When my daughter heaves a sigh of relief at the end of her exams, I start to panic. My mind is filled with the dreaded thought, holidays, no school; the kids will be home all day! This translates into repeated whining of ‘I am bored’, and ‘What to do now?’

So during the last holidays, I got my daughter and my nephew to make a list of all the things they wanted to do and we put it up on the fridge. While this is not a new idea, the kids really loved it, and it really saved me a lot of tension through the holidays.

Another deal was, for every three things that were their choice; I was allowed to put in one of my choice. Luckily that went down without too much argument. One important lesson that I learnt was that the list wasn’t time bound, and some or most activities could be repeated, and it gives kids imagination as they want to make the list as long as they can.

So here are a few things that they loved and I hope to repeat during the coming holidays as well

Plant Some Veggies or Herbs Together:

You do not need to have a garden area to do this, even an old oven tray, buckets, pots etc can be used for this. Mustard, Fenugreek and such similar seeds are quick to germinate. Flowering plants in pots and old buckets can develop an interest in gardening. This interest can be further developed into a maintaining a kitchen garden in the long run.

Plan A Picnic To The City Park:

Plan an old-fashioned picnic in the city. With picnic hampers, bed sheets to sit on, if possible tag on the bicycles as well. Carry some music, but do not play it too loud to disturb public. We did this recently with the kids in Bangalore in Cubbon Park and it was so much fun and a very different day from going to the mall or the movies.  Just remember not to litter and carry back all your garbage so you can dispose it the right way

Have Them Shoot A Documentary About Themselves:

You can use any camera phone or a handy-cam and ask them to shoot what they think is interesting. Sometimes, this gives us a great insight of what the kids are really thinking and what holds importance to them. You could tell them this is like a memory they could look back when they are older. Once done, you could help them edit, add music and text to the videos (using simple software like Movie Maker etc).  This could be a souvenir for many years to come. And who knows, maybe the start to a new hobby or career.

Have A Sleepover:

Holidays are times, children miss their friends and that is one of the reasons they get bored. A fun dinner and a sleepover is a good idea. You could temporarily shift the TV and the gaming equipment to the kids’ room for one day and let them feel free. No sleep time and no restrictions on the food for one day work well. Surely, you have to clear it with the other parents, but most parents are happy if you take the kids off their hair for a day.