Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Hurray! Summer is here and it’s amazing and frightening for all you mommies at the same time. I mean we all love ice-creams, swimming and endless socialising with friends, but it also means whining kids, boredom and frantic quests to keep your child occupied while you go about your daily chores.

The Punekar spoke to a few stay-at-home mums who seemed to have it under control! They are armed with an array of fun and engaging summer DIY activities with children ranging from 2 years to 12 years!

Fatima Azhar, mother to 2-year-old Ibrahim believes that children this age seldom play on their won for more than 15 minutes. Hence, she suggested an “Upcycled Homemade Bird Feeder” that keeps children engaged long after the bird feeder is made. Children can spend a considerable time looking at the birds feeding, learn to recognize native birds and be close to nature. And lastly, it’s a great way to up-cycle old and unused plastic bottles for something constructive!

7-plastic-bottle

  • All you need for this DIY activity is an old plastic soda bottle with its cap intact, 2 wooden spoons, a piece of rope for hanging the bottle and some bird seeds or grains.
  • Just make holes in two places of the bottle approximately, 5 cms from the base of the bottle.
  • Insert the wooden spoons into these and fill up the bottle with bird feed.
  • The spoons will provide space for the birds to sit on and the holes will direct the bird feed into the spoon itself.
  • Hang the bird feeder into your balcony or backyard with a rope tied to the neck of the bottle and wait in sweet anticipation for the birds to discover it!

Sheena Stephens, mother to 5-year-old Shefali has just begun to introduce the concept of following days of the week. She believes it is important for kids this age to learn about anticipating what’s in store for them in Summer Vacations. Hence, she suggested a “DIY Calendar of Activities Planned for the summer” When children help make this calendar, they are in a better position to understand why a trip to the zoo can only be on Saturday, when daddy has an off. It also prepares them for something like a trip to the dentist when they can regularly look at the Calendar they made themselves!

calender

  • For this activity you just need a big chart paper.
  • Make 7 columns (of colourful paper) across the length of the chart paper and then make rows across the breadth of the chart paper with the same colourful paper.
  • Just make sure your rows make large boxes, enough for your child to be able to stick appropriate stickers.
  • Now you can write the date and day of the week in the upper left corner of each box (much like your smart phone calendar). Keep some readymade stickers or make the ones you can’t find indicating the activities planned for summer.
  • The zoo can be depicted by animals, the dentist by a tooth and a visit to grandparents by sticking their photo in the appropriate box!
  • Now sit down with your child have some fun involving your child in planning this amazing Summertime Fun!

Krupa Thakur, mother to 8-year-old Ruhaan discovered “The Bored Jar” last summer hols when the whole family had to stay home and had nothing planned for the entire 2 months! Krupa sat her son down and together they made a list of around 80 things they could for each day in summer holiday and “The Bored Jar” was born! Krupa believes that once you involve your child in the process of planning a summer vacation, there is less “perceived boredom” and it also cultivates patience in the child.

bored jar

  • To make your own Bored Jar with your child, all you need is a mason jar and 60 to 80 colourful lolly sticks or simply some colourful paper cut into spacious strips for you to write on.
  • Sit down with your child and together come up with a list of things to do (could include outdoor and indoor activities) and write them on the lolly sticks/paper strips.
  • Tell your child that whenever he/she feels bored, they can pick a stick without looking and do whatever has been written in it. You may not believe it but children have lots of fun doing this!

Soumya Alekar, mother to 12-year-old Pratham says that tweens can be a tricky time for kids. They have usually developed interests by now and can play on their own for most part of the time. But often mothers have to step in and gently nudge them in the right direction. For Soumya, it was easy to realise that children of Pratham’s age were very interested in electronics and carpentry. That’s when she turned a spare room into a “DIY Workstation” for him!

diy workstation

  • All you need to make a workstation is an old table and hang some utility pockets from a nearby wall to store Knicks and knacks like nails, hammers, pliers, etc.
  • Soumya says she lets her son dismantle old electronic appliances that don’t work any longer.
  • She says Pratham loves taking them apart and tinkering and inventing newer stuff! Sometimes he also invites friends over and they huddle over the table trying to fix and mend appliances, or build something out of scrap wood like little scientists at work. Amazing isn’t it?

Caution: You are the best judge of your child’s readiness – please don’t take my age recommendations as set in stone!