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First Published: Fri, Apr 16 2010. 06 26 PM IST

 Hill destination: Arshia and Samir Ladak with Zehra and Zahaan (on the cycle)—they’re all looking forward to their holiday in Kashmir. Jagadeesh / Mint
Hill destination: Arshia and Samir Ladak with Zehra and Zahaan (on the cycle)—they’re all looking forward to their holiday in Kashmir. Jagadeesh / Mint
Updated: Fri, Apr 16 2010. 06 26 PM IST
Arshia Ladak remembers the summer holidays of her childhood as a time when her mother trained her in all things that were traditionally considered feminine. Needlework, flower arrangement and gift wrapping were some of the activities her vacation revolved around. “Now, as I see my four-year-old daughter, I can’t imagine her patiently sitting bent over a flower arrangement,” she laughs. “Climbing a mountain is where she seems to belong instead,” says Arshia, who works as a consultant with Phoenix Mills Ltd in Bangalore.
Hill destination: Arshia and Samir Ladak with Zehra and Zahaan (on the cycle)—they’re all looking forward to their holiday in Kashmir. Jagadeesh / Mint
Her husband Samir Ladak adds: “They are occupied with many activities during school days. I think summer vacation is a time when they can concentrate on the development of one skill that will contribute to their overall development.”
The stress of what her children, Zahaan, 7, and Zehra, 4, will do during the vacation begins to tell on Arshia a few weeks before the summer holidays begin. “I want both of them to do an activity that they can’t do otherwise during school days,” she says. Although the Ladaks have several conversations on what the children should do, it is Arshia who does all the research. Along with other mothers in her apartment complex, she begins that exercise while exams are on.
She recalls the first time she signed up Zahaan for a music and dance class in summer. “I assumed that he would enjoy the music and enrolled him for Shiamak Davar’s dance class. He hated it and kept making excuses not to go,” she says. Zahaan is now clear about what he wants to do and what he will not. “I would like to watch TV and go to only cricket classes,” he says emphatically.
“Of course, he doesn’t get to watch TV as a summer activity,” says his mother. So a deal has been reached: Zahaan attends football lessons at the Head Start Montessori House of Children (a school conducting the summer course) and can go for weekend cricket lessons when school is on. Arshia is also keen to send him to a nature camp that would involve sleeping in a tent and exploring the countryside. “He seemed excited about a sleeping bag, but not quite so much about staying away from home,” she says, surprised at the way children squash the assumptions parents tend to make about them.
She has also signed him up for a six-day course that explores folk tales through theatre conducted by Padmavati Rao at Ranga Shankara.
Zehra will attend her first summer activity class this year and Arshia is not sure what will work and what won’t: “She loves dancing and communicates well. She also enjoys swimming, but that she does at the apartment complex’s pool.” To make sure that Zehra has a well-distributed set of activities, Arshia has signed her up for Medley Summer camp with Hippocampus that has a tailor-made, 10-day programme which includes art, dance and some yoga. All classes begin in the latter half of April. “I want them to relax and laze during the holidays too,” says Arshia.
The family will take a holiday to Kashmir in May, followed by a visit to both sets of grandparents in Mumbai.
Try these
Farming workshop
Expose your child to the life of a farmer and give him a chance to see and understand environment-friendly processes such as composting.
Call: 09902030359
When: 1 May
Age group: 5-12
Charges: Rs900 (breakfast, lunch and snacks, plus pick-up and drop from Jayanagar, 4th Block, are included)
Where: 403, 8B Main Road, Jayanagar, 4th Block, Bangalore
Mystic Mythology camp
Learn about mythology through paintings, crafts, dance, music and theatre. Children can also learn photography, magic, sculpting, puppetry and cooking at Active Canvas’ Mystic Mythology summer camp.
Call: 080-41609122, 09980129768
When: Any two consecutive weeks
Age group: 3-12
Charges: Rs3,900 (for two weeks, 10am-1pm); children can opt for a longer course too)
Where: Active Canvas, 343, 10th A Main, 3rd Cross, 1st Block, Jayanagar, near Ashoka Pillar, Bangalore
Dance sessions
Put on those dancing shoes and shake a leg with instructors Prithvi and Ree. The dance sessions will include Bollywood, salsa, jive and hip hop.
Call: 41136471
When: 19 May onwards
Age group: 5 upwards
Charges: Rs2,500
Where: Just Dance, 2nd Floor, Frazer Town, Mosque Road
Life-skills workshop
Based on Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences and Life Skills, this workshop consists of activities involving music, art and movement. The idea is to teach life skills that include self-awareness, empathy and conflict-resolving abilities in a fun way.
Call: 9845449591
When: 19-30 April
Age group: 4 upwards
Charges: Rs2,000 (for two weeks)
Where: 7, Norris Road, Amelio MediCorp, Richmond Town
Traditional Indian indoor games workshop
Conducted by Sreeranjini who runs Kavade and Toy Hive, a toy store, in Bangalore, this workshop will introduce children to eco-friendly, interactive games that have been a part of Indian tradition. This module is a part of Ranga Shankara’s Summer Express programme.
Call: 26493982
When: 23-25 April, at Ranga Shankara; 30 April-2 May, at Jeevan Bhima Nagar
Age group: 7-9
Charges: Rs750
Where: Ranga Shankara, 36/2, 8th Cross, JP Nagar, II Phase; Community Development Centre, Jeevan Bhima Nagar
Summer Medley programme
A 10-day programme that combines movement and art classes. The course will include the use of musical instruments made from recycled material, art and craft knick-knacks and a movement session called Monkeynastix.
Call: 25630206
When: 19-30 April
Age group: 4-6
Charges: Rs2,900
Where: Hippocampus Experience Centre, Koramangala
Aeromodelling workshop
Get acquainted with aviation by learning the basics from aeromodelling experts. Make aeroplane models and learn to fly them at this workshop organized by Hippocampus.
Call: 25630206
When: 10-14 May
Age group: 8 upwards
Charges: Rs4,500 (including kits)
Where: Hippocampus Experience Centre, Koramangala
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First Published: Fri, Apr 16 2010. 06 26 PM IST