Kevin Asokan, 15, has just finished his board exams and wants to “chill out at home with my guitar" during the summer.

Family band: Tina and Vincent Asokan with Kiiran, their younger son, who wants to take music and football lessons. Sharp Image

His mother Tina Asokan, a designer, wants him to do more. “Sure, he’s a music aficionado but he is also good at drawing and painting. So, I would like him to attend an art workshop this summer."

Inspired by his elder brother, 11-year-old Kiiran would also like to learn a musical instrument this year. But the guitar is not on his list. “I want to learn to play the piano or drums," he says. Kiiran hopes to one day form a rock band with his brother.

The Asokan family has everything planned to the last detail for the vacation: They will vacation in London this year. Tina and her husband Vincent, an actor, will take a break from their busy schedules for this family holiday. They believe in balancing fun and travel with a healthy dose of learning, and take the time to introduce their sons to the culture and traditions of the places they visit.

Excited though he is about music lessons, Kiiran admits that he is torn between attending these and staying in London longer. “I am a Chelsea fan and I would like to watch a few football matches while I am in London. But if we come back soon, that will not happen and if we stay on then I can’t take music lessons," he exclaims. Kiiran also wants to pursue his passion for football at a summer camp.

Like Tina, however, Vincent too would like his sons to use the summer break to do something more—take a basic acting course. “I want my boys to be actors," he says. “Both have an inclination towards live performances and are confident on stage. So I would like them to use this time to hone their skills too."

Will the boys find time for acting, music and football? Only the vacations will tell.

Try these

Theatre workshop

Landing Stage, a theatre group run by youths, provides an ideal platform for children to showcase their talent. Besides learning how to act, children can pick up the finer aspects of theatre, right from designing sets, learning lighting and sound essentials, to prop/stage management and box-office handling.

Call: 09840755454

When: 3 May onwards

Age group: 13 upwards

Charges: Rs3,000

Where: 18, Sriram Nagar, South Street, Alwarpet, Chennai

Football camp

Enrol for football lessons and join the league of young stars at GoSports.

Children are divided into teams, each of which will have at least three practice sessions and five league matches. Teams are seeded according to their league performance in the play-offs and winners will play to be the GoSports League Champion.

Call: 09176358326

When: 20 June-5 September

Age group: 7-14

Charges: Rs1,750 (approx.)

Where: Ashraya North (Aminjikarai), Basement, Chateau D’ Ampa, 37, Nelson, Manickkam Road, Chennai


Pottery workshop

Pottery expert Kaveri Bharath will conduct a terracotta workshop at Hippocampus Experience Centre, where children will be taught to roll, shape, pinch and make little animals, boxes and interesting figurines using red clay.

Call: 42067159

When: 3-14 May

Age group: 9-12

Charges: Rs2,500 (for members of the Hippocampus Experience Centre) Rs2,700 (for non-members)

Where: Hippocampus Experience Centre, New No. 4, Old No. 7, 12th Street, Nandanam

E-movie-making camp

This e-camp teaches children the practical applications of software and movie making. There will be customized themes and projects on movies. Each student will be allotted a separate computer.

Call: 65554863, 9551064855

When: 19 April onwards, multiple batches will start on different dates (10-day programmes)

Age group: 4 upwards

Charges: Rs2,000

Where: E-Solution Point, 2nd Floor, E-135, 6th Avenue, Besant Nagar

Go Around the World camp

At Vanilla’s Go Around the World camp, children can travel the world through stories, art and craft activities, music, dance and even cooking. They will learn about different countries, from their locations on the map to their flags and symbols, traditional dance and music forms, food and serving styles, and more. Besides this, they will learn how to make Kenyan face masks, Australian dot art, cook pasta, and dance the Brazilian samba.

Call: 42089125

When: Two batches—26 April-7 May; 9-21 May

Age group: 3-8

Charges: Rs3,000 (per child, inclusive of all materials and break-time snacks)

Where: 89, Bishop Garden, Greenways Road, RA Puram

Music classes

Call: 65379572, 9841379494

When: Regular classes for keyboard and drums; till 28 April (vocal training), 28-29 April (performance)

Age group: 8 upwards

Charges: Rs5,100 (for a six-month course; Rs200 extra for registration)

Where: Unwind Center—Hub 8, Manikeswari Road, Kilpauk, behind CSI Bains School

Journalism workshop

This workshop will focus on what news is all about, how reporters work, interviewing skills and making contacts, gathering information, filing reports, writing feature articles, writing for the Web, blogging and freelancing. Participants will be given assignments and will have to file reports daily.

Call: 24982244, 24913602

When: 3-14 May (Mylapore), 15-28 May (Adyar)

Age group: 14-18

Charges: Rs1,500

Where: Mylapore Times Centre at Corporation Shopping Complex, RA Puram; Adyar Times Office at Corporation Shopping Complex, 3rd Avenue, Indira Nagar, Adyar

Aeromodelling workshop

Simplifly Junior is a hands-on workshop for children who want to build machines that can fly. Children can learn to build a variety of gliders and take away the planes they make. There will also be a five-day summer camp in electronics for children, FuntroniX—Junior, which will focus on an introduction to electronics, the fundamental laws of electronics and reading and drawing circuit diagrams.

Call: 23712636

When: Simplifly Junior (1-5 May); FuntroniX—Junior (26-30 April, multiple workshops)

Age group: 10-15

Charges: Simplifly Junior, Rs1,300, including a kit; FuntroniX—Junior, Rs2,500 per student, with a takeaway kit

Where: 40/140, Kanchi Natarajan Salai, Ashok Nagar

Varuni Khosla and Karuna Amarnath

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