There wasn’t a single cell phone in sight.
Neither were their any complaints.
Cartoons and television sets were not missed. Neither were sugar loaded snacks.
It was a blessed travel back to simpler times.
When children really engaged with each other.
And enjoyed activities that built their stamina, concentration and camaraderie.
The 2016 ILM Summer Camp was a huge success and had tiny tots from a myriad schools mingling with our little gems. They left impressed by the out of the box thinking and independence that characterise us as an institute.
When the mercury hit a record high over 5th and 18th of May, the ILM school grounds reverberated with the enthusiastic shouts, squeals and giggles of kids who had the time of their lives enjoying sports, story telling and calligraphy. Whatever the experience had promised to be, it turned out more rewarding than anyone could have anticipated.
Learning Sports The Pro Way:
These sessions were led by Avishkaar Sports and the inimitable Bobby Singh. The kids got to try their hands and little feet at football, basketball and traditional board games.
Football was chosen by ILM and Avishkaar because it helps children be bold and fearless. It is a driven game that requires passion but also instils values like team spirit and graceful winning. It was a wonderful sight seeing little ones encourage ‘opponent teams’ and smile broadly – no matter what the outcome. We believe that as a sport football really helped develop stamina and perseverance in the Summer Camp attendees.
Basketball was an obvious part of the line-up because of its coordinated movements. It is not only a full body workout, it also involves sudden starting and stopping as per the position of other players and it automatically sharpens focus and concentration.
The kids also delighted in sessions of Marble Solitaire and Pachisi which pushed them to strategize, plan, think logically and use basic mathematics to outplay their partners.
There was no sense of aggressiveness or disappointment. The kids took away lessons from their efforts and came back to give things a shot with a better plan of action. And that was exactly what ILM had hoped to achieve with the introduction to these sports.
Wellspring of Imagination: Story Telling with Malini Krishnamurthy
No Summer Camp is complete without dreams of fancy and adventure.
It has been scientifically proven that creativity and imagination are more important to eventual life success than the conventional IQ. And there is no better way to help children get back in touch with their ‘anything is possible’ side than through storytelling.
The classics were carefully chosen because of the morals and take-ways they offered. Malini is a wizard with words and she imbued each story with life, transporting the tiny tots to the towering beanstalk of Jack’s land or bringing to life the saga of Vikram and Betaal.
The reading list comprised of:
- Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling – A story of courage, love and finding your own identity
- The Enormous Crocodile & Fantastic Mr.Fox by Roald Dahl – A collection of shorts that taught kids the art of motivation when everything falls apart
- Horton Hatches an Egg by Dr.Suess – This conveyed the importance of making promises carefully and never breaking them.
- Panchatantra and Vikram Betal – These stories brought forth important human values for contemplation.
- Hansel and Gretal by Brothers Grimm & Jack and the Beanstalk : These evergreen stories stressed the importance of embracing the unknown, courage and quick thinking
- Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson – This cherished classic with its poignant interactions between the monkey and the butterfly gave important life cycle lessons.
- Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson – Another Julia Donaldson treasure, Gruffalo rhymes throughout and is a captivating story of how a witty mouse escapes terrifying (and hungry) forest creatures.
Introduction to Calligraphy with Malvika Jaishankar:
Calligraphy is not really a rage amongst children!
But had we given our attendees what they are comfortable with, we couldn’t have expedited their progress.
Calligraphy in fact is ideal for kids under the age of 10 because it has so much to offer their age group.
- It allows them to work with a unique and dynamic medium that doesn’t feel artificial. It opens up their desire to experiment and ‘go with the flow’.
- Calligraphy is basically rendering the characters they already know in a much more elaborate and fancy way. It is a no stress introduction to innovation by taking what is available and making it better.
- Lastly calligraphy vastly improves penmanship. It can pull a child up from a 3 to an 8 on the cursive writing scale.
Malvika structured the sessions beautifully. Overwhelm wasn’t a problem and each and every child enjoyed the pen with this wonderful art. The first day was dedicated to free movement and pattern formation. The kids were taught to hold the special chisel edged markers gently and correctly with the tip positioned on the paper. The goal was not to get them producing perfect calligraphic forms but to show them the potential of the tool that could create lovely strokes.
The attendees took to prospects like fish to water and were soon experimenting with different colors and fonts including the:
- Chubby Bubble which is a cute and non traditional option that is easy to form because the fonts are enclosed within rounded characters.
- Box Writing which is a shape based font that inspires children to experiment and create new characters.
- Creative Cursive which is a classic, italicised calligraphy font that isn’t complicated but looks utterly polished on rendition.
- The 3D Block or ‘Shadow Effect’ which gives kids the power to add simple shadows and bring an “off the paper” three dimensional effect to their characters.
- More ornate Gothic British font which looks sophisticated and is the culmination of the attendees’ pattern and hand movement practices.
In every activity the cooperation, willingness to learn and aptitude of the kids shone through. 2016 is just the beginning. ILM will be back with many more iterations of its Summer Camp, each chock full of playful yet instructive sessions that deliver valuable skills and life lessons to its attendees. Getting off the couch can be really fun and we leave you with more pictures to prove that!