Aryan Raj, 7, had a blast at an overnight camp that his school organized for class I students on its premises in December. “Another camp, but one which has no antakshari (a song-based game) between boys and girls, and no sleeping bags” is definitely on his summer holiday activity wish list. Sleeping bags are tough to open, you see, he explains earnestly.
Make your own choice: Pankaj and Radha Raj believe that their children Ranveer and Aryan must express interest in an activity before they enrol for it. Pradeep Gaur / Mint
Apart from that, “one among his first three favourite things is soccer”. The other two are taekwondo and tennis. The latter two sporting activities already figure on his schedule. He is enrolled for three sessions a week for taekwondo and three sessions a week for tennis after school.
His mother Radha is not sure how to add more things to his already packed timetable. “Perhaps soccer can be pencilled in on the weekends. Now that he is so interested in it we can try for some classes during the break,” says Radha.
Aryan’s parents are very clear about two things: It is important for children to have an exposure to a variety of activities—but it is best that the request for a new activity comes from the child.
“We had a teacher coming home to teach Aryan the keyboard. Though he was good at it, he was just not interested and so we stopped those classes,” says Pankaj, Aryan’s father, who runs his own executive search firm in Gurgaon.
The parents have realized that Aryan’s choice of activities is influenced by what his friends in the apartment complex are up to. “We hope eventually he will grow out of this and make his own choices but for now it is all right that he wants to learn what his peers are doing. In fact, he wanted to learn taekwondo because his friends in the colony learn it. Even Ranveer, our younger son, has picked up some moves by just watching him,” says Radha, who is now planning to get three-year-old Ranveer enrolled for taekwondo lessons.
When Radha and Pankaj, who have known each other since kindergarten, were growing up at Anushakti Nagar, the residential township of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in central Mumbai, their summer holidays were more about activities such as athletics, playing cards, swimming and badminton. “There were no structured classes for us to attend. Even out-of-town vacations were once-in-four-years affairs when our fathers would avail of their LTA (leave travel allowance) and the family would troop down to another city to visit a relative,” says Pankaj.
Things are very different now. This year, the Raj family plans to visit the US. Topping the agenda is a visit to Disneyland, which Radha and Pankaj feel both Aryan and Ranveer will enjoy. A close second is visits to as many science museums as possible. “Last year, we went to a science exhibition in Aryan’s school and he positively glowed with excitement. I could see how interested he was in all the things on display. I think he would enjoy activities such as robot making or understanding science experiments. If we could find an activity like that for him during the summers, that would be great,” says Pankaj.
The Robotics Club
Building Blocks’ The Robotics Club is a unique programme that motivates participants to explore and invent using the medium of robot making. Participants learn to create robots that walk, move and lift objects. Additionally, participants get to compete in an inter-school science competition as a part of this programme. The programme is designed in an exciting modular format, with four sessions in each module.
Call: 09818403093, 011-45097452
When: 10-14 May, 17-21 May (batch 1: 9-11.30am; batch 2: 4-6.30pm)
Age group: 8-15
Charges: Rs2,500 (an additional Rs750 for the robotronics kit)
Where: F-46/A Moti Nagar, New Delhi
This week-long camp allows children to have a complete outdoor experience with rock climbing, rappelling and riverside backpacking. Children will also learn about local flora and fauna.
When: June-July (dates depend on the camp chosen)
Age group: 9-16
Where: Four camp locations near Ranikhet, Kullu Manali, Dehradun and Haridwar. Office address: A9, Savitri Marg, Greater Kailash Enclave-II, New Delhi
SUMMER ACTIVITY CLUBS AND CAMPS IN DELHI
The Delhi Blue Pottery Trust offers a one-month course for teenagers. Its studio is equipped with kilns (gas and wood-fired). The Pottery Trust was founded in 1991 with the aim of promoting studio ceramics.
When: 15 May-15 July
Age group: 15 upwards
Charges: Rs2,100 (for a one-month course, including material), three classes a week
Where: Delhi Blue Pottery Trust, Delhi Blue Apartments, basement, 2, Ring Road, near Safdarjung Hospital
Children can learn the art of making puppets in this month-long workshop with Dadi Pudumjee, founder of The Ishara Puppet Theatre Trust. His styles range from simple rod puppets to larger-than-life figures and object puppetry, processional figures, shadow, glove and mixed media.
When: 10 May-5 June
Age group: 8-15
Charges: Rs5,000 (including cost of materials and tools)
Where:Sri Aurobindo Society, Adhchini, next to the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT)
Lushin Dubey and Bubbles Sabharwal will hold a theatre workshop, which will have classic and contemporary play themes such as the Mahabharat and Cleopatra. The workshop will be held at BumbleBees, a primary school which also has a range of activities for younger children such as a kiddie gym, cooking classes, and storytelling.
Call: 46100800, 9999010218
When: 17 May onwards (10am-noon)
Age group: 3-18
Charges: Ages 3-8 (Rs5,000) and ages 8-18 (Rs6,000)
Where: S-452B, Greater Kailash-II
Choko La holds a summer workshop for children on how to make chocolate, cupcakes and cookies. Children get snacks and beverages; the cost is included in the workshop fee. Each child will also get an individual baking kit, with an apron, cap, rolling pin, cutter and piping bag.
Call: 9717700824 (Devina Bhardwaj)
When: Weekdays, 10am-1pm
Age group: 4 upwards
Charges: Rs900 (per class)
Where: 61, Basant Lok, Vasant Vihar; 36, Khan Market (middle lane)
Learn football through the summer at the Shastri Football Club. Children get an opportunity to train with professional coaches. The club has organized training sessions and aims at quality training through scientific methods.
When: All year round
Age group: 6 upwards
Charges: Rs2,000 a year (below the age of 12)
Where: Multiple centres
Enrol your teenager for a film-making workshop organized by Cine Darbar in association with Marwah Studios, Noida. Children will be divided into three categories based on their areas of interest—direction, story- and screenplay-writing, and acting.
Call: Supriya Suri at 9958301195
When: 24 May-3 June (enrolment ends on 30 April)
Age group: 11-18
Where: Marwah Studio Complex, Film City, Noida