School holidays are almost here in Victoria and I have shared previously some ideas on activities for kids which you can find here:
- 5 Simple Kids Activities At Home
- Non technology related school holiday activities for the kids to do at home
- 10 Activities To Do At Home With The Kids
- Fun Activities For Kids To Do
I don’t think kids need to be entertained all the time, but if there are too many hours in a day at home where the kids are at a loose end, I find that’s when bickering can start.
I also like to spend time with the kids during the school holidays when the pace is slower for everyone. I see it in many ways as building up a bank of credits. I will put some time into helping the kids set up activities and quite often participate in them for periods of time. As well as having fun with the kids, I almost always get a great return on my investment – the kids keep themselves happily occupied for long stretches of time afterwards.
My approach to school holidays is to mix up days at home with outside activities. Days at home are essential for my kids, so they don’t have to run to a schedule or even get dressed by a certain time if they don’t want to. It allows them a chance to recharge before heading back to school.
Here have been some recent favourite activities with my kids.
For the last few years, once during the school holidays when we are not away we have a theme day as an at home activity. They are great fun. Themes we have done in the past include Harry Potter, LEGO, Minecraft and The Indian in the Cupboard. An example of one of our theme days looks like this:
- Read Harry Potter books
- Listened to Harry Potter audio books
- Played Harry Potter Scene it
- Watched Harry Potter movies (only the ones rated PG so all the kids could watch them)
- Ate Harry Potter style food – Pumpkin pasties, butter beer and cockroach clusters.
And it isn’t just me who prepares the food. The lovely green Minecraft rice bubble slice cake was the creation of our daughter.
Games day work particularly well when the weather is not great. We will often have a games day, where everyone chooses a board game to play. Depending on the games chosen by the kids, this can be a full day in itself. Popular choices are always:
Mastermind – for games like this that are only for two players we organise a round robin type system so we all play each other at some point. Plus lots of Cluedo, Monopoly, Boggle and chess.
Same but different
We will often mix up our routine; change the order we do things, the place where we would usually do it and/or how you do it. For example:
Setting up a cafe and eating outside. The kids will create a menu, take orders, help prepare the food and eat at their cafe.
Sleep in cubbies in another room. As uncomfortable as I may think it is to sleep that way, the kids love it.
Cooking is always a great activity for the younger kids. I will often ask them for ideas on what they might like to make. Juice is a huge hit at out house along with muffins, biscuits and nachos.
Get active with the kids
Somedays the kids just need to expend energy so taking the time to do something active with him, is great for everyone’s sanity. It could be going for a run, going for a walk, jumping on the trampoline or just a long game of chasey.
Make a movie
The three youngest love to make their own movies using the iPad. The movie scenes, set up and characters are getting more elaborate, but they have a great time and it occupies them for a long stretch.
Have them help you
Last school holidays we bought flat pack desks and chairs for the study. The kids were fantastic at putting it together with me and they have such a huge sense of achievement from creating the items they now use.
Then we have our bored lists prominently displayed so the kids can work out things for themselves to do. You may like to download my free “I’m Bored” lists here.