By Samantha Hodges, Primary Wellbeing Coordinator at Swiss international Scientific School, Dubai
As the summer holidays loom, are you panicking about what to do with the children?
It’s hot, their routine changes, and there’s a strong chance of ennui creeping in. The onus is on you – the parents – to ensure your kids are kept busy, stimulated and healthy!
After the turmoil of the last year, emerging from the pandemic, students are ready for a break. They're tired, and they've had to work incredibly hard this year.
For the long summer holiday, I think it's all about choice and variety. One great way to get buy in from children is to let them co-construct their choices of activities. I’d recommend creating a chart of different ideas – developed with your kids.
This can be a great way to look at all the different things they can do related to exercise, mindfulness and well-being, for example. They can pursue their hobbies and improve their life skills – knitting, cooking, painting, for example. It’s good to get them involved in planning the family vacation – if you’re having one - get them doing something which is motivating, and gives them something exciting to look forward to.
They can practice their languages, and they can be creative, but I think what's equally important is to just make sure they have some blank space on that schedule, that they're allowed to have time when they're doing nothing. Nothing scheduled, at least. And reinforce that that's absolutely okay.
Internet time, social media scrolling and gaming can be factored into the time planning chart – and that’s ok, too. None of us want to see our kids laying around on the iPad all day, but it’s great to allow a certain amount of time daily for these relaxing online activities.
Creating a balance is important, and allowing them the choice to do everything they want to do, within reason, of course!
Getting outside is, of course, vital for all our health and wellbeing. Don’t let the summer heat quash your outdoor time – remember the beach can be lovely at 6am in July!
And rather than allowing the little ones to pursue mindless activities, get then into mindful activities instead. Think colouring, drawing, and breathing, stretching and even meditating. Encouraging these activities from a young age leads to good habits in future. There are plenty of apps out there to help guide mindfulness practice, and it can be a great way to enjoy a different level of family togetherness.
With a little planning, every day over summer can be full of rich, fun activities which will bring you and your children closer together. Keeping them busy – whether meditating in the garden or playing indoor sports – will ensure they stay positive, healthy and happy. And that’s the most important thing we can do as parents.
About Swiss International School in Dubai
Global in outlook, bilingual in approach, Swiss in culture, and yet firmly rooted in the local community of Dubai – that’s Swiss International School in Dubai, or SISD.
The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD), Dubai’s first bilingual International Baccalaureate School, opened in 2015, and is the largest Swiss school outside Switzerland.
The school is a leading international day and boarding school where future generations are inspired to become confident and enthusiastic lifelong learners, properly prepared to embrace all the opportunities and challenges life presents.
With a diverse student body of 1450 pupils comprising more than 75 different nationalities, the school believes the next generation of international citizens will need to be dynamic, flexible and linguistically ambitious. With this in mind, SISD offers immersive bilingual programmes in either of the Swiss languages of French and German, but also a strong English programme with foreign languages. For students who don’t wish to pursue a fully bilingual programme, there is a unique STEAM programme for all children from age 4-11 years. SISD stands out as one of only a handful of educational establishments globally classified as an IB Continuum school, which means it offers International Baccalaureate education to pupils from age 3 to 18.
Offering day school, weekly or full-term boarding options, this leading educational institution offers state-of-the-art STEAM education, and has world-class sporting facilities, too.
The school has laid out its B.E.S.T. Values, as follows:
A unique international and multilingual environment provides students with authentic exposure to English, French, German and Arabic. Students in the immersive bilingual programmes learn to communicate, think and reflect in two different languages. As global citizens, SISD celebrates diversity, promoting all languages and cultures with equal respect.
SISD staff believes in maintaining high standards and aspire to be the best they can be. A spirit of enquiry, encouraging both creative and critical thinking is fostered.
Students and staff believe that social, cultural, economic and environmental awareness prepare us to play our part in shaping a better future, both for ourselves and for those around us. The school campus is eco-friendly, winning international acclaim and awards for using less energy to create a comfortable and healthy environment.
In the school’s international community, we know that we are at our best when we all work together. We view active participation in the community, from the most local to the most global, as the foundation of a valuable life.