Step out and get together with friends in your locality to have fun.

Lazing around at home watching mindless television is probably the most boring way to spend your vacations. Travelling and summer camps apart, you spend a lot of their time at home. How about turning your house or neighbourhood into a fun place during the holidays. There are ‘n' number of ways to spent your time at home fruitfully, either by engaging in creative activities or by helping your parents in the business of running the house. But the best way to do this will be by organising with other children in and around your neighbourhood.

Group activities

Right from organising cultural programmes to taking tuition classes for younger children, the scope of activities that you can undertake is great. Team up with like-minded friends in your neighbourhood and form activity-based clubs like reading club, cricket club, chess club, painting clubs…, poetry club, debate club, arts and crafts club etc.

Members of these clubs can get together at a member's house and enjoy their work in the company of friends. If your are into creative pursuits like painting, embroidery or making handicrafts you can even earn some pocket money by selling your works to elders.

A great example of team activity, which can be both enjoyable and useful, is making a small utility club to carry out little errands for residents in your neighbourhood like paying their bills, buying grocery or posting letters. You can even start a mini provisions store where you can stock up and sell everyday articles or crafts that you have made yourselves. Taking tuitions for younger children, teaching them skills like swimming, bicycling and skating or organising programmes like drama, skits or dance are other options for group activity.

Volunteering

Community service and volunteering is another wonderful activity you can take up in full swing during the holidays. There are a wide range of activities under the gambit of community service that you can take up.

These range from helping elders in neighbouring households to cleaning up your colony. You can also lend a helping hand to under-privileged children around your neighbourhood by collecting and donating clothes, books and other useful articles for them or by even taking classes for those children who are not lucky enough to go to school. Helping the inmates of nursing homes, poor homes and orphanages in their day to day activities will also help children gain a wealth of experience besides developing in them values of selfless service. Campaigning for a cause by associating with voluntary organisations working in different fields like environmental protection, animal rights, road safety, children's rights etc is also an exciting option.

Parties

Children never lose a chance to get together and have fun and children's parties are the best occasions for this. Story telling sessions, indoor games, tea parties, baking parties, slumber parties or even gardening parties in which you take turns to beautify the home gardens of your team mates, can all be interesting themes for your parties.

Expeditions

Why not plan a bicycle expedition or a walking tour to a nearby camping site or picnic spot. This can be both fun and an exercise. You need not go too far away for this. Even a beautiful garden in your neighbourhood can be an ideal picnic spot.

It goes without saying that all activities that take you outside the safe zone of your home or neighbourhood have to be undertaken under the supervision of elders.

Housekeeping

There are so many things that your parents do for you. For a change, ask yourself what you can do for your parents. Make use of the holidays to show your parents just how much they mean to you buy doing little household chores like ironing their clothes, helping your mother in the kitchen or giving them little surprises like a hot cup of coffee after a long day other work. Parents can encourage children to take up activities like organising things and shopping in the nearby store. Give them a budget and ask them to shop the required items within the budget.

“When you entrust children with such responsibility it gives them a sense of distinction and self-esteem and also helps them things like money management. They may not be entirely successful in their very first attempt.

“But parents should not scold or discourage them and instead should congratulate them on whatever little feat they have achieved,” says child psychologist and principal of Shantiniketan School Dr. A. Nirmala.

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