Holidays can be a great time to bond with your child(ren) and maybe even let your own inner child come out to play.
But it can also be a stressful time when kids can misbehave because of boredom. It’s best to put a little bit of advanced planning into the school holidays and prepare yourself with an arsenal of activities to keep the little ones out of mischief.
Start by planning each week in advance. If the kids know they have things to look forward to it will make for happier more relaxed children.
Also be sure to get the children involved in the planning. They will be less likely to complain about the activities chosen if they have taken part in the decision-making.
Here are ideas that you can choose from:
- Make your own games. Get a supply of colored cards, children’s scissors, glue and anything else you may want to make some fun games. Games like Hoopla, or Snakes and Ladders can all be easily made at home and will keep the children occupied for some time.
- Cooking and baking. Once a week plan a cooking or baking day. Involve the kids in the process from the beginning — let them chose from a selection of recipes that you have ingredients for. If the child can read, get them to read from the recipe book. Step by step, help them to work through the instructions. Try to avoid the temptation of doing it yourself.
- Build a garden patch. Dedicate a small patch in the garden to the kids. Plant flowers, herbs, lettuce — anything that grows quickly and gives them the satisfaction of having produced something. If your kids are small, just give them a spade, put on their old clothes, and let them loose.
- Go camping. Build a tent indoors or outdoors with blankets and sheets. Once the tent is up, give them a torch and a picnic to take with them. I guarantee you won’t see them for hours.
- Go on picnics. You don’t have to go far to have a picnic — try a picnic out in the garden.. You’d be amazed how once it is packed in a plastic container and eaten on a blanket on the grass, how much the atmosphere romanticizes the most boring of sandwiches.
- Have a treasure hunt. Make a treasure map with clues to find some treasure you have hidden somewhere in the house. It doesn’t have to be expensive or big — any little treat will be exciting when it is found.
- Paint. One of the nicest ways to express your creativity is to use paint. Get large sheets of paper and lots of paint. Go mad and use your hands and feet — it’s liberating. To avoid any stress, prepare the area well and cover with plastic or newspaper. Have some water on hand to wash when you are finished.
- Get into jewellery making. Go to a bead shop and stock up on beads and get busy making your own jewellery. This activity can be done with the smallest of children, just be sure to get appropriate bead sizes for different age groups. The children will be so proud to wear the jewellery that they have made.
- Take nature walks. Go on nature walks with a purpose. On the beach, collect shells and stones to later make a shell castle or shell and stone sculptures. In the forest, get kids to seek out different sorts of bugs, plants or trees. Alternatively, give them a map to plot the route you are taking. By giving them control and a plan will ensure they don’t get bored too quickly.
- Have a garage sale. Get the kids to clear out their rooms and have a garage sale. Pool all the money together and use it to pay for an outing for the whole family.
- Organize some play dates. Plan some play dates and invite friends over. While they spend time with their friends it may give you the opportunity to get some work done and perhaps even connect with other parents. Plus…the invite may be returned some day.
- Have a “Chill Day”. With all that activity planned, kids will also need some down time. Make sure you plan some days where you just chill, watch some movies, read some books, and take it easy.