HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY DURING THE HOLIDAYS


The upcoming holiday season could cause parents some stress, just as their kids’ excitement is growing at the prospect of weeks and weeks without school.


Take our tips to keep your children happy, safe, entertained and even educated during the holidays whether you're staying at home or travelling.

IF YOU’RE STAYING HOME
A great way to give the kids fun holidays and give yourself peace of mind is to form a ‘club' with friends, relatives, and neighbours who also have children. In an ideal world, you could all stagger your leave so that, for example, Dineo takes leave for the first week of the holidays, Linda takes the second week off, Kelly takes the third and so on. If you can get five families involved, that means each household has all five kids for one week (working days) of the holidays during the day.

Whoever is the carer for the week can organise fun activities for the kids, ranging from sports to art workshops to cooking classes. These are just some examples:

ON BROADWAY!
This is huge fun for kids who like taking centre stage. Get them to put on a ‘play’ of their choice (divide them into age groups) and let them dress up in old clothes, towels, blankets or anything else – let them use their imaginations! Younger kids can simply be asked to impersonate a dog, cat, aeroplane, train, etc, while older children can put on a fancier production using ‘props’ like furniture and household items.


LITTLE COOKS
Each child brings the ingredients for fairy cakes, biscuits or sweets, while the adult on duty supervises and handles trays going into and out of the oven. Very young kids can make easy no-bake goodies like rice crispies mixed with condensed milk formed into balls, or oat balls (raw oats mixed with a little honey or syrup, peanut butter, and cocoa powder). Prizes can be awarded for the neatest baking area or tastiest treats. Christmas-themed goodies that aren't all eaten can be given as gifts.

BOOK CORNER/SPELLING BEE
This can be fun and educational for all ages. Get all the kids to bring a favourite book or past issues of Jet Club magazines with Nal'ibali stories in them. Divide the kids into age groups and give each one a turn to read a few paragraphs or pages from their story. When they've all had a chance, pick some words from the stories and see who can spell them correctly. You can have small prizes like fun stickers or a sweet, biscuit or apple for the kids who get most words right. And don't forget to collect all your Nal'ibali stories for future holiday fun!


OUTDOOR FUN
Get the kids to make their own bubble blowers. First, use pipe cleaners to create a bubble wand. These can be any shape they like, they just need to leave a small section to use as a handle. Whip up a batch of bubble solution by gently stirring 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid and ½ a teaspoon of baking soda into a 100ml of water to create a clear solution. Let them blow to their heart's content in a safe outside space around your home.

Or they could make their own game of Twister. You'll need a piece of cardboard, four colours of paint and an old bed sheet. Cut a circle stencil out the cardboard. Use this as a guide to paint four rows of six circles of each colour of paint onto the sheet to create the game board. In place of the spinner, write out each hand, foot and colour combination on pieces of paper and the kids can draw them out of a hat. For the smaller ones set up an ‘archaeological dig' by hiding dinosaur toys or plastic coins in the sand and then let them dig up their treasure with little spades.


GAMES MANIA
If the weather turns grey and rainy, head indoors for a day of puzzles, board games, crosswords, word searches, Sudoku or any other games. Each child should bring at least one puzzle from home, and the adult ‘on duty’ should group these according to ages and likely interests. For instance, if there are a couple of teenagers they could play chess, Scrabble or Monopoly, while the younger children play snakes and ladders, Ludo or snap! Crosswords and other word games can also be age-appropriate, so all the children are kept entertained. (If all the parents chip in, you can buy very affordable books of kids’ puzzles and word games.)

IF YOU’RE TRAVELLING
Kids can get a little stir crazy on long trips, but with some planning and a bit of imagination, you can ensure an enjoyable break for your whole family… and a lot less stress for you! Here are some suggestions:

1. EASY PEASY
Drawing, colouring, picture and puzzle books are all inexpensive and educational. Add some crayons or coloured pencils and you are good to go! Storybooks can also keep them entertained but some children tend to get travel sick when they read while in motion. If a child is prone to travel sickness, rather let them listen to their favourite music or audio books with earphones.

2. TRAVEL JOURNAL
Another fun distraction is to get children to put together their own travel journal, by supplying them with a cheap blank book, stickers, and crayons. They can add their own drawings of things they see out of the car or bus window or items they notice in the aeroplane.


3. NUMBER COUNTING
Older children can play a game of maths by adding up the numbers on other cars’ number plates to see who gives the first correct total.

4. THE SEARCH GAME
You can also list things you are likely to see along the way and then ask the family to search for each item as they watch the passing scenery.

5. WORD GAMES
Traditional word games like I-Spy and 20 Questions are great for kids of most ages. With I-Spy, you all take it in turns to say, ‘I spy with my little eye something beginning with… (choose a letter of the alphabet). The rest of the players have to guess what the person saw.

With 20 Questions, the person whose turn it is has to think about something (a person, place, object, song, movie or anything else), and the rest of the players must try to find out what it is by asking no more than 20 questions. The person must say what the category is, for example, a movie star or a town.

Telling a story or getting your kids to make one up will also get your family’s creative juices flowing. Alternatively, create a unique tale together – one person starts by making up a sentence or two, then the rest follow on, adding to the story with their own sentences.


HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY DURING THE HOLIDAYS HOW TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY DURING THE HOLIDAYS Reviewed by Jet Club on December 12, 2018 Rating: 5

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