraces’ are the most frequented places, and a quick trip to the kitchen or park lane during meeting breaks never felt so good before. We have gone from a culture of “FOMO” to “FOGO”-fear of going out!
Welcome to a one of its kind summer vacations- A” Vacation” from our already existing “vacation” i.e. lockdown due to Coronavirus.
During summer vacations, we usually plan domestic or international trips, we meet our families who stay in different states, our children get busy with outdoor activities and games, and most importantly they have little academic pressure and more pleasure time.
But due to the global pandemic situation, educational institutes were shut down well in advance to avoid the spread of the virus, and all outdoor activities came to a halt to maintain social distancing. In short, we along with our children went into “COVID-19 induced hibernation”.
There are blurred lines right now between what is a vacation and what is everyday life for our children thus we need to help them make the most out of this vacation. This may require a shift in our summer travel plans and vacation checklist but it is necessary for our health and the health of the people we will be meeting when we are out and about.
So we at Vega Schools – CBSE Nursery School Gurgaon, discussed with our Learning leaders and staff on how the summer of 2020 can be made fun-filled and memorable for our children?
How do we convince our already stressed and overwhelmed kids that even if the summer vacations are on, we still can’t go for any trips?
What to do beyond holiday homework, virtual classes and fixed timetables?
- Let’s start with a one to one conversation: Firstly we need to check in with them and see how they are feeling about this summer vacation and address what they want and what they are missing this year. More than we adults, it’s always these little children who are excited about their yearly summer vacation. Hence it becomes all the more important to recognize their feelings before we plan this year’s vacation.
- No more Corona virus-related discussion, please! Children are always picking up cues from their parents’ conversations and behavior. As much as possible, we need to remain calm and in control to help prevent our children from becoming anxious. We have been discussing a lot about coronavirus for 3 months, the virus is here to stay and nothing much can be done about it. So let’s start this summer with a positive outlook towards life.
- No not this, but hey we can do that: It’s time we need to tell our kids that “We are having a lot of fun right now and if we want we can make good memories in all sorts of circumstances. Children are way more mature when it comes to managing emotions; all they need is a little cheering. So if we can’t go to their favorite play zone, we can have a camping session in our balcony with bed sheets as tents and marshmallows in skewers as a barbeque. What matters to them is playful time and this is exactly we can give them…..but with a smart twist. We are sure this is a better option than listening to “I am bored, there is nothing to do” 100 times a day.
- Blast from the Past: Now that we cannot go out for any trips, it’s a good time to reflect on past vacations because happy memories of the past always make us happy. So we can go back to those experiences and relive them in a celebratory way. This is also a very good family bonding activity where we ask our children to share their funniest or embarrassing memories of their past trips and just have a good hearty laugh.
- So what if we cannot go out, we can still plan a trip: How many of us accept the truth that “even anticipating a trip can give us a lot of pleasure “. Not only we adults, but even our children jump in excitement with the very mention of vacation. So if we can draw some joy from that during this unprecedented time of stress and chaos, it’s very important to let the feeling flow over us. So let’s take out our journal, log in to our favorite travel site, and call in the children to plan for your next trip which will happen shortly.
- Internet the savior: Technology has now become a blessing during this pandemic crisis and is here to make our summer vacation easier, smoother, and memorable.
- Cannot visit your favorite museum, don’t worry; we have virtual tourism that offers live webcam experience around the world in real-time.
- Missing friends and family? Chill, just plan a video call and play online tambola.
- Want to learn a hobby? Simply take up online courses and virtual sessions.
And if you are worried about too much screen time, and then do read Vega School’s blog on “Screen time during lockdown.”
- Exercise but in a fun way: We must not forget that passive and sedentary entertainment can lead to a reduction in physical health and fitness and contribute to unwanted weight gain. Hence we need to give our children the much required physical activity sessions at least 30 mins a day. We need to make it more interesting by adding fun games, online dance sessions, or a random pajama party with some Bollywood numbers
- Unstructured leisure time: Time and again we have always discussed the importance of a routine and how our children should learn to schedule their time table. But sometimes it’s ok to let loose the rope, especially at extraordinary times like these, because we can’t predict the future. So letting our children ‘be” is what best we can do. They have a sense of freedom and get an opportunity to explore on their own. As a family also we can just chill under the starry sky or roll over the bed under a quilt and talk silly random stuff. From playing intellectual board games to watching a family web series, from creating a DIY craft from waste to letting children take over the kitchen as a chef, we can engage them and stimulate their emotions and intellect.
- Problem-based activities at home: Last month, Vega School, a “problem based learning” school, shared a beautifully curated article on “Problem-based learning during lockdown”. This blog garnered a lot of attention because of how it linked the current pandemic situation with children’s problem-solving skills.
The bottom line is we should make the most of things that are available to us rather than just hoping other things will open up or get better. This is an important time for families to stay together, to celebrate the feeling of belongingness, to be grateful for what we have, and to be kind and patient with one another. Because, if we crib and complain, our children will do the same and none of the above points will work.
If you are looking for some productive engaging activities, or want to discuss more on how we can manage our children’s emotions during summer vacation, Please feel free to contact us.