The Easter school holidays are coming up and while most people will be planning their getaways and Easter Sunday lunches, parents around the country will be breaking out in a cold sweat, thinking: “What am I going to do with the kids?”
To save yourself the exhaustion of racking your brain on how to keep your children occupied for 13 days, we’ve got some suggestions for every day of the holidays to stop them from saying those two dreaded words.
1. Visit your library
Most libraries around the country have holiday programmes from artwork to reading corners. It doesn’t cost a cent and it’s a fun way of piquing their interest on other reading materials besides their school setwork books.
2. Sand art
Have a budding artist on your hands? Sand art can keep them occupied for hours on end and unleashes their creative side. Start them off on a kit for beginners which can be purchased online from R50 on loot.co.za or at your local stationary store.
3. Let’s cook
Get them into the kitchen and start them off by baking cookies from a basic biscuit recipe. Food and drinks writer Megan Baadjies suggests mini pizzas for dinner: “This way they can choose their own toppings and go wild.”
4. Play with food
It may sound like a nightmare for parents of younger children, but it’s so much messy fun. And the best part is that you can make your own play dough, so no need to worry about poisonous toxins in case little Tommy swallows some by mistake. Visit kidsactivitiesblog.com/53932/edible-playdough-recipes for some recipe ideas.
5. Park life
A recent study published in the Australian Journal of Environmental Education showed that allowing your children to play in the open helps them develop a deep love for nature. We’re blessed with balmy weather this time of the year, so take advantage of it and take them to the park. Take along a ball and introduce them to a new game, or even make one up.
6. Green fingers
Looking to add some new blooms to the garden? Get them involved under the guise of growing their own garden patch. Your local nursery should stock easy-to-use gardening kits. Once they notice little sprouts shooting up, they’ll be as proud as punch of their project.
7. Fly a kite
If it’s a blustery day, take advantage of the wind and seek out a wide, open outdoor area. The internet is filled with great ideas on DIY kites – that’s the fun part. Keeping it in the air is the hard part.
8. Pavement art show
Chalk is not only good for chalkboards. Use the pavement outside your home and host a pavement art show for the kids. Get the neighbourhood kids involved and get them to draw their Picasso-inspired pieces. Oh, and don’t forget to wash the pavement after taking pictures for memory’s sake.
9. Make mud pies
There’s nothing more satisfying than the feeling of wet soil between your fingers. Check your kitchen cupboards for discarded containers and set out a designated area in the garden for them to go wild.
10. Pick some fruit
Working fruit farms are in abundance in South Africa. Find out where the closest one is and make a day trip of it. The kids will love the fact that they got to pick their own afternoon snacks.
11. On your bike!
This is an activity the family can enjoy. Dust off those bicycles and explore your city like a tourist. Your kids will appreciate seeing their city from a new point of view instead of from the car window.
12. Photo shoot
Kids find joy in the smallest of things, from spotting a rainbow to dancing in water puddles. Encourage them to document their escapades by placing them behind the camera and letting them click away.
13. Visit the museum
Expose them to South Africa’s rich cultural history by taking them to the museum, where entrance is free at most establishments.
The Greytown Museum in KwaZulu-Natal is considered to be one of the finest small museums in the country and boasts a number of exhibits that will appeal to young and old. Visit: the website.