School holidays are nearly here again!
Soon you will get questions from your little kids, or maybe not so little kids, about what to do and where you will take them. You’ll wonder what will keep them all busy and entertained over the break?
If you’re like me, you’ll have different ages to cater for.
This can get tricky as the younger kid really wants to be involved with the older kids – and sometimes that’s not possible.
One big reason for this is the younger child seems to ruin the big kid’s Lego projects and not really want to do all the things that the bigger kids wish to do all the time.
This means that at some point the younger kid gets angry and upset, and then the older kids want to go and play with their mates that are more their age.
Once the bigger kids leave, the younger child gets so upset due to the fact that he wanted to play with his big sisters and doesn’t understand that they need their time with their friends too.
Ideas to keep kids busy during the Easter School Holidays are:
Playdough – I like to make my own playdough. I know that if the kids do decide to eat it, although salty, it’s not going to kill them. The only downside of eating this home-made playdough is that kids might need more water.
I use the McKenzie’s Playdough recipe. The addition of McKenzie’s Cream of Tartar makes it so soft to use.
I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do too.
You can add more things to the playdough mix too, such as vanilla essence to make it smell nice, glitter (you might have to be careful with this if your kids eat everything), sticks/leaves/buttons and anything else to decorate the creations that are made with playdough.
If you wish, you can bake the playdough or leave it out to dry. Once the kid’s artistic creations are dry they can be displayed on the top of the bookcase, side table, or even in the kid’s room.
Create a book of what you get up to on your holidays – This is a great way to get the older kids to practice their writing, spelling, sentence creation and grammar. It is also a good way to document what you get up to and you are then able to show their wonderful efforts to their teacher when they go back to school.
Walks – Take a walk around your neighbourhood. Visit new places and have new adventures.
Pramwalks.com.au is a website that allows you to search for pram friendly walks around Australia. Even if you don’t have a pram, a more accessible walk will help toddlers and kids to have an easy walk, and parents will have less stress too. Check out their site to find a great easy walk to do today.
Picnics in the backyard – This is a fun activity that is cheap and easy to do. I like to put a picnic blanket on the grass with the kid’s teddies and have food set up ready to eat. Sandwiches, fruit, cheese and Jatz crackers are some of the things we love to serve when we picnic in our own garden. After lunch, you can give the kids an icy pole or ice cream if you wish.
Parks – Some parks have great obstacle courses, play equipment, and activities for kids. If you don’t know where to take the kids there is a Playground Finder for all of Australia. Just put in where you are and find a playground near you.
This is the twins at The Adventure Park in Bathurst.
In the sandpit, you can discover dinosaur bones.
One great park near us is The Adventure Park at Bathurst. They have big dinosaur eggs, statues of crocodiles, and dinosaur footprints. In the sandpit, you can be an archaeologist and uncover dinosaur bones. The park has amazing swings, slippery dips, a maze, and even a flying fox.
Indoor Play Centres – As the weather is getting cooler you might find that there are days when the kids can’t venture outside. Indoor play centres are a perfect alternative to being outside. Your kids can run amok, climb, go crazy, and all while you are keeping warm and hopefully having a soothing coffee while the kids let off some much-needed steam.
Play centres are not all the same. Some focus on trampolining, or jumping castles, or climbing equipment. Make sure to check out what is available near you.
Movies at home and at the cinema – I love to have days at home where everyone stays in their PJ’s. This is made even more fun by putting blankets, pillows, and more in the living room to make a HUGE bed on the floor. I have a large collection of movies and we just have a nice day watching fun films and eating popcorn.
If you decide to not stay at home and have a PJ movie day, you can always take the kids to the cinema to see a film they are excited to see on the big screen.
Enjoying a movie at home
I’m very lucky that our childcare centre still runs during the school holidays and only closes during public holidays. I pick the days that my little boy is in care to take the twins to the movies. This way I can spend time with my girls and not worry about a screaming baby during the film.
Baking – Making cookies, cakes, and other fun things are always enjoyable. My kids love to bake a cake, decorate it, and have it for afternoon tea later.
Painting with homemade cornflour paint
Painting – You can get all sorts of paint now, and I find the best ones are those that can wash out of clothes. Kids do get paint everywhere, and if you don’t make sure to purchase paint that is easily wiped off floors, walls, and washed out of clothes, you will have a hard time keeping everything clean and tidy.
Before you purchase your paint, check to see if it can be easily washed off items. Crayola has some great paint that is washable and easy to clean up if they are spilt.
- 1 cup of Cornflour
- Water to make a paste
- Food dye to create as many colours as you wish
- Muffin container to put the paint in. I used the tin one, however, the silicon muffin trays are easy as the paint can come out more easily when you clean it up. Plus they are just the right size for each of the colours.
As you can see the colours of the homemade paint are bright and just like store bought paint.
- Mix the cornflour and water to create a paste. You might need more water or cornflour depending on how much you are making and the consistency of the paste.
- Due to wanting to create a lot of different colours I created the paste with no colour and add it into each area of the muffin tin.
- I then add different dye colours to the different areas to give the kids the following colours: yellow, purple, orange, blue, green, and red.
- Once done I put in the freezer to set the paint.
- To start painting just have the paint out of the freezer for a bit, and then add water to the paint and start painting.
- Once finished you can pop it back in the freezer and use it again when the kids wish to do more creative art.
The twins latest LEGO creation, a house with garage and car.
LEGO Fun – Create different worlds with all your sets of LEGO. My kids have a few sets that have all been combined. The girls love to build towers, buildings, planes, cars, and much more.
DUPLO for the little kids – If you have a little kid, DUPLO is a good idea and fun for them to build towers, animals, and anything in between. Creating different places that are from your little one’s imagination is a great way to play with your little person.
Alexander playing with DUPLO
Cardboard box fun – Creating robots from boxes is a fun activity. The arms can be the cardboard tubes from the kitchen towels or toilet paper cardboard tubes. Decorations can be bottle tops, buttons, paper from the newspaper or magazines. The kids can even draw on it and have different spots to turn on the robot and turn it off. It does not matter what they create as long as they have fun that is the main thing.
Autumn Suncatchers – Create autumn leaf suncatchers. If you pick vibrant colours they will look amazing in the window. Collect your leaves, stick them to transparent contact paper and cut out in the shape you want. Then stick to the window.
Sleepovers – Kids are so keen to have sleep overs with their friends and this is a good time for you to have a break over the holidays. Visiting family is also a good thing to do and if your family can look after all the kids then it is a nice few days rest for you.
Vacation Care – I have a fabulous vacation care centre that the twins go to. During the holidays the centre lists what activities they have planned – and some are amazing activities – like ice skating, cooking, craft, science experiments, dance, drama, and more. Some of these are excursions that you pay extra for and some are activities that are done at the vacation care centre. The vacation care I use is attached to the school, this means that the twins know some of the kids and it allows them to play with friends on holidays.
Picking days that the kids can do fun things that you might not be able to do is good. This gives the kids a break from home, allows them to do different things, they can play with other kids and see friends from school.
See how tiny Alexander looks next to this huge mammoth.
Libraries – Your local library has great holiday programs available. Stop in to see if they have a brochure of upcoming events or they could be listed on their website.
The twins at the Mammoths exhibit at The Australian Museum. Open until the 13th of May 2018.
Museums and Galleries have some great holiday programs too. All you need to do is to check online to see where, when, and how much it might cost. Some events might be free but it is worth checking to ensure that you have booked and paid if need be.
The above list is good for multiple ages and as a parent to twins who are nine, and a boy who is two, having things that everyone can do, or be adapted for different ages is a win for everyone.
I hope this gives you a few ideas to keep the kids happy, entertained, and busy during the school holidays.
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