Sunday Edition

Some winter fun with kids

| | in Agenda

Winter can be both relaxing and tiring for mothers as they have to ferry their children around to birthday parties which seem to be far more in number during the colder months

Come winter and it’s time for me to start ferrying my kids to birthday parties of their friends. Not that they don’t get invited during other times. They do. But those invitations are few and far between. I wondered why! When my curiosity got the better of me, I did a quick google search.

It showed up a link to a study of the Indian sub-continent. The study suggests that 40 per cent of total births are concentrated over four months from October to January. Not surprising! Indeed, both my kids’ birthdays fall during this period. Birthday parties apart, even school picnics and annual days are organised during this period. Surely, winter is a busy season for kids and parents alike!

Now-a-days birthday parties are seldom celebrated at home. Increasingly, they are celebrated at outside party venues that promise lots of fun and action, decoration, food and much more. These days there are several options and lots of activities to choose from: Tatoo making, magic shows, puppet shows, haunted house, gaming zone and so forth. Choice of options really depends on budget, time and convenience.

Organising birthdays is, of course, having one’s hands full. But getting kids to attend birthday parties is no small task either. Driving kids to outside locations, which can be far off, is not easy and call for reorganising day’s routine.

Sometimes it is much convenient to excuse oneself from attending parties, especially when kids have already had a busy day. Still, you chug along. After all, you don’t want your kids to miss out on these fun and frolic events; to be left behind their friends. But everything comes at some cost such as kids having to miss their hobby classes.

Over the years, I have had my own learning on this issue. I have settled on two things for which I now feel proud. One is getting my kids gift nothing else except books. There was a time when I would struggle to decide on what gifts my kids would give. Having tried everything from fancy tiffin boxes to stationary packs, from educational puzzles to vanity items, I realised how run-off-the-mill it had been.

I understand and value the pleasure one gets in reading a book in paper form as opposed to reading it on screen. Unfortunately, in this digital age, the habit of reading books, other than school books, is fast dwindling. Digital devices fill in the free time that kids have. I hope the habit of book-reading stays alive in future. Gifting books is ‘my two cents’ for keeping this habit alive in my kids and their friends.

The other thing that I have settled for is celebrating my kids’ birthdays at home. It is of course light on pocket. But more than that home setting is a controlled setting which allows me to do what I really wish to — make kids learn more about each other — all in a playful manner. I myself learn a great deal while interacting with other kids. And I offer them all home cooked food which the kids relish.

Organising birthday bashes at home is not easy though. A lot of effort goes into it. But at the end of it, the satisfaction is immense, especially when you notice the partying kids refusing to call it a day!

Fortunately, my kids are much younger and still listen to me. I do not know how long will I be able to continue with this. But let me make hay as long as the going is great!

(The author is a homemaker and a mother of two school going kids)




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