I know many of you have kids on holiday at the moment and if the words ‘i’m bored’ bring out the dragon in you (they do for me) well, here are some holiday ideas that might inspire you and them.
Make a Gingerbread House
I bought a fabulous kit off a Facebook group i belong to in December for the Captain’s 12 year old and for a few friends and thank goodness i had a spare because the 15 year old was most put out there wasn’t one for her. They spent a good two hours erecting and perfecting their houses and over the course of the next day or so, eating it. You could be an industrious baker and bake all the components or be lazy like me and order a kit from Gingerbred this is in Cape Town – maybe if someone in Joburg or Durban knows someone who does a kit they can share in the comments?
Build a Blanket Fort
Great for younger kids – i have such fond memories of building complex forts during the holidays. Ones that had passages that went behind beds and doors made with cardboard boxes. Charley is getting into the idea and it’s so much fun. Extend the fun by serving lunch in the fort and letting bedtime go down in one. Can’t face the chaos? Mono sells fab teepees that can stay up in your lounge since they look so good.
Get Lost in Puzzles
Did your family crack open a puzzle every holiday? Ours did and it stayed on the dining room table until it was finished. This is a great way to calm little minds and to give them something to focus on. If your puzzles have all landed up in a giant mess – why not get out the glue gun and make an art installation like this one.
Have a Scavenger Hunt
A few months ago we had an afternoon pizza party and on the spur of the moment i asked our 15 year old to put together a scavenger hunt for the younger kids. She did such a great job – had some hilarious things they had to get (from paper clips to the second names of various grown ups) and the best is i happened to have a bar of chocolate in the cupboard that the winning team got to share.
Make a Newspaper Diary
Since i am a laatlammetjie, i spent a fair amount of time on my own and when i was about 10 or so i spent a holiday making up a newspaper of things i had done (my Dad carted me to very museum imaginable). From ticket stubs from movies to sleepovers with friends and trips to local galleries, get your kids to record their holiday in a ‘newspaper’ with headlines and stories and images.
Make Sandwiches and Soup for the Needy
It’s winter and it’s impossible to ignore the fact that there are people so much less fortunate than ourselves – if the kids have cabin fever, why not take them with you to the shops to buy bread and peanut butter and ingredients for soup and spend the afternoon making sandwiches and soup for those in need? It’s a greatl way to introduce them to the notion of actively getting involved in charitable works.
Get involved in Dubsmash
Hoo boy, we are loving this app in our home! All you need is a phone or iPad, the app itself is free. Kids can spend hours recording silly phrases from movies – we’ve been killing ourselves laughing at some of the Dubsmashes the girls made last weekend.
My brother introduced us to the notion of ‘1 thing constructive and 1 thing creative’ a day with his kids during the holidays, and when the girls were younger and with us for the holidays we tried to instill this idea. The idea is for them to achieve this BEFORE the TV goes on (and it’s not allowed on until the afternoon)! The constructive was related to a household chore and the creative was anything from baking to making music etc. It really worked (for one holiday anyway!) Why is it that if the TV goes on in the morning, the kids veer on the vile side of life for the rest of the day?!
Happy Making Apps
I found a great Australian website called KidSpot with loads of ideas for kids and i particularly liked a roundup they had of interesting kids apps, this is what they had to say:
The Night Zookeeper
A beautiful drawing app where kids are encouraged by a daily prompt to draw magical animals to add to their zoo. The daily prompts are exciting and ongoing, everything from creating mystical animals from objects the kids see around them to time-travelling elephants or fearsome monsters. They can play with their animals and older kids are encouraged to write stories about them. You can even send your child a personalised challenge to create something via the parent dashboard. The Night Zookeeper Drawing Torch is a sister app to this one.
This award-winning app lets kids create collages using everyday objects. There is an in-built instructional video led by artist and children’s book illustrator Hanoch Piven, who introduces kids to art techniques like perspective. He even throws in some discussion about more complex art theories like symbolism. The graphics are realistic and quite beautiful and kids can take photos of their creations to share via email or social media (you can control this bit).
Toca Salon Me
Here the kids can upload a photo of themselves and then are free to style their own hair, add accessories and create something wacky and wonderful. Makers Toca Boca are well known for creating quality, well-imagined apps for kids of all ages – check out Toca Town (lifestyle seekers), Toca Pet Doctor (animal lovers), Toca Builders (Minecraft wannabes) and Toca Lab (science buffs) too.
Children can star in their own comic strips using this app and their device’s camera. FriendStrip prompts all kinds of scenarios which kids need to add to, creating magical worlds or realistic story lines. It’s definitely one to fire up their imaginations and they will spend hours planning how to pose their shots and bring their strips to life. It’s one to grow with them too as you can buy different scenarios as the kids get more proficient. This is an app to bring siblings together as they will have a blast making strips together.
Hope there’s something here you can use. V x