The rains have set in the fun mood and the ensuing festive season has ushered in a lot of cheer. Just the time for some great family fun.
Well, rains and the accompanying uplift in spirit brought back my playful spirit too and one fine day I posted the following picture (a casual early morning click when on my morning walk) with an accompanying note on my social media account.
Camouflage at its best .Seems as if the lovely parrots are teasing us. Spot us if you can! Find at least three parrots in the picture.
I was astonished to see the number of people who joined in the spirit and set to work finding the parrots and exclaiming to my delight ‘Yay found em!’, ‘found!’ …the list keeps on growing longer.
This set me thinking, ‘when people, right from those in their thirties to near sixties and maybe more can’t resist a challenge, how much more fun it must be for children!’
What better way would there be for children to add on new vocabulary and enhance their communication skills than fun family activities and games. So here we are with some of my prefferred ideas and games for the on-going monsoon and the ensuing festive seasons. My list of 5 such ideas includes:
- The Great Monsoon Trail
- Cook your words or Word your way to cook!
- The hunt for treasure –Treasure hunt while playing with language!
- The big shopping expedition!
- Party Fun
In today’s blog I would like to talk about the first one :
The Great Monsoon Trail
The monsoon ushers in lot of greenery in some form or the other and there is a lot of colour to look at around you .So walks and following trails when the time and wheather permits is the thing to do. These days most parents are health conscious and regular walkers /gymers. .The problem is that, while doing so we take our surroundings for granted and don’t involve children in the activities or don’t think it is important to keep up the chatter. So talk away, keep introducing words/names for things on the go without stressing on the learning -so that you don’t lose the fun quotient!
Go out to your garden/balcony/parks as a family at least once a week (maybe mornings or whenever you have time). Have a blast clicking away with your kids. You will be surprised, how different some scenarios can look and how many more things you are able to observe when seen minutely in focus!
Some activities /games which can be carried out /played while on the monsoon walk:
- Fun picture puzzle: The picture shown above and the words used as a caption are example enough for the kind of talk and vocabulary you have to use while talking to children and the scope of things which can be taught while having fun .The vocabulary to be used can be toned down or up according to your child’s age –ex words like camouflage, adaptation(Also words like camouflage can be used to play lots of interesting family games. Tell children to camouflage themselves from fictional enemies and play the game .Camouflage can also be definitely used to talk about things like why Indian army has the uniform it has ).
- Here are a few more of my favourite pics :
Other than the obvious ones like roots, short, tall,colours …words like a natural arch can be deliberately introduced in your conversation.
You can also ask -to find particular shaped/coloured leaves, look for chameleons /birds/flowers/other.
- Tell children to take pictures too and make scrap books where each picture can have a question or a puzzle to unravel as shown in the pic above. Then all can sit together at a family sit together and have fun playing the game.
- Collect unusual objects when following your trail (by the way trail is another word to be taught!) and design some artifact as a family .
- Activities which involve lots of physical movement can also be an attraction and give a sense of achievement. Example-Following a pattern in a park, running around trees (not the bollywood kind!),trying to hang a bit from strong branches of a tree, trying to climb a tree if it is safe.
Will be back to share some great cooking fun with children in my next post .Till then, don’t wait for games like Pokemon Go in augmented reality to drag you and your child out of your home or be more active! The monsoon has brought precious natural treasures! So, move out have fun.