A Weekend Activity Kids WILL Enjoy
Posted on: December 18, 2021.


There are many parents who work six days a week, from Monday till Saturday, and therefore have only a Sunday to spend time with their children.

While this can be tolerated by parents as ‘OK’, children are unable to feel satisfied with having only one Sunday to plan and execute their recreational plans.

Subsequently, a weekend activity should also help the child get exposed to something new—something from which the child can learn—by which parents are challenged, finding such a significant activity.

In a discussion forum for parenting, one of the parents had shared the outstanding experience of a weekend activity she’d involved her children in—it was presented as an incident as narrated by that parent.

It was based on the observation that public transportation—bus, tram, train—in commercial cities weren’t taking as much ridership as personal transport—two-wheelers, autorickshaws, automobiles, and vans.

Children commute even to school mostly by school van or in their parents’ car—many young kids, therefore, haven’t yet experienced what it is to travel by city bus, downtown tram or the local suburban train.

Consequently, the parent had felt that children ought to indulge in the joy of riding a bus, tram, or train, and instantly decided that this would be their weekend activity with children.

One Sunday, the parent endeavoured to make the children’s weekend delightful in a way they could never have been before. The parent and her family were one of six families that lived in the same apartment…

…and that Sunday, all six families decided to take their children on a “parakkum rayil” MRTS—Mass Rapid Transit System—train ride from Mylapore to Velachery and return back to Mylapore by bus.

Such an activity can actually turn children enthusiastic, right from standing behind a fascinatingly lengthy line of people queuing up to buy journey tickets from the issuing counters at Mylapore MRTS Station…

…to riding the lift from Steet Level to Platform Level—two lofty storeys above—or bounding up the steps to their correct platform on the elevated corridor, waiting 10-15 minutes on the platform…

…for their parakkum rayil “flying train” to Velachery, watching excited as the 9- or 12-car “rake” pulled into the station, thundering acoustically in the enclosed confines of the vaulted station…

…dramatically slowing down to a halt and disgorging its trainload of passengers, to boarding their railcar and riding the “flying train” sitting next to the window.

A train ride as dramatic as this was enjoyed thoroughly by the kids. The joy of their public travel experience was further “heightened” by the elevated corridor of the aerial railway providing bird’s eye views of the city.

While waiting for the train, another great attraction delighted the kids on the platform itself—the glittering weighing machine. As the machine spewed out the last printed card…

…bearing the weight of the final child, a friendly quarrel over their weights broke out after the six children had weighed themselves. After alighting at the parakkum rayil MRTS Station at Velachery…

…the galivanting group of twelve parents and six children—18 counts in all—boarded a via-Mylapore air-conditioned Volvo city bus, which had been a mass transportation delight.

It fascinated children, adults, elders, urbanites, townspeople, and villagers alike, for many spectacular reasons—elegant, boxy body with gently curved edges, pleasant colour scheme…

…ultra-wide forward windshield, panoramic glass windows, an ultra-low floor for comfortable boarding, cushioned seats, and of course, the automatic doors and cool blast of air-conditioning…

…that provided the much-needed relief from sweltering-hot city summers—now having become a luxury-for-granted, 13 years after its inaugural run on the city’s roads in 2008.

The single-entry automatic collapsible doors of the big Volvo bus were the stuff of the children’s fascination, who kept turning their heads to it every time it retracted open and expanded shut.

The following day at school, the children shared their train and bus journey tickets and their printed cardboard weight cards—memorabilia from their city-sightseeing that Sunday.

Furthermore, the trip had not only viscerally delighted the kids but also inspired art in one of the children who’d painted figures of all of them in the background of the train station.

The parent had concluded her forum post saying it was one of the most delightful—yet also the least expensive—weekend outings the kids had ever had … encouraging other parents to try it out with their kids.

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