With the long holidays finally here, parents and guardians are at a loss on how to keep their children occupied for the next two months.
Besides the expenses that comes with having your children around, finding fun and engaging activities for them is an entire task on its own.
The first few weeks with your children might be easy and exciting as you want to catch up with all you have missed throughout the year. However, as the weeks roll by, work and other commitments may start limiting the amount of time you have for your children, leaving them with nothing to do.
Here are a few pointers on some fun activities that you and your children can do this end of year holiday.
1. Go swimming
The December holiday has very good weather as almost every day is sunny. There is no better way to take advantage of the warm weather than going for swimming. If you are fortunate enough to live near a swimming pool or a lake or the ocean, take a day or two during the week where your children can go have fun at the pool. Most swimming pool areas are not too expensive ranging fromSh200 to Sh300 per child.
2. Teach them a home skill.
The long holidays presents an excellent opportunity for you to teach your children skills such as cooking, baking or gardening. Plan at least once a week to have a cooking or baking day, where your children can pick out the recipes. Depending on their age, let them be involved as much as possible from the cutting of ingredients to the actual cooking.
For gardening, let them help you in digging, pruning and planting. This will give them responsibility skills throughout the holiday as they will need to remember to constantly water and weed out the garden.
3. Register for vacation or mentorship workshops.
With the long holidays, it is important to ensure that your children are also involved in activities that build them spiritually, emotionally and mentally. These vacation programmes that usually last between one to two weeks are common in churches during school holidays where children between the ages of three and 18 are taught spiritual and life skills through songs, hands-on activities, games and crafts.
4. Have them learn a new skill.
Two months is an adequate amount of time for your children to learn a new skill or hobby. These skills could include dance lessons, ballet, swimming, football, painting, art and craft, acting, tennis, rugby or any other sport. As they have been busy with academic work all year, a change to a new skill will be a delight for them.
5. Visit the library or have a storybook reading session.
Although holidays are meant for fun, it is also important to keep your children sharp for the next academic term. This can be achieved by having study or reading sessions either at the library or at home. You can ask them of the new words or concepts they learnt while reading. This reading culture is very effective while trying to avoid too much screen-time on the holidays.
6. Create new games for indoors.
It is very possible to have fun indoors during the holidays and it does not relate to cartoon shows and movies. You can engage in board games such as snakes and ladders, pictionary, monopoly, chess, cards and scrabble, among others. You can also customise these games to your liking.
7. Give them chores to do.
Holidays are good opportunities for children to learn how to be responsible and there is no better way to learn than through chores. They do not have to be heavy tasks but what they can manage such as cleaning up their room, washing the dishes, sweeping the floors, and washing the car, among others.
8. Engage in outdoor activities.
As parents and guardians are often busy with work and other engagements, children are often left to keep themselves busy with cartoon shows. However, it is very important for children to be involved in outdoor activities that will keep them active throughout the day. Apart from playing with their friends outside, you can take your children biking at places such as Karura Forest or ice skating. For less expensive activities, you can create outdoor activities such as a scavenger hunt, hide and seek, a football match or water balloon games.
9. Go camping and for picnics.
This is also another exciting and an unforgettable outdoor activity that you can do with your children. There are several camping sites in Kenya, in towns such as Naivasha, Nanyuki, Nyahururu and Nakuru. For those living in Nairobi, Karura and Ngong Road forests also present a perfect site for family-friendly picnics.
10. Go to the cinema for a movie.
December holidays are full of exciting and family-friendly movies that you and your children can indulge in. Take a day or weekend off and treat your children with a great movie at the cinemas.
11. Visit upcountry or other relatives.
This has been a culture for many families especially during the December holidays. A visit to grandparents in the village or cousins in other towns can serve as a welcoming change of scenery as well as a learning opportunity for your children. During this visit, children can learn how things in the village or other towns are different from the city life they are used to.
12. Travel, if possible.
The long December holiday is the perfect time for your family to travel together. It could be a trip to the coast or a national park. It could also be outside the country. Depending on how much you can afford, take that short or long family holiday trip.
With those tips in mind, your long holiday is all set to go. Enjoy!