So the holidays start next week and my kids are already looking forward to having time off school. But what activities can we do together? Or get them to do on their own?
Being a mother somehow gets me asking these questions. I want to do activities with my kids, but also I need a break now and then. I want the best of both worlds. 😅
So, I scoured the internet and asked a couple of people, and these are my favourite activities. Included are both activities the kids can do on their own, and activities they can do with mummy.
1. Make your own playdough
This is a great sensorial activity and it’ll keep the kids busy for hours. Check this recipe for colourful homemade playdough.
2. Give your kids some instruments or pots and pans and let them bang away!
This pretty much works for any age, as children just love making a racket! Just be sure to warn your neighbours before you let your kids loose! 🤣
3. Identify clouds
4. Give your kids bubble wrap, old clothes fabric, wrapping paper, scissors, and tape and let them create
The purpose of this activity is to spark creativity, so let your children create whatever they like with the materials they have! You may even be able to sneak away for a cup of tea and a book while you leave them at it! 🤣
5. Put them in the bath with some clean toys and lots of bubbles.
My seven-year-old still loves this! Water play is a great win-win because the kids have fun, and it’s very hands-off for you.
6. Tell them a story and ask them to draw it as you’re telling it.
We absolutely love stories here, so telling stories is second-nature to us. To give this activity a little twist, ask your kids to draw the story you make up! That’s what my middle daughter decided to do the other day when I was making up a story with the Noddy characters! 😃
7. Do a nature scavenger hunt
New to nature scavenger hunts? Basically, the kids go for a hunt to find things in nature: sticks, leaves, insects, flowers, water, you name it.
8. Give them your clothes and let them play dress-up.
This is a great indoor activity for younger kids, and it requires no extra materials! Just give your kids your clothes and accessories let them use their imagination!
9. Plan a family hike
This is a great activity for the whole family. You can combine this with a nature scavenger hunt, and a picnic to make it extra special.
10. Give them cleaning tools and ask them to clean their room
This may not be as fun for older kids, but younger children love imitating mummy and daddy by doing grown-up things! Try it out, they may just surprise you!
11. Create a fairy garden
I’ve never done this, but I’d love to try it with the kids one day. It’s so beautiful and creative! For full information read this.
12. Watch a drawing tutorial and follow it
Get your kids drawing! Period. Some people say free drawing is better than following tutorials, and others differ. Why not mix and match? A bit of both may make things interesting and balanced!
13. Let them watch instrument tutorials and practise at home
If your child is interested in music, there are loads of music lessons and instrument tutorials online. The world is your oyster.
14. Set up a Lego Corner
Lego is a crowd-pleaser! In our family, we all love it, so it’s a quick solution for when the kids don’t know what to play.
15. Get them to play card games
Card games are great for older kids. From snap, to UNO, to President, there’s sure to be some card game your kid loves!
16. Teach them to cook
A rainy day? Why not bake a cake? Teach your kids to measure ingredients while simultaneously practising some numbers!
17. Crafts project
Get your kids to do a crafts project by either following a tutorial or a ready-to-make project, such as a cardboard castle to cut, colour and assemble. For more resources check this.
17. Build a DIY tent or fort with chairs, blankets, pillows
My kids absolutely love this! Sometimes they’ll make a fort in the lounge using the sofa and some chairs and blankets. Other times, they’ll simply make one with blankets on their bunk beds.
18. Create a quiet time box
If your kids no longer have naps, and you need to get some work done in the day, try this! Simply get a box and fill it with books, toys, and activities, which will only be used during “quiet time”.
Then give this box to your kids, establish what time they can have it each day and how long for. You can even use an alarm clock or timer to help your children understand the concept.
19. Hunt for hidden treasures and play
You can do this in two ways. Either go around the house looking for any “treasures” the kids have never played with or haven’t played with in a long time. This works well when you rotate games and toys around the house.
If you don’t think you have anything extra games or toys that the kids would be interested in, get some from a local second-hand shop, or consider a toy and game swap with someone from your group of friends. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
20. Buy new coloring or activity books
If your kids are tired of the same-old activity books, try out different types. Nowadays, there are so many interesting colouring and activity books. Try out doodle, water paint, pattern colouring, until you find something they like.
21. Home cinema
This is an easy one! You just need a TV or screen, a good film and some snacks. To make it extra special, turn off the lights and close the curtains.
22. Go for a walk and play “I spy”
Do you know the “I spy” game? Play it outdoors with the kids and get them to choose “out of the box” objects to make it more challenging.
23. Visit a museum
Museums are great for learning about Art, History and Science. If getting to one is tricky, try a virtual museum tour. You can even do a virtual tour of the Louvre, if you fancy a little je ne sais quois.
24. Visit your local library and get some “new” books
We love books, so this is a great option for a rainy day. If you don’t have a local library, check to see if there is a “home delivery” library option.
25. Write a letter to a loved one
We did this during the first lockdown here in Portugal, and it was so much fun. This is especially interesting if you have kids who are learning to read and write. Your children can also “decorate” the letter with stickers, drawings, and signatures.
26. Play charades
My kids love playing this as it gives them a reason to be silly! 🤣 You can play with the kids, or if they’re older, get them to play on their own (after some instructions on your part!).
27. Play dance games
Dance games are very versatile, and you can make them up as you go along. Check these here for ideas.
My children like the statue game, where we stop the music at intervals, and they have to stop dancing and stand still. You can also take your dance games outdoors if you have a garden or a park nearby.
28. Set up a puppet theatre
Your puppet theatre doesn’t need to be complicated! You can use the back of a bed or sofa and get the children to “decorate” by adding props.
Then simply get them to choose their puppets, which can be dolls or soft toys, and you’re all set.
29. Make rainbow fruit pizza
This is a bit different from baking a cake, but also fun for the kids, especially because they’ll like the idea of making a rainbow. Full recipe and info here.
For more activity ideas check 36 summer activities for the family with a 3-day activity plan.
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