Remember the saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” While school breaks may seem overwhelming for the adult, children savour the leisurely period of time in which they can play, rest and unhurriedly make their choices. Vacations don’t have to mean expensive trips or extravagant adventures. Breaks from school can be a great opportunity to take a breath, unwind and relax. Whether you choose to travel or not, simple time together, connecting as a family, can be rejuvenating. Here are a few of our ideas for school breaks with your child.

* Reading together is one of the simplest ways in which you can connect with your child, at any age. Find an appropriate book, and settle down with lots of time in hand. Have long conversations about the characters, stop to look at each picture. Make art relating to the story you’ve just read. This can be free-form drawing, you don’t need to set up an activity to engage the child’s imagination.

* Get outdoors and spend time on free play, digging and shovelling. If you don’t have a sandplay set, just take along old spoons and tumblers. Show your child that it takes very little to stay busy!

* Go on nature walks and stop to look at small creatures and flowers. See if you can find out names and a few facts about the things that you spot. Taking along a magnifying glass or a picnic basket can make outings like this even more fun.

* Anchor your child’s routine by including practical life experiences in their day. Sweeping, washing windows, doing the laundry, helping with meals… all these are activities your child will gladly participate in, when they see you are doing them too.

* If you’re staying in town, it may be fun to visit some of Hyderabad’s local sights such as Salarjung Museum or Golconda Fort. Do your research before the outing so that you have stories and facts to share with your child. Mentally prepare yourself for the trip taking longer, or not going exactly as you planned it. Being out of the school day routine can change your child’s pace, so adjust your expectations accordingly. And remember, what excites you may not excite your child!

* Spend time with extended family and model social courtesies for your child. If there are festivals during the school break, try to include your child in the rituals. Do note that your child will need to be prepared for this in advance, if they aren’t used to seeing these relatives otherwise. Any unfamiliar experience can be unsettling and needs to be communicated to the child so that they can prepare themselves.

* Keep art supplies accessible and let your child create anything they want to. Follow the child’s lead if they choose to work, or repeat work done at school.  If they choose to create scrawls and scribbles instead, well, they’re still exercising their motor control 🙂

* Possibly most importantly: Don’t plan out every hour of the day. Let your child get bored, so that they can figure out what else to do. Don’t go overboard with making the break spacial. Your children are excited about spending time with you and they need downtime too.

We hope you have a restful break, and look forward to seeing you at school again soon.

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