Published by Community Manager on 16 May 2023
We are in the midst of the summer vacation. For children, holidays spell the start of unlimited fun time and the freedom to do anything they want. As a parent, while you may want your child to enjoy to their fullest, you need to be careful about how they spend their day. Do they remain glued to the screen and mobile devices all day or do they prefer playing sports and being outdoors?
Many researchers worldwide have proved that too much screen time for kids results in several problems, like disturbed sleep, diminished ability to recognise emotions and addiction. Besides, by being glued to the screen for a long time, kids may miss out on the real joys of childhood, like going out to the beach, playing in the mud, spending time with neighbours, etc.
As you work to reduce screen time for kids, you must also work towards establishing a healthy ‘play diet’ for them. You can let them have their screen time but also ensure that you create a fine balance between screen time and outdoor time during the summer holidays.
Before we get down to the tips to reduce screen time, let us look at what the experts suggest about the ideal screen time for kids of different age groups.
Recommend screen time for children
Children aged under two years – Zero screen except video calling with family
Children aged between 3-5 years – Not more than one hour a day. But make sure that one of the adults in the family always accompanies them
Children aged between 6-17 years – Not more than two hours in a day
Here are a few ways to limit screen time while helping your kids enjoy a fun and memorable summer.
Set a realistic goal
Remember, for most kids and teenagers, the forbidden fruit seems tempting the most. In your bid to reduce screen time of your kid, don’t cut off it off completely at once. This could prove to be counterintuitive, and spurs their desire to get online even more.
Instead, be realistic and set a time limit for their screen activities in a day. Accept the fact that they need to use their mobile devices for everyday purposes. Based on their age, establish a rule in the house where they can use their mobile for some time and for the rest of the day encourage them to play outdoor games, reading, play games or do other physical activities.
Discuss with your child
Thinking about how to reduce screen time of children? You cannot literally impose restrictions on them. Instead, discuss with them about how they need to manage their screen time every day, how it affects their physical and mental wellbeing. You must also tell them they need to get out of the house, go outdoors and do physical activities.
Set a mutually agreeable limit. For example, you can let them watch only a specific program or use their devices for a specific hour of the day; set a timer for them and as soon as the alarm goes off, encourage them to voluntarily get off the screen. This way, the impact will be much stronger and they will be more disciplined.
Help your child with doing other activities
Simply telling your child to stop using mobile won’t work. You must guide them on how they spend their day and suggest activities to reduce screen time. Work with your child to know about their interest, and together prepare a plan and list down the things they can do or you both can do together at different times of the day.
Knowing exactly what to do would give your child a sense of predictability and they would be looking forward to doing different things instead of being left guessing what to do next. They may even refrain from spending time in front of the screen if they find other activities more interesting.
Be a role model for the kid
The kids learn the most from the things they see and observe. They try to imitate things they see their parents doing at home. When you are finding ways to limit screen time of your kids, set an example for them.
Even as you tell your child to stop using their mobile device, you may feel tempted to reach out to your phone or iPad to check your email, news, or social media handles. At such times, you may be setting a bad example for your child, and they will pick up the habit from you.
So, when there is no screen time, make sure that you stay disconnected as well and keep your hands off your mobile, laptop, iPad. Spend the time with your child, have a conversation, bond with them, do some outdoor activity together, and enjoy your summer too.
Plan a holiday
One of the best ways to limit screen time and balance outdoor time during summer is to actually go outdoors with your kids. And the best way to do that is to plan a holiday. Children love the idea of going to a new place, the excitement of seeing new things, exploring new places, travelling, and having new experiences fill their mind, and they automatically immerse themselves in their own planning of the things they want to do, which takes their time away from the screen.
And when you are on a holiday, the new sights intrigue them, and they would be looking forward to a new adventure every day rather than just sit in a corner with a mobile in their hand. So, discuss with your family and even ask the kids about where they want to go, what are the things they want to do, and choose the right destination accordingly.
Wherever you choose to go, you can book your stay at Club Mahindra resort or one of their partner resorts. The resorts offered by Club Mahindra are rated among the best family resorts in India and for a good reason. They offer a range of curated experiences for everyone in the family to spend time together, strengthen their bonds, and have fun at the same time.
For kids especially, they have a dedicated activity space called #HappyHub where your child can play different games and indulge in creativity-inducing activities, like rock painting or learn a new skill like pottery.
With so many ways to limit screen time, use our tips to help your children find a fine balance between spending time indoors in front of a screen and being outdoors during summer.
Activities that kids can do this summer
We have meticulously prepared a list of fun activities for children that will keep them occupied through the break. These activities are suitable for kids of all age groups.
Make a DIY Bird feeder
DIY (do it yourself) activities are always fun, and most kids love them. With the summer reaching its peak, you can encourage your child to help the birds and animals around them by feeding them and offering water. You can turn this act of kindness into a fun and entertaining activity for kids in summer vacation by asking them to make a bird feeder that you can put outside your window or keep in your back or front yard.
Give your kids the essential supplies to make the feeder, like a box, and old and used jar/bowl, strings, colour pencils, water colours, a pair of scissors, decorative items, etc. Depending on the age of the child, you can guide and help them in making the feeder. Let your child’s creative thoughts run wild and let them come with their own design for the feeder.
If they are struggling for ideas, you can show them a few online videos on how to make bird feeders and use the methods to come up with their own feeder. At the end of it, you will be amazed at what your child makes. Finally, at the end of the exercise, make sure to reward your child with a few goodies for all their hard work.
Hold a room cleaning race
Let’s be honest, kids tend to be messy, and when they are home with plenty of spare time it is only natural for them to turn the entire house upside down. As an adult, it can be frustrating to see all the toys, clothes, and other household items being scattered. But instead of scolding your them, you can encourage your kids to clean the house. If you are wondering how? Here is a suggestion.
As soon as holiday starts, establish a ground rule for the kids that you will let them have all the fun they want to have but at the end of the day, they will have to race against each other and clean the room, and whoever does it first and records a maximum number of wins by the end of the week will get a special reward. The reward could be anything – the winner gets to choose the holiday destination, or they will get the toy they always wanted.
Home cleaning could be one of the fun things to do for kids in summer and at the same time it will inculcate a sense of discipline, and awareness about keeping the room clean and taking responsibility for their own stuff.
Ask them to write a biography
These are excellent vacation activities for kids in summer, especially for children aged between 10-15 years. If you live in a joint family, with uncles, aunts, cousins, and grandparents, then your child will love this activity. Grandparents often feel lonely and bored being at home, but they have plenty of stories to tell, from their childhood memories to their kids.
You can get your child to spend time with the elders in the house and get them to record their conversations. Once they have enough repository or recordings, you can ask your child to write a biography of each of the family members, or in simple words, ask them to write what they feel about everyone in the house.
You can perhaps write an outline or guide them on how to write a biography so that they can build upon it and write whatever they want. For example, you can ask your child to write about
The traits that they like and dislike about the family member
Some of their best memories with the family member
How the said family members spoil them
What are the adjectives that best describes the person
Which cartoon character do the family member look like
Give your child such fun and interesting points of reference to build their story. After they have completed writing about everyone, post some pictures to it, compile the write ups and you can print and distribute a copy to everyone. How about that? Sounds fun, right? It will be even more fun when you actually get to do it, we bet!
Some of the best activities for kids in summer vacation are done outdoors. Take your children and a few of their friends to the nearby park and play A-Z scavenger hunt. All you need for this game is a big box. The rules of the game are quite simple. If there are more than five children, divide them in two teams and give them a time limit of 30 minutes.
The objective of the team is to find different objects within the park that start with different letters of the alphabet. For example, they find leaves (starting with letter L), they can find twigs (Starting with letter T), a seed (starting with letter S), and so on. The team must cover all the letters or maximum possible letters within the prescribed time. Whoever finishes collecting the maximum number of objects within the time limit is the winner.
Apart from being fun, this activity helps your child learn to work in a team, and the importance of coordination.
Most children, especially kids aged below 10 tend to scribble on the walls with anything they find at hand: colour pencils, crayons, sketch pens or water colours and leave their foot and handprints all over. Well, it is understandable that you would want to keep the walls inside your home clean and safe from your child creating their masterpieces of art, but how about letting your children express themselves freely and letting them scribble and colour the outer walls of your home?
This is one of the best summer fun ideas for kids. But instead of giving them colours, give your kids colourful chalks. If the wall is big, a bunch of kids can do this activity together and make murals on the walls or paint whatever they want to.
The good thing about using chalks for making wall murals is you can easily wash them off clean at the end of the day, and give your kids a clean canvas the next day and they can create new designs every day.
Enrol them to Learn a new skill
Sure, summers are all about having fun. But, summer holidays for kids in India typically last for about two months, sometimes even more. You can encourage your child to use their free time to learn something new and acquire a new skill. It could be anything they want, like learning to play a new musical instrument, making crafts, cooking, karate, or maybe calligraphy.
Based on your child’s liking and natural flair, look for the best classes (online or offline) near you, and enrol them for it. These classes may last only a couple of hours a day, post that they can play and have fun with their friends.
By helping your child learn a new skill during the summer holiday, your child will not only be engaged for a few hours a day but as they delve deeper into it, they will have another dimension to their personality. Imagine, at the end of the summer holiday, your child is able to play your favourite song on the guitar, or they can make some amazing pieces of art out of waste. Sounds cool, isn’t it?
Ask them to create a family photo album
Vacation activities for kids in summer need not always be about playing a game, going outdoors, or taking part in a competition. Sometimes, it is best to stay home with your kids and do some DIY crafts, like creating a family photo album.
This is one of the summer fun ideas for kids that they would love and you can also spend some quality time with them, and strengthen your bond. You may have plenty of pictures on your phone or some old albums lying around in your house, right? Why not bring them all out and create a new and fresh album.
As you go through the old pictures, you can share the old memories with your child and relive those wonderful moments of the past yourself. You can either buy a new album online, or even better, make one yourself and include your child as your partner in the endeavour.
Get a few supplies from the local stationary shop and design your own album. Spruce it up using decorative items and finally, you can give the album a new name. While adding new pictures to the album, let your kids choose their favourite ones.
Have a car wash
Do you often drive to a garage or a car wash shop to keep your beloved car clean, gleaming, and spotless? Well, you know, every time you take your car for a wash, you end up spending a few hundred rupees. Why not save those bucks and at the same time, have fun by holding a ‘Car Wash Sunday Session’ in your house?
Park your vehicle in the driveway, and ask your kids to join you in scrubbing and washing the car. Give them a bucket of water and sponges and all of you get to the task at once. It is one of the best and inexpensive vacation activities for kids during summer as they get to enjoy playing with water on a hot summer day.
You can make the activity even more fun and enjoyable by getting a hose and splashing some water while you wash the car.
Make a family tree
Making a family tree is an excellent summer fun idea for kids older than 10 years. They can make this on cardboard, a chart paper, or even on their computer using a template. You can help your child with the names and relationships of the people from the past generation.
You can go back to tracing as many generations as you want, depending on how big or small you want the family tree to be. Your kid may enjoy and be thrilled to know about the names or their great grandparents, grand uncles and aunts. As they work on making the family tree, you can rummage through the old family albums and find pictures of the family member and help your child put a face to the names. You can even stick the photos on the family tree and make it visually appealing.
Making a family tree is a great way for documenting your family’s ancestry. There are different ways to make a family tree. But it typically includes a box for one individual and each box is connected to others, indicating the relationship and name. You can even add other details like date of birth and nick name, as you want your family tree to look like.
Host a movie party
Hot and lazy summer afternoon can be turned into an exciting and fun one by hosting a movie party for the kids. Watching a movie together with friends and families is one of the best things to do for kids in summer. Send an invite to your child’s friends a couple of days before the big event and get their friends and maybe ask some of your relatives to come over to your house, and together you can have a wonderful movie party.
Decide on the movie you want to play on the day, and make all the necessary arrangements. Make sure that you test your speakers and home theatre system a few days before the actual movie night to ensure that nothing goes wrong. You can watch a good mix of animated movies and educational documentaries and continue having fun day.
Make sure you get the necessary accompaniments for the movie, popcorn and snacks for the kids. You can even ask the kids to get their own snacks and turn movie-watching night into a movie party.
Take them on a vacation
If there is one vacation activity for kids in summer that they can’t say no to and excite them irrespective of their age, it is a summer vacation. Yes, with schools shut, no pressure of homework and plenty of spare time at hand, you can use it to your advantage and plan a family holiday to any destination of your choice.
Since it is summer, you may want to get away from the scorching heat of the city and go to someplace cool and calm, right? Well, you can head to one of the hill stations in India. You have plenty of options, from Shimla to Coorg and Nainital to Munnar. Pick a destination that is closest to your home city.
The good thing about these hill stations in India is that they all are endowed with stunning natural beauty, blessed with surreal landscapes and promise you a good time. Each place has its own charm. For example, the hill stations in the North give you the stunning views of the snow-clad Himalayan peaks. The hill stations in the South are all about lush greenery and serenity.
Wherever you go, make sure that you choose the best place to stay, like a resort offered by Club Mahindra. All Club Mahindra resorts have a reputation for being the best family resorts in India and boast premium amenities and world-class services that make you feel at home.
Remember, the summer vacation is all about letting your kids have fun as much as you want to explore the new place. And, Club Mahindra resorts ensure that children have the best time ever, thanks to their special kids activity zone called #HappyHub.
Happy Hub is a safe space where you can drop your kids and let them participate in various activities of their choice under the supervision of the Club Mahindra staff and you can have your own fun. At Happy Hub, your child can do stone or glass painting, learn pottery or towel origami, go for a theme party dressed up as their favourite character/person, and so much more.
The activities at Happy Hub differ from one resort to another. But rest assured your child will have an enjoyable time.
There are countless vacation activities for kids in summer, and the ones we discussed are a few popular activities that most families in India do with their kids. Vacation activities for kids are all about doing things that your child likes, and you and the child both should have fun doing them. So, find your child’s interests and likes and the entire family can indulge in those activities.
Of course, summer time becomes even better when you plan a vacation. So why not plan one now
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