Kids without school and no agenda or direction can be a recipe for mayhem and madness. While summer vacations are a much-deserved respite from the academic year, a child’s restless energy must be channelized creatively, away from constant digital distractions like video games, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube.
Truth be told, gated communities provide the golden opportunity for your kids to develop essential social skills, learn teamwork, and spend time outdoors. With this they learn to be a part of a lively and thriving network of well-adjusted children whose first experience of positive contribution to the society began early at home, leading to happy and healthy adulting in the future.
If you live in an apartment complex/gated community, you’d probably have umpteen kids from all ages idling away their time throughout their summer break. Why not bring them all together to create an unforgettable summer filled with stories, adventures and oodles of fun? We’ve put together a list of summer activities that check all the boxes for what’s considered a wholesome young Gen Z vibe, adding fun, learning, health and community outreach to the mix.
Movie Screening: Weekend movie screenings at the community hall or garden with delicious refreshments and snacks are always a good way to engage children and adults. Pick from animated children’s classics (Ice Age, The Lion King, Frozen, etc.) or play the latest superhero movie installment. The projector, screen, and sound system can be sourced and rented locally for a fair price.
Personalized Treasure Hunt: Instead of standard party treasure hunt, personalize an epic quest for children of all age groups. Pair them according to their unique skills and talents and create multiple levels of the game with educational and skill-based clues throughout the duration of the summer with plain in sight hiding places within the building premises.
Costume Party: There’s no dearth of costume rentals that cater to every character preference your child may have, be it Spiderman, Flash, Hermione, or even a Fortnite Skin. As a DIY alternative, encourage children to create outfits by themselves and go prop hunting together.
Karaoke Night: Children don’t need alcohol or an idyllic beach setting to let go of their inhibitions. Hook them up with a karaoke machine for an evening, they’ll lap it up with their own renditions of the latest chart-toppers like no tomorrow.
Game Night: Mark a day in the week to play new and exciting games, a classic formula for engagement. Apart from the usual charades, Pictionary and card games, try Jackbox Party games that include Trivia Murder Mystery or Cranium – fun game for all ages. Make things more interesting by giving surprise gifts and creating leaderboards.
Mini Marathon: Organising a 2k or 5k fun run for a cause can indeed be a healthy and engaging activity to pique children’s interest in fitness as well as social awareness. Generate support for free pit stops from local businesses on the marathon route.
Yoga/ Martial Arts Workshops: Yoga improves memory, cognitive functions, coordination, and stress management in kids while Martial Arts are good for self-defense, stamina, and discipline. Learning with other children helps develop healthy social interactions that kids should naturally adapt to growing up. Hire instructors after thorough background and credential screening for the safety of your children.
Sports Championship: Colony cricket and football tournaments are all the rage in Indian cities as they hold massive entertainment value and spread the spirit of healthy competitiveness. Get together with nearby buildings/communities and organize a championship trophy series at the local sports ground. Other options include hosting swimming, tennis, handball, basketball, hockey and kabaddi tournaments at sports clubs and gymkhana.
Cleanliness Drive: Want to inculcate strong moral values and civic sense in your little ones? Participate in a local cleanliness initiative (with the local municipality, PWD, state hospitals/schools, NGOs, etc) or organize one independently in your neighborhood after hiring an external specialist agency. Children can learn segregation of waste, recycling basics, appropriate waste disposal and hand washing techniques, prevention from toxic/biomedical waste, composting, etc.
Bake Sale/Cook-off: A family that cooks together, stays together (and occasionally wins a contest too.) Bring together mothers with their kids for some quality bonding time at baking/cooking competitions MasterChef style. Set up temporary open-air kitchens in the building garden. Once the contest is over, turn the mouth-watering delights into a potluck party. Alternately, organize a bake sale and award the highest-selling confectionery maker from among the participants.
Flea Market: Children love DIY projects although they need to be trained in working with both their left and right brain hemispheres to balance critical thinking with their creative flair. Organize a craft fair (weekly/monthly basis) where they are encouraged to sell their own creations such as everyday objects/tools, new and innovative inventions, paintings, photographs, jewelry, toys, wall art, accessories, wallets, etc. Their very first financial earnings in the form of sale proceeds would be their most memorable.
Career Day: Make the summer productive and informative for your children in the most immersive way possible. Select residents or parents from across your apartment complex to give a small presentation on their careers and later hold a Q and A session for follow up questions for children to ask. It’s best if you pick a diverse group of presenters, that represent a range of modern, relevant and fun occupations, not limiting options to only Engineers and Chartered Accountants.
It helps if you set aside a good amount in the society’s Annual Budget for summer activities while also forming a special committee beforehand to manage, execute and supervise all planned activities. To increase participation from all residents, invite suggestions and ideas at society meetings. All in all, make every vacation day brim with joy and action before your little ones get busy with academic routines again. Children emulate adults; the more involved and enthusiastic you are, the more excited they will be to do their best and have a good ol’ time.
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