Keeping Your Children occupied for the Holidays
By Chiamaka Odogwu
The holidays are here! While it’s a welcome respite from all the early wake-up calls, uniform sorting, lunch-making and school runs which can be quite exhausting, it also ushers you into another challenging season – WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS FOR TWO WHOLE MONTHS! Yes, the holidays are really long and the children need to be occupied as it can turn into a disaster if not properly handled.
When the initial excitement of all this free time wears off, which unfortunately happens much sooner than we’d like, a new project of trying to find ways to occupy the children, presents itself. And this can be quite a task especially if you have many children to attend to.
Taking this into account, here are a few suggestions of activities guaranteed to keep children of all ages happy over the long summer holidays, come rain or shine.
1. Games Game Games! – Games are a very good way to keep children occupied. However, you need to get a variety of them to avoid the children getting bored. And before you say it, you don’t have to buy all new games. With a nostalgic reflection on our own childhoods, most of us remember playing games such as ten-ten, Police, and thief, song games, change your style and many others.
These were the sort of games that kept us occupied for hours, involved most of the children who lived nearby and made us almost too nervous to go back indoors, even to use the bathroom, for fear that our mothers would decide it was time to come in. It’s definitely worth teaching your own children how to play these games too local games too.
Not only is it a wonderful exercise and something they can play together, it should also tire them out and guarantee a happily exhausted night’s sleep!
2. Kids Clubs: you could register your children for children’ clubs around you. The advantage of this is that they get to meet other kids and learn new stuff. Plus, they get out of your hair for a while. And wouldn’t that be a welcome idea?
3. Home Baking and Cooking: Get them involved in some of the cooking processes. Kids are very willing helpers, or mess makers, take your pick.
Either way, they love to be involved in the creation process and involving them is a good way to occupy them and keep an eye on them too.
4. Get them involved in artistic activities: Give them a colouring book or puzzle, anything that brings out the creativity in them. The perfect way to bring out your child’s artistic side.
Encourage everyone in the house to draw a self-portrait and make a collage with the pictures. An activity which includes everyone and a lovely memento.
5.Take them out when you can: It mustn’t be anything fancy. A walk, a day at the beach, a visit to a relative or a trip to the cinema would do. It’s just to give them a change of scenery which I’m sure they would appreciate.
6. Tell them stories: the holidays provide a good opportunity for kids to bond with their parents. A good way to do that is to tell them stories. Folktales, stories about childhood and growing up would thrill them real good and would provide them an opportunity to really get to know their parents. Throw in a little story about a mischievous thing you’ve done and they’re hooked.
7. Stock up on good movies and cartoons: Of course, there would be a time when you wouldn’t be so free as to carry out all the other activities. A good movie or cartoon would do a good job to keep them occupied while you get on with things.