Fishing from the wharf

School Holiday Ideas for Your Kids

Article submitted by holidayLOVER

December 4th, 2009

Keeping the kids happy this school holidays is easy if you plan ahead. All parents can relate to the all too familiar "I'm bored" comment. Bored children are unhappy children, and unhappy kids can make the entire household miserable.

My advice is to plan out the week with a simple wall chart. Create a list of possible things the children can do, making sure you include a variety of inexpensive options. Then get the kids to help fill in the days with what you plan to do. Kids will be all the more enthusiastic if they are involved in the planning. I would suggest you keep something special lined up for the Friday, so they have something to really look forward to. It will also help if and when you need to remind them to behave, a simple remark that only well-behaved children get to go to the water park on Friday should work wonders.

Not every activity need be costly. In fact, keeping your child/ren occupied can be simple. Arts and craft day is great fun for all. Having tasks can help to keep them focused. For example, on arts and crafts day the goal would be to create a nice painting for each of the grandparents or a nice drawing for a aunt or uncle. Another great idea is making hand puppets from old socks, stitching buttons on for eyes, then having a puppet show.

Another important aspect to your weekly planner is to have backup plans for activities that are weather dependent. The trip out to the park with a picnic lunch can be ruined if it's raining. Having said that though there's no reason why you can't have a picnic lunch in your lounge if it's raining. Also don't feel you have to stay indoors if it's bad weather outdoors. Slip on a raincoat or grab an umbrella. The kids will probably enjoy the walk even more when there's puddles to jump in along the way!

Whilst the most expensive toys will feature high on the list for most children this Christmas, it's important to remember that they might not be the best for encouraging your kids imagination because thanks to the aid of batteries (that will all run out at the same time) they already do everything and make all the noises themselves. Building blocks, play doh and tea sets help develop the imaginative play of children. More sporting toys like balls, kites and frisbees will not only keep kids amused but also get them active.

Below are a few simple ideas for possible things to do this school holidays...

Arts & Crafts Day

  • Paper Mache -one morning or afternoon creating the pinata (or whatever you're making), then another to paint and decorate it with stickers, glitter, paper tassels etc.
  • Puppets -socks and buttons for eyes. A cardboard box can make an excellent theatre with a little paint, and perhaps some old fabric for curtains.
  • Use the internet for more ideas. A great website I found recently was Crafts for Kids and there are literally hundreds of other great websites to inspire you.

Day Outings

  • Visit the library.
  • Trip to the museum, educational and inexpensive.
  • Visit a park and take your soccer ball or rugby ball etc. Fly a kite if there's some wind.
  • Go fishing in a river or lake or from a wharf.
  • Picnic lunch at park, beach, forest etc
  • Swimming at beach or lake. Or visit indoor swimming pool (this is good option for if the weather is bad).
  • Cycle trip
  • Go see a movie at the theatre (this could be a special treat reserved for the Friday)
  • Visit a zoo
  • Visit an amusement park. This isn't my favourite idea as it can be expensive but let's face it, it's probably the kids favourite (reserve it for a Friday and maybe near the end of the holidays so you don't get repeated requests).

More Activities Around the House

  • Camping in your backyard. Learning how to pitch a tent is great fun. If you don't have a tent ask to borrow one from a friend or relative...make sure it isn't one of those giant multi-room tents though!
  • Baking -kids love it especially if it's delicious biscuits that they can decorate with icing. Christmas cookies, Gingerbread men and Chocolate Chip Biscuits are all good options.
  • Hire a few dvds and have home movie day complete with popcorn (another possible backup plan for a rainy day)

Finally remember no parent is perfect, just try your best and your kids will love you for it! Good luck!

More articles from this author that might interest you:

10 Amazing Kids Websites for Summer 2011
The 10 Best Websites for Kids This Summer (2010)
10 of the Best Websites for Kids This Winter (2010)
The Best Websites for Kids this Spring (2010)
10 Great Websites for these School Holidays (2009)
10 More Great Websites for Kids (2010)

Melissa Evans
Melissa Evans

Melissa Evans lives in Sunny Nelson, New Zealand. She divides her time between being Creative Director at SunRoom Web Design Nelson, writing for KiwiWise and being a Mum to Sophia & Nicky. In her spare time she loves to travel, illustrate and read.

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