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It is that time of the year when schools are done with the academic year and vacations have begun. But given the unprecedented times we live in, most children in the country have spent the last one and half years at home due to the pandemic. And with the country battling the deadly second wave since the last month or so, it is yet another year of summer vacation spent at home. Given that it is the safest thing to do right now, most parents have been engaging toddlers and young children with a whole lot of activities including reading, board games, crafts and the like while juggling their own jobs from home. “From sensory bins to toy rotation, water play and gardening, I manage to keep my daughter engaged,” says Chennai based Dr Saakshi Gulati, Dentist and travel blogger who is a doting mother to two and half year old Samaira.
But with the summer holidays having officially started, there have been a whole lot of innovative online activities designed to keep children constructively engaged. From touring museums to learning tie and dye, there is plenty you can do online. So, if you are looking for some thoughtfully curated virtual events for your little ones, read on to find out more.
Take a nature safari from home
While it may take a while for children to go out on a wildlife safari or on a bird watching trip, they can connect with nature from home this summer.
The Outback Experience is organizing an online wildlife summer workshop by award-winning wildlife photographer Phillip Ross where children can explore the fascinating world of mammals, birds, amphibians and fish.
Early Bird which is part of Nature Conservation Foundation’s (NCF) Education and Public Engagement Programme, is organising a five-week online workshop for young birders (12-16 years old) and the program has been curated along five specific themes. The response to this first workshop has been overwhelming and the team plans to organize more in the future. “This workshop is for children who have been into birding and we aim to take the interest to the next level which is beyond just recognising the bird,” says Misha Bansal, project assistant, Early Bird. More details can be obtained from their Facebook and Instagram pages.
Learn the nuances of photography
If your child is a budding photography enthusiast, check out the photography summer camp by The Outback Experience which aims to give kids a detailed understanding of digital photography without leaving the safe limits of their homes. A session that promises to be fun and interactive, this one includes practical exercises too apart from theory-based learning.
Art for the soul
If your children love painting, art and craft, Rajasthan Studio brings in a series of art workshops specially designed for children. They include various art forms like knife and acrylic painting, finger painting, floral compositions, paper quilling, paper cutting, origami and word doodle workshops. “Art workshops at Rajasthan Studio are simple, structured and highly informative about Indian culture. It is a great way for kids to find out more about India’s arts and crafts and also eventually display a piece of their work for their family,” says Kartik Gaggar, founder Rajasthan Studio.
A simple way to appreciate the beauty of nature around you is by nature art journaling. Sketching is one of the best and
easiest forms of art that you can pick up and practise on a daily basis. A great way to stay focused and observe nature, the nature journaling workshop helps children pick up the basics of sketching and water colours with free-flowing lines while learning to understand the art and science behind natural designs. More details can be obtained from their Facebook page. or by contacting VishnuPriya Hathwar / Parinitha Konanur on 9448451921/9902822951 respectively.
Virtual Lego Robotics
If your child is fascinated with the world of lego, blocks and robotics, consider the Virtual Lego Robotics online course designed for children who are older than 9 years of age. Developed by ROBO-G, a robotics learning solution company, this course will help children unravel the world of robotics, artificial intelligence, algorithms and programming. A highly engaging course, this one integrates the concepts of math and science.
If your child has a ear for music or is a budding vocalist, there are several courses you can enrol them in which will help hone their skills better. The Shankar Mahadevan Academy offers a wide range of courses right from vocals to instrumental classes. They include Hindustani and Carnatic vocals to regional language songs and learning to play the piano, guitar etc. Taaqademy is yet another organisation offering a wide range of music related summer courses which includes music appreciation, song writing and music production.
Space, Astronomy and the works
Arguably one of the most captivating subjects for most children is that of planets, satellites and outer space. Astro Space Camp is offering multiple courses covering subjects like astronomy, mission to space and satellites. They also have a 30-day Junior Space Scientist Program - JSS '21 for slightly older children. So, get ready for your mission into the outer world; let the adventure begin!
Quizzing with a difference
QShala is an online curiosity platform designed to inculcate life skills and instil a sense of curiosity in children using quizzing as a medium. Their sub junior and junior summer camps are aimed at developing skills like critical thinking, perspective thinking, teamwork, bonding and much more. "QShala has collaborated with Diya Ghar, an NGO working towards providing migrant children with nutrition and education, for their Junior camp wherein children will learn the nuances of problem solving, out of the box thinking, video making," says Atharva Karandikar, head Digital Marketing, Qshala.
Theatre for children
Ranga Shankara's 'Theatre for Children' programme - AHA! brings in the magic of theatre in all its aspects to children. Check their online workshops which include learning the art of storytelling, acting, etc. and involves several facets of theatre like writing, acting and direction.
Learning with Fun
Always wondered why does popcorn pop or why does boiling water dance? Little Reader’s Nook offers several such courses that integrate the concepts of science, maths and engineering albeit in a way that it arouses the curiosity of the child. “We have several programs like creativity with folktales, empathy with object theatre, debates and public speaking for children from the age of 4 upwards,” says Sarita Shetty, Head of Operations & Book-knight-in-chief, Little Readers' Nook.
The Sun Smart Foundation International School also has summer courses for children on design thinking, scientific exploration, creative writing and even fashion designing.
Check Learnwithbreadcrumb for some innovative courses on communication skills, automobiles and even miniature game creation.
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