Plethora of options for kids this summer vacation

Anamika Nandedkar
Tuesday, 14 May 2019

From start-up classes to commando training, summer camps in off-beat subjects and activities are becoming popular amongst kids and their parents this season.

PUNE: Gone are the days when dance, music and sports were the only options parents had for sending their children to summer camps or classes. 

Now off-beat summer classes are making the rounds and parents are loving the variety as well, if enrollments in them are an indicator. 

Children, roughly of the age group of 7 to 15 years are spoilt for choices -- gardening, origami, story-telling, mandala making, and creative writing are some of the popular classes that being held across the city by experts in these fields.  Parents also have the option of using career-oriented classes to see if their child has the aptitude for it, like entrepreneueship (yes, for children), cooking, commando training, robotics and theatre. 

Aparna Apte Karandikar, the 38-year-old whose venture Apps Cooking Cottage conducts cooking classes for children in Baner, revealed that parents not only want to keep their kids busy during school holidays, but they also want them to learn useful skills. 

“I hold two kinds of classes - one is ‘Cooking Without Fire’ for children aged 8 to 13, in which they learn to make juices, salads, chutneys etc. The other one is to teach them how to make traditional hand-rolled Indian pasta called ‘Ole Valvan’.”

“Parents want their children to learn these recipes and food items that were made by their grandmothers but are getting lost in today’s time,” Karandikar said. She revealed that parents, especially mothers, are happy that such classes ignite a child’s interest in the kitchen.

Kidsprenueur, a 12-day camp, is another unique and new concept in Pune which teaches children to develop their entrepreneurship skills and learn the workings of a start-up. Anshuman Bansal, a business consultant who has worked with start-ups for 15 years said that children often come up with great ideas for start-ups to simplify life.

Currently holding their second camp in Viman Nagar and preparing for a third camp in IISER, Bansal said, “We help children understand the process of entrepreneurship, encourage them to come up with ideas, marketing strategies and how to make their idea sustainable.” The team gave interesting insights into how children develop ideas and get the confidence to present it by working in teams. “A team came up with a start-up idea for uprising leftover food in our households and distributing it to homeless people. Another team developed a start-up model in which those who go for morning walks, can help clean the route while doing it,” said Deepika Goyal, who also helps run Kidspreneuer. “Two girls are working well on a start-up to encourage creative writing among budding writers.”

Those interested in theatre and acting also have many options as local artists are holding summer classes, in addition to Film and Television Institute of India’s annual summer special camp. Military style commando-training camps are rapidly catching the fancy of parents who want their children to get a taste of disciplined life as in the Army. “My son attended a military-style camp, in which ex-army men gave them training in shooting, physical fitness, rock-climbing and included living in tents in the jungle,” said Rachana Chandwaskar, who travelled with her son from Bhopal to Pune for this camp. “I saw a good change in my son after the camp,” she said.

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