Holidays can be nightmares for both moms and kids alike. The initial thrill of not having to go to school quickly fades and those dreaded words “I’m bored” becomes the holiday mantra.
However, with a little bit of creativity and a lot of enthusiasm, entertainment for kids could be as entertaining for the rest of the household.
- Get them baking
Baking is something both boys and girls can enjoy. There are lots of simple recipes for them to try, which don’t necessarily have to include the oven or sharp knives. They could also try making their own meals – breakfast or lunch are both good options. Let them experiment with creating their own sandwich fillings, jazzing up their breakfast cereal with fresh and dried fruits, yoghurt or seeds, or coming up with interesting pancake fillings. In addition to the entertainment value, they will also learn about good nutrition.
- Blowing bubbles
Make your own bubble blowing mixture by mixing half a cup of dish-washing liquid, five cups of water (distilled is best) and two tablespoons of glycerine. Pour into storage containers and leave overnight to blend. Loop some wire (garden wire is perfectly fine) into home-made bubble wands. Pipe cleaners work too, but can get soggy.
- Release your child’s inner hippy
Tie-dying is fun and can give old clothes a new lease on life. It’s also a great way to keep kids entertained. Gather up, fold and tie a T-shirt, or other item of clothing with rubber bands or string and leave to soak in fabric dye. Kids will love the fact that they have “created” their own clothes, plus the entertainment value once the new item is revealed in all its glory is pretty high.
- Go camping
If the idea of exchanging your comfortable bed for a sleeping bag on the ground leaves you in a cold sweat, why not just leave the camping to the kids? Gather lots of old blankets, sheets and pillows and let them build a tent or fort outside in the garden. Pack them a fun, nutritious picnic and they are guaranteed to be outside for most of the day.
- Scavenger hunt
Hide a few odd and interesting items around the house and garden. Write down clues to help them find the items. If they find all the items, they win a prize! Keep children’s ages and abilities in mind when writing clues and hiding items.
- Put on a play
Help your kids think of a few ideas for a play (acting out a favourite story is always popular) and let them discover their thespian side. Provide clothes for dressing up in and a few props and let the fun begin!
- Fun and games
Don’t underestimate the entertainment value of good old-fashioned card and board games. Teach your kids the card games that you loved as a child, or get the whole family involved in one of the many fun board games around.
- A learning experience
Spending a rainy day in one of South Africa’s many fascinating museums and science centres will not only entertain kids, but will no doubt be a valuable learning experience as well. Some of the best include the South African National Museum of Military History in Johannesburg, McGregor Museum in Kimberley, the National Museum in Bloemfontein, the Two Oceans Aquarium and Cape Town Science Centre in Cape Town.
- A puzzling experience
Puzzles are a great way to keep children entertained. There are a huge range of puzzles to choose from; from the traditional picture puzzles, to word puzzles, math puzzles and crossword puzzles. Apart from the fun factor, it will also be a great brain workout.
- Catch a movie
A funny movie with a big bowl of popcorn will always score high on the entertainment chart. Let your children bring a friend and maybe give another mom a break and a little time for herself.