Holidays… Kids love the word as it speaks to them of freedom and fun. Parents have a love-hate relationship with holidays. Parents love the temporary respite from waking up early, hurried breakfasts, school buses, homework and exams. But, organising activities to keep kids occupied for days on end is a nightmare, especially for working parents. Going away on a holiday is fun but holidays cannot cover the entire break.
So, here are some tips to help you keep your kids engaged and happy through the holiday break. Now, before you stress out with the planning, remember it is not where you go or what you do that makes your child happy during holidays. What kids crave the most is the undivided attention of their parents!!
1. Outdoor Activities
Leave your kids alone for a longer while and you will find most of them endlessly watching television and playing computer and hand held games. This is the way life is today. Daily routines of physical activity outdoors will help them burn calories and stay fit and focused. Be prepared for some sun and sweat. Well hydrated kids playing in groups thrive with fresh air and are not bothered by the heat.
Many of us are creatures of habit – doing the same thing most of the time. Wake up early on holidays, put on a pair of sneakers and take the unexplored routes to discover more of your neighbourhood. Spot the new play areas, explore the walks and draw out a simple map to mark out the new discoveries. With older kids you can take the bus and explore a new heartland area. Get your kids to journal the trip with an old-fashioned diary or a blog. A digital camera will help capture many of the experiences.
2. Fun Science and History Lessons
While school is out, learning does not have to stop. Visit a Discovery Museum to let your kids learn outside the classroom. Do a walking tour –for a cultural immersion tour. As a parent, your task does not end by just getting the kids there. Participate with your kids (see things through their eyes) to have a memorable day.
3. Close Encounters with Birds and Beasts
Visit the Zoo, Bird Park, Crocodile Farm, etc. While these can be a tad expensive, you can achieve the same goal by visiting local farms for a much lower price.
4. Beaches and Parks
Look for accessible beaches, parks and reserves. Kids can enjoy a day of clean fresh air in these ‘green lungs’ all for free. Come prepared with water, sun hats and sun screen. Bring outdoor game equipment like balls, frisbee or a fishing line to make the day enjoyable.
5. Indoor Fun
Small spaces and bored kids are detrimental to parents’ peace of mind. So, plan for some fun activities you can do together with your children at home. Switch off the television and computer games as these gadgets occupy all the senses and keep family members from relating to one another.
6. House Cleaning
Organise the family. Pick a room in the home to clean. Make it a game. Kids do not mind the chores as long as they can spend time with you. As you pick up an old family album, tell them about your roots. These special moments will create a canvas of memories that last a life time.
7. Cookery Classes
Get the kids into the kitchen. This real-life lab is a great place to have fun and learn important life skills. You do not have to cook like a gourmet chef to teach your kids how to cook up a meal or prepare a drink.
8. Art Escape
Pull out the drawing block, the crayons, paints, scissors or paper. Work together with your kids to create family art pieces that you can proudly archive. Change the theme or the art medium to add fun to each session.
9. Board and Card Games
Good old fashioned board and card games are a great way to keep kids from getting bored. Monopoly, Scrabble, Snakes and Ladders, Checkers, and Snap are all great games that allow the players to have a great time.
10. Music and Drama
Set kids out to put up a play or a musical at the end of the holiday. You may invite proud grandparents, aunts and uncles to watch the show. Use the game plan to teach new songs, learn dance steps and practice the parts in a small play. Create costumes and backdrops to host the event and before you know it, by the end of the holiday your little one has learnt so many skills that will build confidence.
Culled from http://abbottchild.com.sg/
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