The school holidays are a great time to catch up on some much-needed rest, spend quality time with loved ones, and crack open that unread book on the nightstand. However, it can also be an overwhelming period filled with social challenges for parents as they scramble to keep their children entertained and engaged. If you’re looking for ways to help your child make the most of their time off from school, read on for our top tips for keeping kids entertained over the school holidays.
Go on a family outing.
Nothing bonds a family more than shared experiences. Whether visiting a local attraction, travelling to a new place, or simply going on a walk in your neighbourhood, getting out and about together can be a great way to kick-start the school holiday break. Whether it be a visit to a museum, a walk in the park, or a day trip to the beach, family outings are a great way to keep children engaged during the holidays. If you have kids in multiple age groups, plan different outings for each group that appeal to each child’s interests and skill levels. This will help to ensure the outings stay fun and engaging for everyone. Ensure you allow enough time to get ready and travel to and from your destination. This will help to prevent stress and keep the outings as fun as possible. Visit the destination with an open mind and be prepared to let go of your expectations. Don’t be afraid to change your plans or add an extra stop if the kids are keen. Above all, stay positive, engaged, and in the moment. This will help to keep everyone’s attention and engagement high.
Have a movie marathon
If you can’t get everyone out of the house and engaged in a favourite activity, settle down for a movie marathon! This can be great for kids of any age, especially if you plan to watch a series. Include snacks, blankets, and drinks and make the movie marathon a family affair. If you have younger kids, you may want to limit the movie choice to something simple, like a classic cartoon. If you have older kids, you can choose a favourite series or movie, but be sure to pre-warn them about any mature content that may be included. This is also a great way to catch up on your own reading list or attend to household or work-related tasks that need finishing before the next school term begins.
Plan games for indoors and out
While many of us would love to spend the school holidays outdoors exploring and being active, this isn’t always possible due to inclement weather, lack of appropriate footwear, and other factors. If you have a rainy day and your child doesn’t have an indoor activity to keep themselves busy, you may find yourself in a bind. Make sure you have a few indoor activities in your back pocket for rainy days. You can get your children involved by spending time on the computer and letting them play age-appropriate games to help keep them entertained.
There are many websites with free activities and games, including websites with the more traditional games they can play, such as Checkers or Connect Four. You could even get them practising their maths skills, whilst having fun. You can even have a go, and it would be a blast from the past; my favourite is on a website called https://www.calculators.org/games/ultimate-tic-tac-toe/, and that traditional game tic-tac-toe. Trivia games, word searches, puzzles, and creative arts and crafts are great ways to keep kids engaged and entertained over the holidays. If you don’t have any games or toys at home, don’t fret! You can always go to a dollar store or pick up a few inexpensive games at a thrift shop or used toy store. Alternatively, there are several great apps and games available online that you can download to your child’s tablet or smartphone.
Go on a hike
If you have the right level of fitness, skill, and gear, a hike can be a great way to spend the school holidays. Gather your family together and go on a walk in your local area. If your children are younger, find a hike that is suitable for their age and skill level. If your children are older, find a hike that will challenge them and fit into their fitness level. Hiking is a great way to keep kids active and engaged during the school holidays. It will help them relax, get fresh air, and connect with nature. There is no age too young to start hiking. There are trails for all ages and skill levels, from straightforward paths to challenging trails. Whatever you do, ensure you and your family are safe, prepared, and properly equipped. Hiking is a great way to spend time with your family while getting some exercise and connecting with nature.
Organise a game day with friends
If you have friends with children the same age as your own, why not organise a game day? This can be a great way to get everyone together and engaged while helping reduce children’s social challenges during the holidays. Plan a few activities that your child can do with friends. Remember to include various indoor and outdoor activities and activities they can do with other children or by themselves. This will help to keep everyone engaged and interested in playing. You can find a wide range of games online, in stores, or on apps, you can use for game day. If you don’t have many games, don’t worry! You can always play games children have been playing for centuries, like hopscotch, tag, or ring-around-the-rosy.
The school holidays are an excellent time for families to engage and reconnect, but they can also be challenging if your child doesn’t have anything to do. These tips can help you keep your kids engaged and entertained during the school holidays so they can make the most of their time off. Also, remember to stay positive and open to your child’s interests and suggestions.