09 June, 2023

Counselor's Corner

Counselor's Corner-Counselors Corner-Counselor June 9

From Boredom to Breakthrough: 11 Creative Ways to Make Summer Vacations Productive for Your Kids by Anita Madan

What do you do if your kids are already bored of their long summer holidays? Educator Dr Anita Madan, head of curriculum development at EuroKids, has some tips for you. 

As the academic year ends, parents and children eagerly look forward to the summer break—a pause from the endless alarms and early morning routines. Summer vacation is the time to break life’s everyday monotony and help children recharge and develop intellectually and physically as they prepare to kick-start another academic year. 

However, most parents face challenges during summer breaks in engaging their children productively and ensuring they maintain a routine. Most children are glued to the television and iPad screens, easily bored due to a lack of activities. This only adds to the pressure on parents to balance their work life with their kids’ downtime. 

Planning a summer vacation has the potential to create quality family time and develop deep-rooted bonding opportunities for children with their parents and siblings while exposing them to new experiences. It can also help provide learning or educational opportunities, improve physical and mental health through outdoor time, and enhance creativity. Overall, planning a summer break well can benefit families, leading to improved relationships, increased happiness, and enhanced well-being. 

Having worked with children for decades, I have noticed several children develop an interest in new languages, pick up gardening, or be quicker at math due to exposure to different skills during vacation time. 

But what is vacation time? Does it always require you to travel? Or is it always about signing up children for swimming classes? The best way to approach this is to offer your children various opportunities to develop different skills, from outdoor activities to newer experiences. Here are some creative ways to make summer breaks productive for your kids: 

  1. Set a routine: Make sure the children have a routine even during the holidays and have an opportunity to look forward to something they can do every day. A lack of routine could set up unwanted habits such as waking up late and missing meal schedules.
  2. Get them to be creative: Sign your children up for a local art and craft class to learn to paint, draw, and create without boundaries. It will further help them develop logical thinking skills. Art classes can help them unleash their creative selves while keeping them engaged. Register your children for music lessons—they can learn to play an instrument, sing, or even compose their own songs.
  3. Find a summer camp: There are many summer camps organized by some of the leading preschool brands that offer a variety of activities, such as sports, outdoor adventures, and arts and crafts, besides enabling social interactions with other children and adults. Find a place where children can be equipped with 21st-century skills such as creative thinking, critical thinking, design thinking, emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and other related cognitive skills. Finding the right summer camp programcan help your kids take up many activities, which will inculcate in them gross motor, fine motor, and time management skills. 
  4. Encourage reading: Summertime is the perfect opportunity for children to indulge in reading. Encourage the habit of reading in your kids by giving them books that match their reading level and interest. You can also use this opportunity to develop a bond with them by reading a book with them during the day or at bedtime. You can even make reading enjoyable by creating fun rewards for your children.
  5. DIY projects: Give wings to your children’s creativity and curiosity through do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, puzzles, experiments, and games. Encourage the art of creating something of their own using old plastic bottles and other waste around the house. Your children can create simple lamps and stationery items such as cardboard pen stands and organizers with upcycled materials. These activities will trigger their creative skills and enhance their different senses.
  6. Explore new places: Traveling and exploring teach the most valuable lessons. Visiting different places, even within the city or in a new one, and being exposed to a new environment, cuisine, and art will give kids the chance to develop various traits such as bravery, confidence, kindness, adaptability, and respect.
  7. Spend time amid nature: Let your children grow their green thumb by starting or tending to a garden. This allows them to learn about different plants, how to care for them, and even create their vegetable patch with your guidance.
  8. Encourage social interactions: Ensure your kids stay connected with friends and family during the summer break, as social interaction is vital for children’s mental and emotional well-being. Find as many opportunities as possible during this break for the kids to interact with their friends and family members.
  9. Volunteering: Help your children develop a sense of empathy and social responsibility by volunteering at a local shelter, food bank, or community garden. This inculcates a sense of community in children.
  10. Outdoor adventures: Hikes, bike rides, and exploring a new park or a dog park are great ways to stay active and discover new things.
  11. Involve them in the kitchen: Get your children to take a deeper interest in the food they eat by making them help you out during meal preparation. This could involve having your children help you pick or wash the vegetables, plucking fruits and herbs from the garden, and simple no-cook activities such as mixing up salads and making sandwiches. 

In conclusion, remember that the most important thing during summertime is letting your children have fun and explore their interests while ensuring they have enough time to relax and rejuvenate. Help them gain exposure to as many fun activities as possible so they get an opportunity to develop different kinds of skills. All you have to do is stay connected with your children and be involved in their new learnings. Wait and see if the kids want to continue a specific activity even after the summer break. It will help your children fine-tune their newly acquired skills.   


How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen  


Harvard Business School’s Christensen teaches aspiring MBAs how to apply management and innovation theories to build stronger companies. But he also believes that these models can help people lead better lives. In this article, he explains how, exploring questions everyone needs to ask: How can I be happy in my career? How can I be sure that my relationship with my family is an enduring source of happiness? And how can I live my life with integrity? 

The answer to the first question comes from Frederick Herzberg’s assertion that the most powerful motivator isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute, and be recognized. That’s why management, if practiced well, can be the noblest of occupations; no others offer as many ways to help people find those opportunities. It isn’t about buying, selling, and investing in companies, as many think. 

The principles of resource allocation can help people attain happiness at home. If not managed masterfully, what emerges from a firm’s resource allocation process can be very different from the strategy management intended to follow. That’s true in life too: If you’re not guided by a clear sense of purpose, you’re likely to fritter away your time and energy on obtaining the most tangible, short-term signs of achievement, not what’s really important to you. 

And just as a focus on marginal costs can cause bad corporate decisions, it can lead people astray. The marginal cost of doing something wrong “just this once” always seems alluringly low. You don’t see the end result to which that path leads. The key is to define what you stand for and draw the line in a safe place. 

Take a look at the entire article here