Holiday seasons are usually fun times for kids across continents, it’s the time to kick back, relax, avoid siesta routines, and play all day; or Not!
For parents, holiday seasons mean something totally different, you spend more time with the kids, you have to be more organized, probably spend more money and in some cases (though many might disagree), struggle to keep your sanity.
Keeping your kids (and your sanity) in check during the holiday season may not prove a difficult task if you do that with a daily schedule. This way, you can keep track of their activities and it gives you a more organized approach/routine during the season.
We all know that a child’s education stretches far beyond a classroom; it extends into the environments where she lives and plays so before the holiday’s kick-off, designs creative activities for your children to keep them occupied. Such activities are also fun ways to develop your child’s learning and encourage them to think in a more challenging and creative manner.
Knowing how to keep children entertained through the holiday season can sometimes prove a difficult task for parents, especially when things cost so much. Many parents struggle with this and sometimes, end up stressed out, or spending a fortune while shipping the kids off to a boring location and making the holiday even more uninteresting. Holidays should be something everyone looks forward to, parents and kids alike, and it should be exciting.
I came across a few tips on Family Lives that would help take some of the stress out of season, and keep everyone happy and entertained, without necessarily spending a fortune. Here they are:
Going out and about
During the school holidays, there may be lots going on in your local area that your family can enjoy, often for free. Check the websites of your local council and tourist information centres for local days out, or scan the local papers and community centres to see what’s going on in your area. Visit your local library and look for adverts of events. Many libraries hold events such as storytime, and arts and crafts days. Libraries are also a great source of activity in themselves, with plenty of books and computers to keep children busy, plus they often have storytime for toddlers and parents.
- Check to see if your local council swimming pool offers free or reduced-fee entrance in the school holidays.
- Museums and galleries often have new exhibitions and events running in the summer. Many art galleries put on special events for children and families – this could be just the thing to stimulate your child’s artistic streak.
- Check out your local leisure centre – there are plenty of indoor sports and activities they can participate in.
Staying at home
Of course, on some days, you will find yourselves stuck at home, but that doesn’t mean anyone has to be bored. You could take the opportunity to spend some time sharing a favourite game or story with your children or, if you want some more inspiration, try some of these activities.
- Arrange a movie day – choose a couple of favourite films get some popcorn and put your feet up with the kids.
- Get cooking – pick a recipe with the kids, go shopping for ingredients and cook something together that you can enjoy eating afterwards. Depending on your child’s age and interest, this could be anything from a simple sponge cake to a mushroom stroganoff! Dig out the puzzles, games and books and give them a go. Some good old-fashioned entertainment can be really fun.
- Have a look in your cupboards and play dress up with your old clothes. Sort through your clothes together and recycle the ones that you never wear and the stuff your little one’s grown out of.
- Encourage the kids to put on a play or a magic show. They could even use the dress-up clothes and props from around the house. If you have a camera, you can even film it, for great memories.
- Build a den with the kids – if the weather is ok, you could even risk doing this outside! All you need is some boxes or sofa cushions, a few blankets, and a bit of imagination.
- Create a scrapbook together using photos from your family album, or torn from magazines.
The great outdoors (and the garden!)
Sunny days are great for simple activities like picnics and ball games. This can be done as close to home as in the back garden!
- Organise a treasure hunt around your home and garden with clues and treats for the children to find
- Hold your own mini Olympics with games that require little equipment… a sack race with pillowcases, a tug of war with a dressing gown belt! Use your imagination.
- If outside is dry, wrap up and go to the park or a nice walk somewhere quiet with the children with a flask of hot chocolate – sure to go down a treat!
- If you have a tent, you could arrange a camping trip in your garden with the children for one night!
- Kites are great if it is a windy day and they can be bought from bargain shops very cheaply
Making your own fun
Be creative – make things together like greeting cards or use beads to make some jewellery.
- Have an arts and craft day and get some canvas and paints, they can be bought in bargain shops for as little as a pound and use paints or crayons and the kids can hang up their creations in their rooms.
- Make a list of your favourite childhood games – old favourites such as hopscotch, putting on a show or marbles won’t cost the earth and your children will enjoy your reminiscing!
- In the evenings get the kids to design a game that you can make the next day – give them ideas to keep it simple such as a paper boat race in the paddling pool or homemade skittles using a tennis ball and empty toilet rolls.
- Have you ever thought about Origami? All you need is paper and instructions which can be found online, will keeps kids amused and they will learn a new skill
Here’s a few more to add.
Get a list of Activities. Don’t leave it up to the kids to pick their time
Keep the discipline: E.g. Let the siesta time, be siesta time, Holidays do not necessarily mean “No Rules”
Make yourself available for family time, as often as possible. Even as working parents, always have at the back of your mind that the kids are on holidays.
Finally, don’t try and fill every minute of every day. Encourage your children’s imagination and independence – let them play in their rooms or the garden.
Try these tips, and school holiday seasons would be much more fun!