31 Jul, 2020
10 : 00
The summer holiday is usually met with the excitement of planning vacations abroad or locally for families in our community - especially after a gruelling academic year. The unpredictable nature of 2020, however, and the closing of borders prompted parents to come up with creative ways to entertain families while in Mainland. This rings true to the experience of Jenny Chu, President of the YCIS Beijing Parent Organisation and her family.
The mother of two boys, Brendon and Justin who will be in Year 7 and 5, respectively, shared that in their 10 years of living in Beijing, this is the first time they are spending the summer in the city. "If it was not for the pandemic, we would be back in the United States(US, Southern California) to spend times with family and friends." she said. “The kids would join summer camps for 2-3 weeks then we would start our road trips to different places in the US. Like last year, we took trips from Los Angeles to Portland then to Seattle and Vancouver, Canada."
Although on break, Jenny emphasizes the importance of maintaining a routine for children. "It is still very important to keep kids' lives regular. So we still have a set schedule for our family during the summer holiday but it's a much easier and relaxed schedule compared to the schedule during the eLearning," she said.
A typical day for her family starts with jogs in the neighbourhood before proceeding with their days. This is then followed by a range of fun activities for her sons which include reading books of their choice, self-learning on platforms such as Khan Academy, practising playing a musical instrument, and even reading current affairs on popular local and news sites.
For parents who are wondering how they can keep their children occupied during the summer holiday, Jenny suggests the following:
Organise Playdates with FriendsHave playdates with other families from school at the parks nearby (like Chaoyang Park). Go hiking or biking in the outskirts of Beijing.
Last week, we organized a 3-day vacation with other six families from school to Huai Rou怀柔 (about 1.5 hours driving from the city) and stayed at a hotel there where kids enjoyed a lot of fun activities like zip-line adventures, hike in the mountains and splash in the brooklet.
Do Art and Crafting Projects.Encourage your child to explore creativity through art and crafts. These activities can keep them occupied for hours and they have a tangible object to show for their work afterwards. Click here to try some activities.
Learn a new sports skillFind out what new sport your child would like to try. It can be a sport like badminton or baseball, or they can try something like rugby. This not only exposes them to world sports but helps keep them active which can help with reduced screentime.
Cook or Bake TogetherThis is not only a fun activity, but it is a great way for the whole family to spend quality time. You can try baking a cake, make cupcakes or make a fun dish like pizza for the family to enjoy.
There are many more activities which are a combination of education and entertainment, such as writing activities. To choose age-appropriate topics for your child to try, visit Khan Academy website.