The summer holidays are fast approaching! While you may be starting to make plans for your Christmas and New Years’ Eve celebrations, there’s something else you need to keep in mind – the kids will be off school for up to six weeks!
The long holidays give school kids a well-earned break from their studies during some of the warmest weeks of the year. However, that much free time can also put kids at risk of getting… bored. Dun dun dun! While there are many businesses that offer kids entertainment, they’re usually pretty pricey. To help you keep the kids busy these school holidays without burning a hole through your wallet, we’ve rustled up some ideas some good, wholesome fun.
It’s inevitable that kids are going to want to have some screen time on their holidays. Streaming sites like YouTube call kids to its brightly-coloured videos like moths to the flame. If your little ones are obsessed with popular kids content creators like Troom Troom and Family Fun Pack, you can at least get them practicing their reading skills. Rivet is a free children’s reading app available for download for Apple and Android devices. In addition to thousands of free children’s books, the Rivet team also partners with popular kids content creators to adapt their videos into books. It’s great reading practice for kids in kindergarten through to Year 2, although the app aims to expand to higher reading levels in the future.
Have you heard about Geocaching? It’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt just waiting to happen! There are thousands of geocaches waiting to be found in parks, bush trails and other public places all around Australia. All you need to do is grab the official Geocaching.com app for Apple or Android devices, pick a spot, pack some supplies and set out on your adventure. Once you get to the GPS location, physically finding the geocaches is a fun challenge and they often contain small toys to trade and a logbook to record your find. You can find out more about the hobby in our blog article, but if you’re heading out in the summer months, be sure to take plenty of water and slip, slop, slap, seek ‘n’ slide!
These days, the average household has multiple devices that are capable of recording high quality videos, so why not give it a go? The full process of making up a video timeline, practicing its execution, recording and editing can take hours, if not days. If the kids aren’t keen to star in their own production, chances are that they have plenty of toys who can play the part. Kids who are a little older may even want to try their hand at stop motion animation with the help of a free app like Stop Motion Studio for Apple and Android devices. Who knows? Come January, your kids could be ready to put on their own mini film festival.
Ask any eight year old and they’ll agree: slime is the best part of chemistry. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, making slime is an extremely popular DIY project and both slime kits and ingredients are readily available at shops like Target. The appeal comes from the ability to customise slime by adding colouring, glitter or even beads to give a slime a satisfying crunch. You can even add black iron oxide to make magnetic slime like the picture above. If you’re a bit standoffish about ingredients such as Borax or PVA glue, check out this guide to make DIY slime without glue or Borax from Karina Garcia on YouTube.
Okay, not really – but if you have kids with energy to burn, then why not help them make their very own foam-covered katana? You can find pretty much everything you need to follow this Instructables guide at Bunnings or another local hardware store. Not only is it safer than playing ninjas or samurai with a stick ripped off a tree or something else sharp and pointy, but kids can also decorate the sword handle to add their own personal touch. The design can be adapted to a broadsword if you kids prefer to play knights. Just make sure they know the code of chivalry and set some ground rules before you unleash them for their epic mock battle. This guide from RaisingChildren.net.au can help you recognise the difference between rough play and genuine fighting.
Do you have any plans for family time these holidays? Share them with us in the comments.