How to keep children engaged at home during the summer break


Looking for free online activities for children during the summer vacations? This article provides a comprehensive list for your children who have their summer break and helps you to keep them occupied. There are numerous online websites that have educative, interactive and fun activities for free. All you need is a computing device, an internet connection and enthusiastic children.

The summer holidays are here, and if you are a parent I can well imagine the quandary you must find yourself in. Keeping children occupied during the long, hot, summer days can be a mammoth task. With the daytime temperatures shooting up you are forced to keep your kids indoors, but then there is a problem with that - children get bored easily. Kids are always bubbling with energy, and you have to find creative ways for them to expend it. Wouldn't it be nice if your children could be productively occupied in the confines of your home?

Here is a list of some wonderful websites that have some excellent activities that can keep kids engaged for long hours. Check them out and pick the one that best suits your kids. Better still let you kids see them and decide what they want to do.



Printable Board Games


When I was young, board games were very popular. Every friend and every cousin of mine had the ubiquitous 'snakes & ladders' and 'ludo'. I have spent a countless number of hours playing these games. There were days when my parents would join in too. However, with technology taking over our lives, video games became the favourite pastime of kids and board games were forgotten. Though there are still a lot of parents who encourage their kids to play board games, as it can be quite a bit of fun.

If you haven't introduced your kids to board games yet, now is the time. You don't have to buy them for they are available for free as printable downloads, in PDF format. You can select any number of board games for printing. There is an impressive selection to choose from. The categories include –


Depending on the category you pick, you'll need to source a rolling dice or a deck of cards to play. Some games need just a scissors and pencil. Stick the downloaded games on a cardboard sheet, and there you have it, hours of fun. The entire collection is also available for a mere $11.

Science Kids


I recently discovered the child in me, and it is all thanks to this awesome site called Science Kids. I have been surfing through its numerous pages, discovering new things. It is ironical how, we, as adults, just stop learning new things. There is so much information on this website's pages that will enthuse your kids.

Here's a peek at a just a few things the site has on offer –
  • Fascinating facts on science, technology, earth, space, animals, chemistry, planets, scientist and funny trivia
  • Dedicated sections on animals, weather, physics, chemistry, biology and space
  • Age appropriate science experiments
  • Projetcs
  • Quizzes
  • Games
  • Videos, and a lot more

This is just a glimpse of what the kind of material that is available on the site. And remember, it's all free. Your kids are sure to enjoy reading about various topics ranging from Dinosaurs to Robots and Food to Water. There is a plethora of engaging activities on every page that is certain to make your little ones interested in all things science.

Kids Maths Games


Children hate maths, well most children do. It's because maths is rarely made interesting. But, when the same maths is explained in a fun way the concepts become stronger. Interestingly enough this is exactly what is done on Kids Maths Games. The website introduces the various forms of mathematics, in easy to comprehend capsules. There are several fun activities that get children enthusiastically involved in maths.

You'll be glad you introduced your child to this amazing site. Watch them grasp basic mathematical skills of counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They learn advanced maths skills that involve problem-solving, probability, geometry and fractions.

In addition to all this, there are puzzles and board games. There are memory games and there is Sudoku too. Children learn mathematical facts and can print worksheets to practice their skills. Pictures, videos and quizzes enhance their knowledge. Children can learn about Mean, Median & Mode and enjoy Percentage Games, Place Values and Games on Probability. This single website is an answer to every parent's prayers for simplifying mathematics.

Fun English Games


Since English is a foreign language, many children (and adults) struggle with its nuances. Grammar, vocabulary, correct choice of words and sentence construction are some of the areas that require improvement. Fun English Games provides simple language exercises that can help your child improve in all these areas.

The site makes learning fun through appealing activities that include Scrabble and Pictionary. There are a whole lot of word games, quizzes, worksheets and grammar and vocabulary enhancement resources. A lot of the stuff is printable, which means the child doesn't have to be online throughout. Check this site if you want your kids to develop their language skills.

Origami


Do you remember flying paper planes and sailing paper boats as a kid? Folding paper to form different shapes is a Japanese craft. It is called Origami and it involves folding paper and turning it into different shapes.

There are over 400 origami lessons that your kid can learn from. The tutorials are thorough and the steps are meticulously explained. Your kids can learn to shape paper into an attractive penguin bookmark or learn to make an origami elephant or reindeer.

There are beginners' lessons on YouTube as well. The video demonstrates folding techniques, in easy to follow, step-by-step method. Get your kids started in this unique, yet fun activity. It will help improve concentration and dexterity of the fingers. It will also give a boost to their creative side.

Tim's Printables


If you still want some more ideas to keep your kids entertained through the summer holidays then Tim's Printables is what you need. You'll find here a huge assortment of printable material that is designed to entertain and educate children. The site has an easy to navigate homepage, with a self-explanatory menu that shows all that is on offer.

For instance, under the Education tab, you'll find mathematics, science, language arts, alphabet and social studies. Clicking on them takes you to the corresponding page where the activities are displayed. There are a number of activities here that your kids are sure to appreciate.



The Entertainment tab has numerous fun activities such as mazes and drawing tutorials and there are colouring sheets and more. Explore the pages to find something for your kids to do.

There is a lot that you can get your children interested in. You need to talk to them and know what your children want to do. They are young and impressionable, so use your power as a parent, to gently influence them into selecting suitable activities. The right way to work with children is to guide rather than to command. Children like a lot of variety and are easily bored with monotony. So, have various options available to keep them engaged.

If you are a stay at home parent, then you can divide your time between your daily chores and your kids. Spend time with them, engage them in fun activities today and they'll be beautiful memories tomorrow.

If you are a parent living in Chennai, you might want to get your kids involved in eco-friendly green projects and help them become environmentally conscious. Here are a few leads -


Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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Comments

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao26 Apr 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

A very good article by the author. She has given all types of activities which are quite entertaining and educative.

One more suggestion I want to add is, showing them the videos of our old epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata and Bhagavat Gita. Many videos are available on subjects related to the above. By showing them to our children they will get well versed with these epics. They will also understand the importance of morals and ethics.

If somebody is interested I will also recommend the children to learn Sanskrit language during these days.

Author: Juana04 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 4

Srinivasa Rao,

Thank you for adding your valuable suggestions. I think religious doctrines should be something that is made part of everyday life. They should be taught every day, and not during a summer break. I also believe that religious lessons should be imbibed through personal involvement and not through characters on a screen. The persona of the actor is always bigger than the actual character that is being portrayed. I recall how Arun Govil was seen as Ram because he played the part in the TV series.

Though the idea is good, my view is that lessons on religion should not be imparted in this manner.

Author: Partha Kansabanik04 May 2017 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 5

I have read the article with interest.The author has pointed out various activities which children can undertake during summer vacation. This article is, no doubt, very informative. But I am going to question the present-day tendency of forcing children to do something 'constructive' during summer break.

I have seen that the school of my daughter buries the students with loads of homework in every subject during vacations. The homework page invariably concludes with a sentence 'Enjoy your holiday'. To me, it is nothing but a crude joke on the small children. Most of the homework are useless. For example, when my daughter was a student of Class-VI, she was asked to prepare a model on electronic configuration of atoms. When a child does not know that an atom can be further broken down into electrons, protons and neutrons, how does the teacher think that he/she would be able to complete the project on his/her own? To me, this is the sheer wastage of time and resources of the parents and torture to the young minds.

Similar is the case of doing something 'constructive' during holidays. A child must play and enjoy with friends during holidays.The parents can only insist the children complete their course in advance during the holidays, develop the habit of reading newspapers and encourage them to read story-books as much as possible during holidays. We must not destroy the childhood by forcing the children to join various short-term courses/activities in which they have no interest. For senior students, they can join a short-term language course, course to develop their skill in respect of any outdoor game/indoor game, or to join any technical writing course, ONLY IF they have a genuine interest. If they don't have any interest, parents must not force them during holidays. This may cause more harm than good.

However, I thank the author for this informative article on various courses/programmes which are available in major cities of India during summer vacation.

Author: Juana19 May 2017 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 10

Partha,

By all means question tendencies that you disagree with, but why here. I clearly state “Better still let you kids see them and decide what they want to do”. The purpose of activities whether those provided by the school or ones ‘forced’ by the parents is to enhance knowledge and skills. These activities help the child develop.

I do not agree with your view that a process that involves learning can be a waste. Let’s take the example of your daughter’s project. It would have helped improve her cognitive skills, among other things. However, the purpose would have failed if she received negative vibes from you, about the whole exercise.

My take on this is that even the most boring/difficult exercises should be taken on as a challenge and children should be encouraged to participate – use their minds, read up, check the internet, gather information, ask questions, ask for suggestions, try and retry… Such exercises are designed to help the child develop. But, if adults see it as futile then the child will see it that same way too. I think the parents’ job is to encourage and kindle the latent talent in their children. In the process of gathering information for the project, your daughter could have learned many new things, and that would have triggered an interest in her. Taking on a project that she knew nothing about would have encouraged her to research and learn. It would have trained her to take on challenges. A simpler project would have thrown no challenges. I do not encourage students to be spoon-fed – they should be involved in activities that make them think and participate.

Childhood is the most crucial phase in every person’s life. It paves the way for the future. Fun and play are no doubt important, but so is the enhancing of skills. I do not see anything that provides skills or knowledge as a destruction of childhood. Short-term courses that are ‘forced’ upon children are actually giving them choices. Though I am against forcing children to do things, I am of the opinion that children get to decide whether they like the activity enough to continue with it. Parents have to provide the opportunities – to let their kids explore. When parents show disinterest it rubs off on their children. I think parents should have the 'let's do it' attitude when parents are enthusiastic the children become interested.



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