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4 ways to keep your kids busy and off video games this summer  | The Express Tribune

Hyperventilating at the dreaded prospect of the summer holidays looming ahead? Have visions of yourself screeching at your teen to get off Fornite before he turns into a zombie? Haunted by memories of being cooped up with your beloved offspring during pandemic-induced online learning? 

Well, take a breath. Summer holidays can be a tolerable experience for both you and your child alike. Here are four easy ways to make sure how that happens.

YouTube art tutorials

YouTube is a goldmine when used with supervision. Watch your child morph into Rembrandt with the help of countless free art tutorials online. There is zero need for buying expensive equipment or booking art classes. All you need is a decent sketchbook (look for one with thick paper), a set of pencils, and if you are particularly ambitious, some watercolour paints. If you are feeling even more adventurous, there are some brilliant guitar and keyboard tutorials available online. If your child is dedicated enough, they will actually sound passable. 

Staying active 

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You do not need to fork out a fortune for structured sports activities (although swimming classes can be a godsend in the scorching summer heat.) String up a badminton net across your lawn – or the downstairs area if you live in an apartment complex. Lightweight and easily portable, even the youngest of kids can pick it up and have a sense of achievement once they start playing regularly in the evenings. Go for family bike rides in your neighbourhood. Rollerblade outside the house in the evenings. Or, with YouTube to the rescue again, look up aerobics workouts online. 

Board games for the win

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For younger kids, the old classics like Snakes & Ladders and Ludo still reign supreme. For the older ones who pooh-pooh games that require luck, break out the old Scrabble board. Make them keep score. Even an only child can play Scrabble by themselves (or with you, if you are up to the challenge and your ego can take it when you lose). Chess is another brilliant option, having a chokehold on the world’s imagination ever since the release of The Queen’s Gambit in 2020. You do not need a chessboard. Set up an account for your child on chess.com, and you will buy yourself hours of time as they become addicted to beating their previous score. 

Teach them life skills

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Finally, whilst it may make you twitch watching your kids make their bed in absolutely the wrong way, involving them in domestic chores will set them up for life. House help or no house help, assign chores and bribe them with pocket money to get things done. Get them to put away their own laundry, wash their own plates, and mop up their own bathrooms, and take out the garbage. 

And when all else fails – take them to the thelay wala and buy an arm-load of books.

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