Written by Allen Brown.
It can be a very demanding time when the children are at home, especially during the holidays. This is because they’re used to being constantly stimulated and entertained at school. On the first day off, they may be happy to just rest and relax – but as the days go on they will be in greater need of engaging activities.
It’s not easy for parents who have other things to do, or who need a break from the children. Things get worse if both the kids and the adults run out of ideas. The good news is that things can be turned around very quickly. Before you know it the kids can be occupied, and laughter can return to the home. Are you interested? Read on.
Fun With Arts And Crafts
All you need is some basic equipment, a table and a willingness for the kids to make a mess. The children might enjoy a visit to an arts and crafts shop first, to get some resources. Buy some large sheets of coloured cards and some paints. Make sure you have several pairs of scissors, too.
You may have a child who is interested in learning embroidery or crochet. Fortunately, there are online resources you can access. Anyone who has visited the craft site at www.makersnook.com/ will know that people are keen to learn about different types of yarn or crochet books for beginners. People also want to discover quilting tips, and to read reviews of sewing machines.
Some other areas to research online would be making greetings cards, Christmas decorations and modelling clay.
Why not tell your children that at the end of the day, you want to watch them perform a show or pantomime? They’ll excitedly go off and create some ideas. Once they know what they’re doing, you could take them to a charity shop to get some cheap clothes and accessories. There may also be some things around the house that you won’t mind them using.
You may have some great quality time with them later, watching their show. Be prepared for it to overrun, and encourage them if they struggle.
If the children need a different suggestion, they may prefer a fashion or magic show, or a comedy night.
Let Them Create An Indoor Camp
The children may be able to make their fort or magic castle, using sofa cushions and blankets. Be prepared for them to take over the whole room for a few hours.
To show your approval and involvement, you could bring them some snacks and drinks to hideaway. You could also make suggestions on the design, and help them choose the toys they’ll include.
Have A Family Quiz time
The children may want to come up with some questions of their own. Having said that, you may need to spend time creating others. There are lots of helpful free websites that give questions and answers for quizzes. They can cover lots of different subjects, too.
If the whole family is going to be involved, you’ll need to vary the levels of difficulty. For the children, you could ask questions about some of their favourite film and television characters.
You could also have some funny questions. Have ones like, ‘In this family, who often says…’ or ‘who is always the last person to…’ It can make people laugh, but also be a light-hearted celebration of the family unit. As a final note, don’t forget to let them win!
Words And Action Games
There could be such fun activities as saying, ‘Okay Graham, you have three minutes to talk on the subject of..’ You’d need to come up with some relevant ideas beforehand. Give them points for both content, and they’re not running out of words before the time is up.
Alternatively, play such games as charades. Kids love to act things out, and they also enjoy parental attention.
Write A Letter To A Loved One
Perhaps you have an elderly relative who lives alone and doesn’t get many visitors. You could all sit down and write little letters to the person. Perhaps the kids could make a special card or enclose a painting or drawing. Not only would it keep the children busy, but it would delight the recipient.
These have been just a few suggestions. Some will involve your time and involvement more than others. At the end of the day the children will have spent many happy hours together, and both the parents and others may reap the benefits too.