Without the routine of going to school, children have a lot of hours to fill during school holidays. The parents have the task of keeping them active, stimulated and entertained.
Weather permitting, parents are able to plan outings for the family. However, inclement weather poses its own challenges. Although with the vast array of indoor games commercially available, this does not seem a difficult job. Games are not cheap and not all parents can afford a collection of games to cater to all ages.
Movie Afternoons or Nights
Depending on the ages of the children, parents can ask them to invite some friends over for a “movie marathon”. Rent two or three DVDs and provide simple “movie snacks” like popcorn. This will keep them entertained and occupied for a number of hours.
Use the movies as precursor to a Quiz session. Involve the children in a Q&A contest based on the movies that they have watched.
Dress-up and Theater Days
This is especially suitable for girls. Little girls love to dress up in adult clothes. Sort out some old clothes, costume jewelry, and other knick knacks and let the girls “dress up” and play act. It is also possible to get cheap fancy clothing from a secondhand shop. If the children are old enough they can even be given some make-up to enhance their characters.
This can be taken a step further by asking the children to practice a dance or play that they can perform for the adults at a given day and time. To make it more exciting for the children, they can be asked to send out invitations to grandparents, aunts and uncles.
The process of designing and producing the invitations itself can be another activity that keeps the children occupied.
“Who Wants to be a Millionaire?”
Draw up some simple questions and conduct a Quiz Show with a prize for the winner. To make it more interesting, the children can be given a couple of books to read and the questions based around the books. This activity can be educational as well as entertaining.
However, if the parents do not want to spend the time preparing the questions, there are website that provide prepared questions on various subjects ranging frrom general trivia to more focused subjects such as space missions.
Involve the children in helping with the preparation of meals. They can plan the menu, help shop for the ingredients and also do some of the simple cooking. This will not only keep the children occupied it will also encourage them to think about what they eat and what is good for them.
If the children are old enough this activity can be extended to include discussions on food such as what food group a particular item belongs to, what are the benefits from that food group and how many different ways are there to cook a particular meat or vegetable.
The scope and variety of activities that the children can be involved in is only limited by the parents’ imagination and creativity. Planning for and being involved in different activities with the children can be a very rewarding experience for the parents.
When the children have to stay indoors for lengthy periods of time there are more interesting activities that parents can arrange and co-ordinate than letting the children watch TV or play electronic games for long hours.