If your child has a keen interest in programming, enrolling them in a coding class could secure their future in IT. Picture: Wikimedia Commons

Children are a fickle bunch with short attention spans. Bad news for parents who anxiously work behind the scenes to keep their little ones occupied.

With the September school holidays less than two weeks long, it gives parents ample enough time to plan for the next big hurdle - the December school break.

Basic coding skills

Thanks to video games such as Minecraft and CodeMonkey, coding has become more mainstream and accessible. Kids as young as six are even learning basic coding skills.

Qberty Skills Academy have now launched a learning opportunity through the Minecraft and Lego Education Edition. The Coders and Innovators Hub at Northriding and Northlands Corner Shopping Centre in Randburg is open to all children with the main target market being public school learners. Children learn how to code, create apps, create website and build robotics.

Classes cost R750 for the Holiday Camp for the entire week. For further information, contact 010 023 0417

Learn to swim

It is important for children to be introduced to the aquatic environment from a young age, advises Joanne Vreenegoor from MySwim in Randburg. She believes that children should be water aware from six months old.

If you’re planning on going on holiday in December, these next few weeks provide opportune time to teach them basic swimming skills.

“Fear is a very real emotion and needs to be respected,” said Vreenegoor. Being given the skills and opportunity to explore the environment safely under the guidance of a parent or instructor will assist in alleviating their fears.

So find a swimming school close to you and get them in the water asap.

Teaching your child to swim will give you peace of mind. Picture: jba.af.mil

K53 or burst

If your teen is reaching that important milestone of passing out their driver’s test, they’re probably chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of a car. But sometimes nerves and a lack of confidence can be the deciding factor between passing and failing. 

Use this time to enlist the help of a qualified driving instructor to teach them the basic rules of the road.

Get crafty

With a few pipe cleaners and a little paint, the sections of an egg box could transform into a dinosaur, a lady bug or a bee. All you have to do is use your imagination.

Glow stick lanterns make for fun night lights.

What you’ll need:

  • Dry, clear containers
  • Glow sticks
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Disposable gloves (optional, but recommended)


Activate a glow stick by snapping it. This breaks the glass container inside the stick, allowing the chemiluminescent compounds to mix and emit light.

Use scissors to snip open the stick. It’s easiest if you snip the middle of the stick rather than an end.

Put the open end inside the clear container and wave the stick around to splatter the inside with colour and light. If you don’t want the glass from the glow stick inside your container, you can capture it by covering the cut end with a bit of screening or shaking the liquid out through a kitchen strainer (which must be washed in soapy water afterward). 

It’s best to use only one color of glow stick per jar, since some colours don’t mix well. If you like, you can sprinkle some glitter around for extra sparkle.

You can extend the length of the glow by keeping the lanterns cool. You can increase the brightness by shining a black light (ultraviolet lamp) on the lanterns.

Source: sciencenotes.org