Children’s lives can be very busy with school, preschool, and extracurricular activities. So when it comes to holiday time, it’s a great time to relax and recharge. However, because they are used to being so busy, it can be difficult for some children to stop and occupy themselves. So here are some great holiday activities to beat the holiday boredom blues.
Keep a diary
Have a ‘Holiday Diary’ where children can write what they’ve been doing each day (or every few days) and draw a picture or stick in some memorabilia from the day. Diary writing is a great activity to encourage young children to do so they can learn to reflect on their day with gratitude, express their emotions and have something fun to look back on in years to come.
Throughout the year, children are often given the workbooks they have completed. There are likely to be some unused pages somewhere in there. Rip them out and stick them into a scrapbook. You can work through them whenever your child says the inevitable, “I’m bored!”
There are many worksheets that you can download for your children online. Suppose you know they’re having trouble with a particular area like time, measurement, fractions etc. Type it into google, e.g. ‘Year 3 fractions worksheet’, and some links will pop up that you’ll be able to print off and practice during the holidays. Ten minutes a day is ideal for practising and retaining knowledge like times tables and other concepts. Though if your child is more reluctant, half an hour every few days may be more achievable and enjoyable. Even colouring-in can be a great activity to help children be mindful and build concentration skills. Begin Bright also has printable resources and activities to use at home with your child. Visit our blog or online store to find them.
Educational apps or games
A lot of children have access to some form of electronic device like an iPad, computers, and phones. If your child has access to one of these, consider getting an app or game that is educational as well as fun. There are some brilliant games that children will enjoy and are educating them at the same time! However, always be aware of what they have access to and limit the time spent on electronic devices.
Make a box of things around the house that can be kept in one handy place. Put in the box things like board games, puzzles etc. Board games are a great way to sit outside and have some family time in the evening or on a rainy day instead of watching TV. They have great educational qualities too! Monopoly is fantastic for maths skills, and there are many games to help build literacy. Even simple games like dominos or cards can also be great for building literacy and numeracy skills.
Some children enjoy craft activities, and some don’t. If you have a crafty one, spend some time on some big projects during the holidays. Children can find something they want to make, organise the materials and then work on it over the holidays. There are lots of websites online with great activities to do. Put together a busy box with craft supplies that they can use to do their art projects. Having it all together in a box will keep everything together and make it easy when it comes to craft time.
Getting your children to cook dinner benefits them with responsibility through a fun activity (and gives you the night off). The food may not be as perfect as you would make it, but the kids will love it and be proud of their achievements. Get them involved in choosing a recipe. Pick something dependent on the age of your children. A great recipe for children of various ages to make is homemade pizza. If they are little, you might want to cut up all the capsicum, mushrooms, tomato, ham etc. or let them help with a child-safe knife and place it on a plate. Then using flat bread or a pizza base, spread the pizza sauce, put everything on top and then put it in the oven. The pride on their faces for cooking dinner is beautiful. Tacos are another excellent recipe for children to try. At the beginning of the holidays, ask your child to pick one night a week to cook dinner. Ask them to choose what they’re going to cook, let them write a shopping list for ingredients, go to the supermarket with them to get the ingredients, add up the cost and then prepare the meal. Adults can adjust recipes depending on children’s ages, but this is a fantastic learning experience in many areas.
Job lists can be an excellent way for children to learn how to be self-sufficient and to understand what goes into keeping a happy, healthy and living in a clean environment. If you’re unsure what to delegate to your children, think about all you do. Get them involved with ideas as well. There’s putting the rubbish out in the big bin, sweeping/vacuuming the floor, putting away washed dishes, cleaning rooms, making beds etc. You can use this to allocate jobs to your child and attach a monetary value to each job. Having a job list teaches children life skills. You get paid for your work, and they can choose to earn as little or as much as they like. Even younger children can learn to put their toys away or be given a cleaning cloth for dusting. It may not be 100%, but it teaches them vital life skills. Use a sticker chart as a visual reference so children can see what they have achieved.
Holidays can be EXPENSIVE. There are so many activities on offer, and spending a small fortune during the school break is easy. At the beginning of the holidays, sit down with your children and talk about what activities they want to do and how much money they will need each week. This activity goes very well with the job list. Help your child to understand that the money doesn’t just appear, and you have to earn it, so they have to be wary of how quickly they spend it. Depending on their age, you can explain budgeting to them. Agree on the things you will pay for and choose some of their desired activities that they have to pay for themselves if they want to do. They can then earn this money by completing their job list each week.
School holidays can be a great time to read a good book. Visit the library or op shops for low-cost choices. Talk about the types of things your child likes to read. Not every child is interested in long stories. Graphic novels, comic books, magazines or non-fiction books can be great alternatives for reluctant readers. Encourage your child to make a quiet, comfortable reading area for them to relax and focus on reading their book. Having plenty of time means there’s no pressure on children, and they can read at leisure. They also don’t need to stop reading! Your child might like to challenge themselves and make a reading list of books they would like to read during the holidays. We also have our printable reading challenge to encourage children to read. School holidays may be a good time for you to relax and enjoy a book without the usual school day run around! Set a good example and let your children see you reading too.
Holidays are an excellent opportunity for children to reset and enjoy some unstructured time, so don’t schedule too much, but when they inevitably say, “I’m bored”, you’ll be ready with some great holiday activites.
Begin Bright programmes include STEM and Art programmes run by our locations during school holidays. Begin Bright has locations across Australia and New Zealand. You can find your nearest location and their contact details to find out which programmes they are running here.