Tips for Winter Vacation

Now that winter has set in the school kids of all age groups and classes are eagerly looking forward to Christmas and winter vacations. Those two or three weeks can be full of fun as well as a great learning experience.

  • After nearly a whole year of course work, term-end exams and busy schedules, children like to chill out or even look forward to a change of scene. So, you could work it out with your parents to visits a new place or two, not to far away from your home and your city. Such a visit would help to increase your knowledge, broaden your vision and alter your outlook on life and things.

  • Children, you could embark on an environment cleanliness campaign in your neighborhood. Team up with all the young boys and girls and decide not to throw garbage: e.g. fruit peels, vegetable skins, plastic bags, and train/bus tickets, wrapping papers, rags, paper napkins/ tissues pencil shavings the lanes, on the streets or around your houses. Even if each one of you takes care of your own house, ultimately the surroundings will be cleaner than before.

  • Childhood and teenage are the times to imbibe humanitarian values, morals and lofty ideals. You could start by collecting all your old clothes, shoes, toys and even books and deposit them with orphanages, convents, charitable institutions etc which in their turn will distribute them among poor, unfortunate children.

  • I am sure, most of you will have gardens big or small, or at least some greenery and foliage in and around your house. You could help your parents or elders with the gardening process and in the process learn a lot of thing that will help you in your biology/life science curriculum. Plant anatomy, botanical classifications of various plants etc are some topics that can be learnt in a practical manner.

  • All round the year your parents might be a little strict with you regarding TV watching, reading fiction etc. During winter vacations, their strictness is bound to thaw a bit. Therefore, you ought to make the best use of telly watching. Instead of devouring soap operas, bollywood potboilers, besides an array of raunchy music, go in for some good, famous classics and/or blockbusters, informative programmes on channels like National geographic, Discovery, BBC, History etc.

  • Similarly, go for immortal classics in English or translations from other languages (Indian vernaculars or foreign or both) and books dealing with topics related to self- improvement, personality development, interpersonal relationships, successful interactions and so forth. Science fiction would also be a good choice for those who have a yen for it. Travelogues are ideal for those who are bitten by the wander bug.

  • Culinary arts prove to be an asset for all individuals. They help to build confidence and instill a sense of self-sufficiency. A winter break would bean ideal time to pick up some cooking skills. Beginning with soups and hot savouries to beat the winter's chill, you could move onto preparing some simple yet wholesome dishes, which can be eaten all round the year.

  • There are so many other things, which you could do during the winter break. Visit flower shows, which galore during this part of the year and feast your eyes on the myriad varieties. Take part in painting competitions, ikebana and bonsai display cum contests (provided you have some basic knowledge of these skills). If you have pet dog/s at home you could participate in dog shows; even if your canine companion does not win, you will still be able upgrade your knowledge about diverse breeds of dogs, their characteristics, traits etc.

  • School children (the slightly older ones) can help around the house, especially during the weekends. They do not need to undertake heavy jobs; it would suffice if they perform a couple of odd jobs here and there while the adults are busy with the big ones. Such activities help to foster team spirit, cooperation, sense of responsibility etc in the minds of young minds.

  • This one is for the little girls (and boys too, if they are interested!!). During winters, families spend a good deal of time basking in the sun, while indulging in gossips, conversations and discussions. During these leisure hours, girls can pick up sewing, embroidery, knitting etc from their mothers, grandmothers (alternatively a neighborhood aunt), which will prove highly useful throughout their lives.

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