10 Best School Holiday Activities to Keep Your Kids Entertained at Home
Every school holiday, Singaporean parents are left scratching their heads, wondering how to keep their kids occupied while staying at home. If you’re one of them, good thing is we’ve come up with a list of activities that will not only keep your kids entertained, but also allow them to learn new skills as well.
1. Learn a new, kid-friendly recipe
Plenty of kids love helping out in the kitchen. It feeds their love for exploration and gives them a sense of accomplishment, knowing that they had a part to play in whipping up a delicious meal. Aside from entertaining them, this is a good life skill for them to develop. There are several easy recipes available online that won’t require them to handle anything too sharp or too hot. Who knows, you might have a future chef or baker in the making!
2. Try to finish a new book every week
You’re a lucky parent if your child already loves to read. Several studies have shown the importance of reading to kids, even at a young age. Considering how much time you’ll likely spend at home these days, it’s a great chance to encourage this habit. Set a goal for your child to finish at least one new book every week during the holidays.
If your child hasn’t yet developed a habit of reading books, then consider enforcing reading blocks. Fifteen to twenty minutes of reading time per day is a good start. Depending on the age of your child and reading proficiency, you can structure these reading blocks in a few ways:
- You can read to your children
- Your children can read aloud to you (if they’re able to)
- Silent reading time for the whole family
If you have older kids, you can task them with giving you a brief summary of the book they’ve read and what they’ve learnt. This way, they’ll be able to develop their reading habits and improve their comprehension skills while bonding with you.
3. Play board games with the whole family
Board games are a great way to bond with the family, especially if you have older kids. It’s an excellent alternative to allowing your kids to lock themselves in their rooms with their gadgets. You’ll be surprised to know that several board games offer kids a number of benefits:
- Opportunities for early learning – Board games can teach young kids to identify colours, count spaces, and develop hand-eye coordination. It’s also a great way to teach them the value of patience by waiting for their turn — traits that will serve them well into their adulthood. Educational board games such as Scrabble for Kids and Zingo are also good choices for parents who want their kids to learn new words.
- Stimulates the brain – Strategy games encourage healthy brain development in young kids and teens. They help to improve critical thinking abilities, reading comprehension, and cognitive skills.
- Teaches valuable lessons – You might not have noticed, but board games have a way of teaching us important lessons like how your luck can change at any minute or how it’s okay to lose sometimes. They can also teach kids to be gracious when it comes to winning or losing and help them to understand that things will not always go their way.
Teaches children to focus – Certain board games take a while to finish and when played uninterrupted, these can help lengthen a child’s attention span. However, parents and older siblings should also lead by example by focusing on the game and avoid checking their phones or doing other activities during the game.
4. Upcycle materials for arts & crafts
Nurture your child’s creativity by introducing them to some arts and crafts activities during the school holidays.
Aside from going out to buy materials, you can challenge your kids to use whatever is available at home. Empty water bottles, tissues boxes, paper plates, paper cups, and old crayons can be put to good use and test your kid’s level of imagination are some materials you can work with.
Work with your child to upcycle these and turn them into something fun! Furthermore, upcycling these materials is a good opportunity to teach your children about the three R’s for the environment: reduce, reuse, and recycle.
5. Start a reward system for doing house chores
With the entire family home for the holidays, there’s twice as much to do around the house. One good way to keep the kids occupied during the school holidays is to have them help with household chores.
One good way to help young kids ease into the habit of doing chores is to set up a reward system. This will get them to look forward to chipping in around the house. The rewards can be anything from getting to choose what to have for dinner, getting to choose a movie to watch, or an extra helping of dessert after dinner!
6. Have a themed movie marathon
Have you ever spent the first 30 minutes of movie night just scrolling through Netflix unable to decide which movie to watch? Yes, we’ve all been there! You can avoid this problem by setting a theme for every movie marathon or better yet, getting your kids to choose one. If you want to take it up a notch, get the family together to prepare snacks to match the movie marathon theme! Here are a few theme suggestions:
- Jungle Theme: Tarzan, Jungle Book, The Lion King
- Sea Theme: Finding Nemo, The Little Mermaid, Moana
- Monster Theme: Monsters, Inc., Monsters vs. Aliens, Hotel Transylvania
If your child has a knack for arts and crafts, you can help to nurture their interest during the holidays by encouraging to them to create a scrapbook of family photos! Scrapbooking is a great way to store memorable photos as opposed to just keeping them in a plain photo album. If you don’t already have a scrapbook at home, your child can make one from scratch using some brightly coloured construction paper! You can bind them together by punching a hole on one corner of the construction paper and then loop a loose-leaf ring through them. Scrapbooking will help you and your kids bond as you look back on all the memories you’ve made together!
8. Try out some cool science experiments at home
If you want to do something fun and educational, then try doing a few science experiments with your kids at home. These experiments ensure that kids continue to learn something new and keep their minds active even while on holiday. Consider letting your child pick the science experiment or you can pick one together if you have a younger child. Try creating gooey slime, making your own lava lamp or creating a solar oven!
9. Shoot a short movie/role-playing
If it feels like you’ve watched every kids’ show that’s available on Netflix, maybe it’s time to consider creating your family’s very own show with your kids! Shooting a short movie will definitely get your kids excited and unearth their creativity and imagination in no time. In fact, several studies reveal that role-playing can positively impact a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. One idea is to re-enact a scene from your kid’s favourite book! You can even help your kid make up the story and you can act it out together.
10. Set up an indoor scavenger hunt
Having a scavenger hunt at home is another great boredom buster for kids. What’s great about indoor scavenger hunts is that they’re inexpensive, easy, and can be done with things you already have at home. However, instead of just picking out random things at home, you can add an interesting twist to your scavenger hunt.
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