It's summer time in India and the temperature is at its highest during the month of May. Here are some easy, but fun activities that you can do with your kids to beat the summer heat!
1) Go Swimming - Both my kids love being in water and what better time to go splashing in the pool to keep cool during these hot days while encouraging healthy level of physical and social activity. If your child does not know how to swim, this is the best time for them to learn swimming as they can be in the pool for an extend time without the fear of hypothermia or catching a cold. With a little encouragement, your child will be on their way to knowing a very important skill that is essential for their own safety & health. You may not need to do much planning to have a fun time at the pool, simply take your kids to the pool in the right gear and keep an eye on them for their safety. If you want to spice things up, here are some fun games I like to play with my kids -
1) Toss a coin and ask your kids to find it.
2) Float Race - ask your child to grab a float and on the count of 3 ask them to get to the other end of the pool
3) Splashing water on each other
4) Do a Tumble roll under water.
5) Float on your back without moving your hands and legs.
2) Make Lemonade (nimbu pani / fresh lime soda) - Drinking nimbu pani is a great way to stay hydrated during the summer months and also replenish any salts and minerals that your body may loose due to the heat. Both my kids love Nimbu Pani and my older one not only likes to have it, but also loves making it for everyone in the family. If your child is above 5 years, you can teach them this simple recipe and thank me later for killing 2 birds with one stone -
1) Making your child feel appreciated and important for making something on their own , thus improving self confidence
2) You get ready made nimbu pani the moment you ask for it ;)
Home Made Nimbu Pani (Lemonade) Recipe
1) Lemon (1 pcs per glass)
2) Rock Salt / Normal Salt
3) Powdered Sugar
4) Cold Water
1) Cut the lemon in half and use a lemon squeezer to extract the juice in a glass
2) Mix 2 teaspoon of powdered sugar
3) Sprinkle a pinch or 2 of rock salt. If you don't have rock salt, normal salt will also do.
4) Mix this concoction using spoon until all the sugar is melted
5) Add cold water / soda to this and your nimbu pani is ready
3) Water the plants in your garden - We are very fortunate to have a garden in front of our house. With the temperatures exceeding 40 degree Celsius, not only do we need to stay hydrated, but also make sure our plants get enough water, especially if they are kept in small pots. Since both my kids have summer holidays, involving them to water the plants in the morning not only helps us set a good routine for them but it also helps them develop love for plants & trees. For my younger one watering the plants is more of water play and getting himself wet, than actually watering the plants, but I don't blame him for finding a way to keep himself cool while engaging in some physical activity and also getting a little dirty. My older one can identify a few plants now and gets super excited when she sees a flower blooming. What better way to teach our kids - as the expression goes "Stop and smell the roses", is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live your life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us.
4) Go on a Family Holiday to a hill-station - There is no better way to beat the heat by taking your kids to a hillstation where the temperature is lower and you get up close to nature and spend time surrounded with different flora and fauna. We took our kids to Mahabaleshwar, a popular vacation destination near Pune that is famous for its Strawberries, Mulberries and Corn. To add to our kids excitement, their nana & nani also joined us for a great family vacation. We enjoyed eating Strawberry and Mulberry in different forms but my favorite was the Strawberry & Mulberry fresh cream. If you haven't been to Mahabaleshwar in recent times, I highly recommend it. My wife and I were rejuvenated and ready to start work after this vacation!
5) Eat Lots of Mango - I cannot agree more with Rujuta Diwekar's (a well known nutritionist) recent post about eating mangoes (khao aur khane do) for my own selfish love for mangoes!! The expert has spoken and she debunked many misconceptions we may have about mangoes. She says:
1. Mango is great to taste, is in season and a store house of nutrients
2. It is low on glycemic index
3. It is not just safe but recommended for people with Diabetes and obesity for its rick nutrient profile. High on fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
My family & I love eating mangoes in the form of aamras, and this is on the menu almost every day!
If you step out and smell the air in any fruit market, you cannot miss the aroma & vibrant orangish yellow colour of Alphonso (hapus) Mangoes known for its superior sweetness, richness and flavour. And If you haven't taken your kids to buy mangoes, do it now and see how excited they are to go back home and eat it. Talk about spending quality time with kids - My kids and I have some serious conversations about the different kinds of mangoes available in the market, how to pick the best kind and how much do they cost - all good questions to keep you kids engaged and happy!
If you have missed any of these activities this summer, its not too late, you have another good 2-3 weeks of summer still remaining before the monsoon hits.
Written By -- Murtuza Rahim (Director, Toddlers Nursery)