5 Top Tips to amuse Kids on school holidays #1, YES, that means there'll be a few more posts to help us survive!! The school holidays are here, the kids are at home and those teachers- you know who you are, are kicking their feet up while we are stuck at home, sorry, sauntering around the house eating bon bons with our beloved children frolicking and amusing themselves or playing quietly?
I've found that Lego and Barbie dolls from Chrsitmas only last until New Years Eve (just!) for children's amusement, and while the sugar rush from 24 days of advent chocolates and the extra goodies and party foods leaves our childrens' systems, the withdrawal of sugar combined with boredom starts and the target is YOU!
Well, I can rant because I was one of those teachers nearly 5 years ago who used to think thank god I'm on holidays, Haha to their parents.....well Tsarina Obvious (Captain has a boring ring to it) look who's laughing now
However, the great thing is that my teaching skills haven't gone a stray, and once a teacher, always a teacher! And I while I also run businesses online from home, I know these stragies work. So here are a few of my top tips to get us through the school holidays:
1) Have prepared activities to do, at least one in the morning, then one in the afternoon that you actually do with your kids (under the age of 10-12 yo). They don't have to last a long time, even 15 minutes is long enough to break up the day. This way you've spent time with them, they'll either have enough of you and be happy to go and play elsewhere, or they'll look forward to the next thing.
TIP- Don't tell them about the next thing or they'll bug you about it all day.
2) If you have some structured activities, then you can use TV or DVDs as their time out when you need to get things done and not be interrupted (about 30 minutes to an hour if it's a movie) too much TV time get boring, and then the 4pm - 4.30pm crazies set in- and you know how much fun they can be. So I manage TV/DVD time for that time slot, with some small fruit or popcorn snacks, and then I can finish up working and starting dinner preparations without the crazies! Oh, and making popcorn in the popcorn maker is so much fun for them, why I don't know?! But that activity in itself lasts 5-10 minutes!
3) Do some gardening! Here in Australia, it's summer, but I'm aware that it's winter in other parts (and I've still got a suggestion). So, if you're in sunny summer, do what we did this morning, we propagated strawberries from our plant runners. The whole activity took about 20 minutes outside. And it gives the chldren something to look forward to watching out for over the next few weeks. Or plant some strawberries or small plants. My kids planted and repotted strawberry plants last school holidays, and over the months they have watched them grow, and they have eaten from the strawberry plants while eagerly going out to protect their crops from the birds every morning. Now they can nurture the baby plants to start their production line again! Food plants are more rewarding for kids.
PLUS We had snack time outside too (less cleaning up to do, less grumpy Mummy time).
4) If you're in a cold climate, try growing alfalfa in a hollowed out egg. I did this with my son when he was 3 years old- he loved it, and it gave us a lot of things to do. Boil the egg, eat the egg for lunch or breakfast, clean them out and allow to dry. Draw faces on them with markers or textas, fill the hollowed egg with wet cotton wool and sprinkle the wool with alfalfa seeds. We then placed the egg ontop of a decorated toilet roll (another activity!) and popped them on a window ledge. Then wait to see it grow over the next few days and weeks. Trim the sprouts and eat on a sandwich!
5) Jelly molds. Today my 2 year old daughter and 5 year old son made layered jelly- they love this activity at anytime. I usually mix the hot and cold water together in a large jug, and we all take turns "stirring and mixing" a few times. Pour the solution into a mold, or clear glass bowl and add some drained tinned fruit or grapes. Then set in the fridge overnight or in the freezer for a while to cool and back into the fridge. That took about 10 minutes in total. Then about 2 hours later, mix up a new colour and pour ontop of set jelly, refridgerate again. Again, another 10 minute activity, after which my kids went and played their own games and I went back to work!
You could also set jelly with the kids and scoop them into ice cream cones and sprinkle them with sprinkles too, another outdoors eating and assembly activity. I reckon that makes 5.5 TIPS to amuse smallchildren on the school holidays 😉
Let me know how you go, I'll post a few more soon. If you have any questions, or other suggestions, please add you comments- I'd love to know. Have fun