The school holidays are here, which means your child is about to have a lot of free time. To support parents and carers, we’ve compiled a list of offline activities to help keep your child curious and learning during this period.
Considering how much time we all spend in front of a screen these days, it’s important to keep that balanced with some offline activities. Here are a few ideas you can incorporate into your child's daily or weekly schedule:
- Board games: You can stick with the classics including Monopoly, Chess, Scabble and Jenga or explore new, online versions. Board games can help with developing your child's literacy and numeracy skills.
- Start a virtual book club: If your children like to read, they can start a book club with you or with their friends. This allows them to get together with their friends once a week to discuss the book they’re reading and recommend new books.
- Start a virtual film club: If your child is passionate about film, they can start their own film club with you or their friends. This allows them to get together with their friends once a week to talk about the same film they've watched and recommend new films.
- Have an indoor or garden picnic: And indoor or outdoor picnic in your garden or local park will help to break the monotony of the routine and just add some fun and whimsy to meal times.
- Learn a musical instrument: If you have a musical instrument in your home, you can help your child learn to play it. If you aren’t proficient in the instrument there are a variety of online tutorials that teach the basics of how to play musical instruments.
- Build a puzzle: This is an easy and simple way to keep little ones busy or even create an entire family activity.
- Teach your child or teen to cook: Getting your child or teen to cook a few basic meals during the holiday for themselves or the family is a great life skill. It'll also help them feel a sense of accomplishment once they’ve successfully created a meal by themselves.
- Teach your child or teen to bake: Getting your child or teen to bake a few basic desserts or baked goods during the holiday for themselves or the family is a great life skill. It'll also help them feel a sense of accomplishment once they’ve successfully created a meal by themselves.
- Go for a walk: Getting out of the house and doing exercise in a safe way once a day is recommended for good health. A few times a week, go for a walk with the immediate family, but be mindful of physical distancing.
- Make a blanket fort: An activity that never dates. By helping your child make a blanket fort you’ll provide them with hours of entertainment.
- Colouring: This is a great activity for you to do with your child, as colouring promotes mindfulness, focus and calm. It will help your child decompress and get creative at the same time. Get them to decorate their room with their colouring masterpieces.
- Homemade play-dough: You can make this with a variety of recipes online and it'll give your younger child hours of enjoyment. It also supports the development of your child's fine motor skills, teaching your younger child how to grip and pull.
- Reading: Reading is a calming, solitary activity that promotes mindfulness. It's a great activity, especially during stressful times and will help your family focus on learning, imagination and curiosity during uncertain periods.
- Origami: All this requires is square pieces of paper. There are numerous online tutorials that can teach you and your child how to create all sorts of interesting objects through paper folding.
- Start an art project: Suggest to your child to create a drawing, painting or craft something. This will help them to use their creative brain. You could also schedule time to work on the art project over multiple days.
- Have a 'spa' day: Have some relaxing and fun time with your children by organising a 'spa' day. This can be done in your home, and can include activities such as yoga, meditation, hand and back massages, to painting each others nails and facials.
- Stargazing: For those who can, spend some time every night having a look at the stars in the sky. Learn the constellations and the stories behind them, and learn about which planets can be seen in the night sky. There are also a variety of stargazing apps to help you with this.
The activities in this list are general suggestions. You will know what activities are best suited to your child and their interests.
Find some more recreational activities and ideas to try in our helpful guide.