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School Holidays: Tips on how to keep kids entertained without leaving home

Picture: filed

Picture: filed

Published Dec 27, 2021


Schools are closed at least for the next six weeks, and a lot of parents are concerned about ways on how to keep their children happy and entertained while avoiding the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the new Omicron variant, outdoor activities such as picnics in the parks or beaches might be risky.

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Here are tips on how to keep your children entertained with what you have in your home:

Share while you decorate the house

Teach kids about family traditions and holiday customs as you decorate for the holidays.

Gardening With Children

Gardening with children is not just fun but can be extremely useful educationally. Gardening helps children understand life cycles, seasons, and the importance of nature. Growing your own vegetables is a very good way to help children understand where food comes from. Whatever age your children, gardening should result in dirty, mud-stained clothes.

It is important that they get really involved, with dirty hands and clothes, without having to worry about the dirt. You can, of course, reserve a particular pair of old jeans and a fleece, but ‘work’ trousers or dungarees will be more hard-wearing, especially at the knee.

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Set as Music Challenge

Challenge kids to rewrite the lyrics to some of their favourite songs or create a funny rap about their favourite TV show. Or ask them to put on their “advertising hats” and create a 30-second jingle to market their favourite toy, book, snack, or hobby.

Discuss Current Events

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Dialogue, as evidenced in a recent study, is a powerful and often-overlooked opportunity for teaching and learning. Discuss timely, relevant events from the media (or otherwise) with your children. Of course, your discussions should be age-appropriate. But you will find that there are appropriate news-worthy topics to discuss with young children and older teenagers.

By encouraging them to be aware of issues in the world, to analyse and engage with them, and to consider events from various angles. You’re helping to develop their critical thinking skills to problem-solve and become responsible, engaged and empathetic. And who knows, you might learn something from them too!

Teach With Movies!

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After watching a movie together, go beyond “Did you like the movie?” and talk about the movie’s themes, such as respect, friendship, or kindness. Ask your kids why they think the characters chose a certain action or what the characters could have done differently for a better outcome. Challenge them to come up with an alternate ending.

Watch Television Together

If TV’s so bad for you, why is there one in every hospital room? Keep your kids’ minds engaged by watching a documentary, or keep them up to speed on pop culture trivia. They’ll thank you later when they keep beating you at Trivial Pursuit.

Complete Projects Or Homework

There’s a good chance your child has some homework to do over the holiday break. Make yourself available to help with projects and homework, and teach your kids the value of teamwork!

Create Reading Routine

Reading is one of the best forms of learning for all kids (and that includes reading to them). With reading, young kids can develop language skills, improve literacy, and put their imagination to good use. While for older kids, fiction books can further support their writing skills, and through non-fiction, they can learn about topics that interest them that they may or may not study in the school environment.

Reading can also aid relaxation and reduce stress and anxiety, increase empathy, and promote good sleeping habits. A recent study found that children who had access to books at home had significantly better reading skills than those who didn’t. So consider giving your kids books for Christmas!