It’s easy for kids and teens to get ‘bored’ over the school holiday period. Below
are 10 easy and engaging ways to keep them learning over the school holidays – without them even knowing they are learning! These ideas will help your child’s literacy, numeracy, creativity and imagination, and build family relationships at
the same time.
- SING & DANCE – that’s right parents. Grab some glow charms and throw a dance or karaoke party in your living room. Children of all ages love rhymes and songs. This is a great way to engage them in storytelling. Get your children singing, dancing and if you’re game, introduce them to making their own music. Even your reluctant teen might squeeze out a stilted smirk while you show off your musical genius and funky dance moves.
- GET YOUR HOLLYWOOD ON – Younger children love dress ups. This is a great way to get them involved in imaginative play. For the older kids why not make a short family movie through the iMovie app – smart way for older ones to learn how to put together a play or create a storyboard for film. This is a fun family project that everyone can star in. Just don’t let your hubby steal that Director’s seat (yes, I am talking from personal experience)! This will be also be a wonderful memory to share with other members of the family. Grandparents will love watching the movie, over and over.
- CAMP OUT for the night and tell stories together. They don’t have to be spooky but that would be more fun! AND… You don’t need a tent to do this. If you do have one – kids love nothing better than a camp out in their own back yard. My family turns our living room into a camp site. A few cushions, sleeping bags and a torch is all you need to set the scene. This is a great way to tell stories and encourage your children to become storytellers too. You can even record their stories and turn them into books with your children to read back later on. Just don’t forget the marshmallows!
- START YOUR OWN VERSION OF MASTERCHEF – Most children love the opportunity to cook in the kitchen especially if the whole family is involved. Children learn by reading the recipe out loud to you, working out measurements, discussing what ingredients are healthy and how they help them grow. It also gives them an interest in the food they are eating and how it is prepared and where it comes from. Children also become more aware of their own health through cooking and are more likely to eat food they have helped plan and prepare. Plus it takes the pain out of you having to think about cooking something they might finally eat for a change! Some great sites to visit for kids recipes are: SugarFreeKids;Kidsspot; and Kidshealth.
- PUT YOUR GAME FACE ON – kids love to play games and as parents we often underestimate how much children can learn through a simple family games night. Grab some popcorn, turn the TV off and get ready for BINGO… anybody? Other great games for learning are Family Feud, Monopoly, Twister, Trivia quizzes, Snap, Memory, Cluedo. The list is endless and the entertainment is too! One great site my son has discovered is Kahoot.com – this is a great site where you can create your own trivia quiz on any topic you like and other family or friends can be given a code to log in and complete the quiz together using an electronic device.
- READ TOGETHER – reading a book with your child is a great opportunity to spend time together, talk and share stories. Sharing picture books with young ones and asking them to tell you a story is also a great way to encourage their imagination and vocabulary.
- MULTI-TASK GAMER – Playing eye spy in the house or car can get your kids learning and distract them from boredom for a while. The good thing about this is that it can … be done as you’re multi-tasking (cooking, hanging out washing, travelling). If you have young ones use colours instead of letters. This is a great way to encourage them to take in their environment, learn different letters, signs and numbers.
- TAKE SOME SELFIES – or if that isn’t your thing, search through your photos and make a digital family slideshow or scrapbook a calendar and give your child the opportunity to create and write funny captions to go with them. This is a great way to share family stories, encourage children to learn more about each other and it builds their sense of identity and belonging at the same time.
- GET ACTIVE – children love being outdoors. Being active keeps your children healthy both mentally and physically. So create some great outdoor adventures. Go bushwalking, cycling or have a family fun day of tunnel ball, dodgeball, three legged races and the good old egg and spoon race. Great ways to keep your child moving and laughing at the same time. This might even be a superb way to get your neighbours or friends involved. Being active, building community and laughing, winning!
- GET GRATEFUL – teaching your child about gratitude is one of the best gifts you can give them. You can set up a “snaps jar” for the family that everyone contributes to throughout the week. Encourage them to write great things they have seen, done or noticed someone else in the family doing. An inspiring way to build their confidence. You can make a special gratitude journal together, either an individual one or family one that they can write in at night before bed. Or share one great thing each day before dinner or bedtime to get them thinking positive thoughts about their life.
Whether you try out these ideas or just spend some quality time together, you will learn and grow just as much as they do through the experience.