Great ideas for having fun, and staying sane, over the holidays!
By Kylie Dawson
The Easter holidays are almost here! You may have just a few extra days at home, or a couple of weeks. We’ve got some great ideas for school holiday fun, whatever the ages of your children.
No matter what you have, whether it is a pool, a small clam-shell pool, a bath tub, or a large tub that you fill with water, children will find so many ways to play with water. Provide them with sponges, cups, bottles, containers, strainers, whisks and wooden spoons and they will explore and play for hours. But no matter their age, ensure they are always supervised (remember older children are not suitable supervisors for younger children).
Playdough or Clay
Have a supply of playdough or soft sculping clay on hand, especially for rainy days. You could buy some specific playdough/clay toys or you could raid the op shops for cheap cutlery and baking tools. If you don’t feel like leaving the house just let the kids sift through your kitchen drawers and know that the playdough or clay will wash off in a sink of warm, soapy water.
The best playdough recipe is the one on the McKenzie’s cream of tartar container. Instead of cooking it I use boiling water to bring the dough together and then knead until it’s smooth (always take care with children and boiling water!).
Let their creativity shine with painting! Have a range of different painting tools, from brushes to sticks, leaves to feathers, available to choose from and let yourself get creative too. Keep yoghurt tubs for water pots, the yoghurt tub lid for paint mixing, and set up under the shade of a cool tree so it doesn’t matter if water or paint gets spilt. Choose water based, non-toxic paints for easy cleaning and stress free painting fun!
Obstacle courses are great fun, and I am sure will be very popular after the new Bluey episode. They can be set up inside on those rainy days, out in the backyard or at a park. You can ask your child to make and draw a plan of their obstacle course before they set it up.
There is lots of fun to be had with seeing what happens when you mix cleaning vinegar and bi-carb! If you want some more excitement add a little paint, food colouring, or juicy berries.
I also suggest checking out what activities are on offer at your local library, museum, or art gallery. These places will often have a wonderfully diverse school holiday calendar, and many of the events are free.
Having your children help you establish a “chill-out zone” is also a great idea. Allocate an area of the house where they, and you, can retreat to after lunch in the hotter part of the day and fill it with cushions, books, puzzles and soft lamps. Including a torch can make for fun times when you switch off the lights. You could even get your children to help you make your own lava lamp by putting vegetable oil in a small bottle and adding food colouring and glitter!
And my last tip is to accept that play is messy, and dedicate an area of the house, or outdoors, to be the ‘play zone’. Ask your children to help you choose and set this area up and get them to mark out the boundaries with pot plants, shells, or teddies. Let them know this is their special place to create, play and get messy and enjoy some school holiday fun!
If you need more ideas check out our previous blog – https://ardenearlylearning.com.au/news/holidays/