It will be Easter before we know which either means a long weekend or up to two weeks of holidays for some children. While we want there to be plenty of time for relaxing, sleep in and screen time it’s also good to have some quick and easy ideas up your sleeve to keep the kids entertained. These activities for kids will work if you’re spending the holidays at home or going away. You can also try them on a quiet weekend when the kids are getting restless!
Ideas for at home:
Exercise your name
Materials: Paper and pen, space.
What to do: This is a great way for your child to become familiar with the letters in their name and get some fun activity in. Assign an exercise for each letter of the alphabet; A – stand on 1 foot, B – turn around, C – run across the room, etc. Mix up the exercises depending on the age and developmental level of your children. This would be a great outdoor activity for older children with more challenging exercises. Then spell out the names of family members using the exercises!
Visit the movies at home!
Materials: Snacks, paper, markers, movie.
What to do: Make your own movie theatre! Let you children create tickets, paper money and set up a snack bar. Take it in turns to be the sales assistant and then watch a family movie together. Play is how children learn so it’s great if we can give them the opportunities to practice their literacy and numeracy skills during play.
The Great Australian Bake Off
Materials: Ingredients to make vanilla cupcakes, cupcake icing and any cupcake toppings such as sprinkles, lollies and chocolate.
What to do: Bake your cupcakes together and then each family member gets to do their own decorating! When you finish, for a bit of extra fun you could share on social media and ask friends and family to vote for the winner. Then take them to someone’s house to share.
Cooking is a great family activity and helps children to develop many life skills.
Materials: Your wardrobe
What to do: Unleash your children in your wardrobe and see what happens! (you may want to hide your favourite outfit). Kids love dressing up and being like their parents, putting on a fashion show is a great laugh and makes wonderful memories. Pump some music and let them dance down the hallway or across the lounge room. Maybe one child could be the photographer?
Materials: Pen, markers, and stamps.
What to do: Children crave purpose, so get them writing letters, stories or birthday cards for friends and family who live far away. For younger children you can scribe their stories and they can add pictures.
Picasso and DaVinci
Materials: Canvas from the bargain shops and paints. (Food colouring and water work just as well).
What to do: Get arty for a day and let your child become a painter! You could all paint the same scene, work together on a group picture or let your child go wherever the inspiration takes them.
Ideas for Out and About
Mystery adventures #1
Materials: Car and packed picnic.
What to do: Go and visit somewhere you haven’t been before! This might be a new park, swimming location or something to do. Check out google for recommendations of what to do in your surrounding suburbs and make a plan to meet friends for some added fun.
Mystery adventures #2
Materials: Car and packed picnic.
What do do: Go on a real adventure – let your children choose which turns you take and see where you end up! Decide how long you will drive for, set a timer, when the time is up pull over and google the closest park (or fast food restaurant!) and go for a visit. This is a great way to discover some of the smaller playgrounds around you and lots of fun for the kids as they get to be in charge.
Materials: A list of parks in the area. Pens and paper.
What to do: Spend some time visiting and rating your local parks (or adventure further away!). You can make lists of the parks facilities and compare pros and cons. You could even get your children using technology in a productive way by contributing google reviews and photos of the parks!
Treasure hunt out and about
What you need: Pens and paper
What to do: As a group write a list of things which can be found in your local community; a red car, a tree with purple flowers, someone pushing a pram. Then go out for a walk and see what you can find!
Materials: Tent and marshmallows
What to do: Set up camp in the backyard and see if you can stay outside for 24hours! Play games, read books, eat and sleep. You’ll feel like you’ve had a get away without ever leaving your property.
Making memories and traditions with your children builds strong family relationships, I hope these simple activities for kids will help you have some good times.