The habitually serene Insight centre for special children was bustling with life in the last week of April, between 25th and 30th of the month, to be precise. No nook and corner of the centre was spared of the ring of amusement of 17 children who participated in the summer day camp titled Summer Magic, conducted by Insight. The MAGIC held exclusively for children with special needs offered diverse interactive, educative and creative sessions comprising Music, Arts, Games/Gardening, ICT and other Creative activities.
The Magic began with a stimulating ice-breaking session by noted motivational speaker Brahma Nayakam. The heady start gave the much needed momentum to the event. From day two, the camp activities began with yoga, tailored to meet the needs of special children. Gardening and computer sessions followed yoga. In the arts and crafts session, the camp presented activities like painting, collage and paper crafts on different days. Children had great fun working with myriad colours and the joy of creating could be seen on their honest faces. They also made Thank You cards, which were presented to their parents on the closing day of the camp. There was music to help children relax amidst the disquiet. Popular English and Malayalam rhymes were played and animated videos accompanied the music. Children were encouraged to sing along and enact the lines. A professional keyboard player played music when it was the turn of the tiny tots to sing. A folk artist delighted the children with ‘naadan paattukal’ (folk songs) inherent to Kerala. With him, they sang, danced and made merry to the beats of his drum. The high spot of the camp was a puppetry session handled by Mr. Subin, a teacher, for whom puppetry is a passion. The puppets told them numerous tales and children happily chattered with their new friends. They also learnt the art of making puppets out of common objects like plastic bottles. The children heard more stories during the story telling sessions, which were innovative with the use of digital slides. Children were provided with worksheets based on the stories after each story telling. They were given prizes everyday to encourage them to get involved. The camp came to a close with a counselling session for parents on 30th April. On the day, children put on a show for the parents with the songs they learnt at the camp. Consolation prizes were given to all the camp participants.
The motto of Summer Magic was to help children learn social skills and develop their communicative ability. Insight aimed at helping children shed their inhibitions and let them free to express themselves, which is one of the basic human needs. The camp intended to help children make friends and encourage them to express in distinct ways. We had prepared a detailed vocabulary list for each activity, based on which words were introduced to them during the sessions. The camp further nourished the creative sense in children, encouraging them to adopt alternative ways to communicate and express. Summer Magic, though an attempt as far as Insight is concerned, turned out to be a rewarding one for all who were a part of it.