By Danielle Barfoot, mom to a boisterous teen and freelancer who writes about parenting and education. She writes regularly for Impaq Education, a curriculum provider for home, tutor and school education.
Not sure what to do with the kids during the school holidays? Here is an A to Z of boredom busting fun activities for kids
A is for art: Making art is a fantastic opportunity for kids to get messy, be creative and have fun.
B is for baking: Baking is a great life skill and provides practical experience with reading, following directions and measuring.
C is for camping: Pitch a tent in your yard, pack some snacks, and let the kids enjoy a day in ‘the great outdoors’.
D is for dress up: Dress up play offers kids a chance to use their imagination, so allow them to transform into princesses, pirates, doctors or dragons.
E is for excitement: Go ziplining, wall-climbing, blow bubbles or visit a theme park for the day.
F is for forts: Who doesn’t love a blanket fort? Rip off the covers, grab some chairs and build a secret hideaway for the kids.
G is for geocaching: If you haven’t joined this global treasure hunt yet, now’s the time. You’ll find all the information you need online.
H is for hiking: Hiking is a great way to get your kids active and connected to the outdoors.
I is for inviting friends: Having a friend over is always fun! In addition to providing a playmate, it teaches kids about compromise and resolving conflict.
J is for jump rope: You’d be surprised how long this simple tool can keep kids occupied. An added bonus is that while kids ‘play’, skipping develops coordination, balance, posture and reflexes.
K is for knitting: Knitting is not just for little old ladies, it also holds many benefits for kids. It encourages focus and creativity, it teaches patience and working through challenges, and it reduces stress. (Yes, boys can knit too.)
L is for Lego: Playing with Lego offers hours of fun, and kids often don’t need any direction. In addition, it boosts creativity, helps develop lateral thinking and planning skills, and encourages mathematical thinking.
M is for movies: Line up a few movies, grab some popcorn, and get comfy on the couch for a marathon movie day. It’s the perfect way to spend a cold winter’s day.
N is for nothing: You don’t have to fill every day with structured activities. In fact, free play is vital as it allows kids to use their creativity, develop their imagination, interact with the world around them, and just be.
O is for obstacle course: Building an obstacle course is easy and fun and, depending on the weather, you can do it indoors or in the backyard. You’d be surprised what you can build from objects lying around the house.
P is for picnic: Pack a delicious picnic, grab a ball and frisbee, and head to the park for a fun afternoon.
Q is for quiet time: Quiet time is a chance for kids to relax and enjoy simple activities that require thinking and self-direction. It is a crucial part of growth and development.
R is for reading: With so many digital distractions, it can be tough to convince kids to read. But there is nothing quite like curling up with a good book on a cold day. If your kid is reluctant to read books, Impaq shares some clever alternatives here.
S is for science: Erupt a volcano, create a rocket balloon or grow sugar crystals. There are plenty of science experiments kids can do without turning your home into a disaster zone.
T is for tag: Let the kids run around outside and play. Games like tag requires no equipment and develops several important physical skills while engaging the brain in critical thinking. Impaq highlights the benefits on unstructured outdoor play here.
U is for UNO: Playing card or board games is an excellent way to spend time together. As a bonus, board games are rich in learning opportunities as they help kids master new skills and concepts.
V is for volunteering: Teach your kids the importance of volunteering by doing something good for others in need.
W is for writing: Writing letters is a lost art. Why not get your kids to write a letter to grandma, their favourite teacher, or even to Santa! They can also write messages with chalk on the verandah or anywhere else.
X is for xylophone: Let your kids craft musical instruments with items around the house, then put on a concert.
Y is for yoga: Need to unwind? Yoga is a great way for kids to learn about managing stress. It also helps build concentration.
Z is for zoo: While visiting the zoo is a fun way to spend a day together, it also teaches children about the importance of conservation and animal care.
Impaq Education, (previously known as Impak Onderwysdiens) provides innovative and accessible education solutions to home education learners, parents, tutors and schools.