The summer holidays are here! Long, hot afternoons stretch ahead filled with so many possibilities. It’s also the one time of the year when there is little to no school work at all. A perfect time to try out new things. Here are our ideas!
Challenge your body!
The heat of the sun may make you lazy but don’t give in to the temptation. A person who exercises regularly will also keep his or her brain active and sharp. Why not set a physical challenge for yourself over the summer? You can do this in the early morning or evening when it’s still cool or pick an activity that can be done indoors. Here are some options:
- If you can’t swim, then learn to do so before the holidays end. You don’t have to be a Michal Phelps (the Olympic gold medalist) in the pool but should know enough to swim a few laps. The best part: the water will keep you nice and cool.
- Master a sport like badminton, table tennis or basketball. For sports like badminton, you don’t need fancy equipment or be a member of a sports club. A couple of simple racquets and a friend to play with in the neighbourhood park-you are set!
- Run! Running is one of the best ways to stay fit. Start with short distances and then work your way up to a kilometer, then 2, 3, 4 and 5. If you keep at it, you may be able to take up in the shorter runs that are held along with marathons (long distance races) in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Challenge your mind!
Work out that body and then challenge your mind. Movies, browsing the Internet and chatting with friends are fun activities but they don’t challenge the grey cells in your brain. We aren’t speaking of school homework but other fun things you can do to keep those grey cells zipping around.
- Take up Sudoku/crosswords or a similar puzzle-these use parts of your brain that aren’t used in regular activities. Most newspapers publish crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.
- There are plenty of brain teasers available online-these could be fun to do too (just search for ‘brain teasers’ in your search engine box)
- Take up Brain Gym- the Brain Gym is a set of physical exercises that work to make your concentration, memory and body balance better. Brain gym courses are available in cities such as Delhi and Bangalore and there are details of many of their exercises on the Internet too. Ask your parents to help you find out more details
Find a hobby
A hobby may sound like an old-fashioned activity (for example, who collects stamps anymore?) but there are plenty of hobbies that make sense even today. Hobbies develop skills different from what you learn in school and because you picked it over something else, you are more likely to learn a lot! Here are some ideas:
Cooking and Baking: Sign up for a class-there are plenty in each city
Photography: Again, while there are many classes in every city, some of the best photographers learnt on their own. Just pick up a camera and start experimenting
Drawing and Painting: There is a wide range of things you can do here from painting on canvas to colouring books for older kids like you! With websites like www.itsybitsy.in it’s really easy to find craft supplies!
Build something: Snap out of the virtual world of mobile phones and computers and build something. It could be a Lego model, an airplane model, something from wood or paper-the possibilities are endless.
Watching your garden grow
A growing garden is a magical world. Almost overnight, a tiny seed buried in the soil pops out and starts growing into a green plant. If you have watched flowers and vegetables grow, this wonder grows as flowers bloom and tiny vegetables sprout on the plant. In a few weeks, the plant is decorated with tiny fruits and vegetables in many colours-glowing purple brinjal or slim, graceful green lady’s fingers or a stout pumpkin or two. And eating that freshly harvested vegetable tastes nothing like vegetables bought in the market days after they were harvested. Home grown vegetables are super delicious.
Gardening is a wonderful summer pastime as this is the season when many things grow. You could grow a tray or tub of vegetables even in an apartment balcony. Some of the easiest vegetables to grow in pots are all kinds of spinach and mint. If you have a sunny garden/balcony, veggies like brinjal and lady’s finger will grow quite quickly and you could be eating your first harvest in just 3 months! In the winter, it’s easy to grow salad leaves at home.
So why not grow something at home this summer? Visit a local nursery and pick up pots, some rich soil and seeds and get started. There are also gardening workshops you can attend in each city. Look for these online. Your gardener or the even the one who takes care of the neighbourhood park should be able to help.
We are surrounded by screens-computers, laptops, tablets and of course mobile devices. While these are all very useful to us, and give us a lot of information, they also suck us into the virtual world. The virtual world is the world of the computer and Internet as different from the real world around us.
Summer holidays come with loads of free time. When you spend a lot of that time using such devices, you are cut away from the real world. So, instead of chatting with someone at home or playing with a neighbourhood friend, you end up chatting with friends online or playing games in the virtual world. Too much of this isn’t healthy and makes it difficult for you to concentrate on tasks such as reading and studying.
What we suggest is that in each week, observe a couple days as ‘Radio silence’ days or ‘no device’ days. Another option is to stay away from devices except for a 1-2 hour slot each day. Do it and see for yourself the difference it makes!