Banishing Holiday Boredom
As a child I can remember thinking that the holidays, especially the long summer holiday, seemed to last forever. The novelty of being away from school wore of fairly rapidly and spent many hours amusing myself or playing with friends.
Children these days seem to have lost the art of playing and keeping themselves occupied and entertained without the aid of technology in one form or another. They spend hours indoors watching screens of different sizes and quite often, when they aren’t playing they are simply playing the part of a willing audience.
It is important that children socialise and that they learn how to occupy themselves as well. However, in these days of disjointed family relationships it is crucial that we learn how to bond with our children. Playing is an essential element of the bonding process. It is essential that children learn to play on their own, with siblings, friends and at times, strangers. They learn to make friends, share and cooperate; all skills needed throughout their lives.
Occupying and entertaining children throughout the holidays does not need to cost a fortune; it can be done very frugally and even for free!
On a piece of paper draw a shape (it doesn’t matter what shape or where you place it on the page); ask your son or daughter to turn the shape into a picture. This is a great activity to get children’s minds working. I’ve used it with great success with children of all ages from 3 to 18. It’s great fun to see what each child comes up with. Of course, adults can take part too! Create a gallery or book of the finished pictures. Extend the activity by getting them to colour the pictures and to give them a title.
Fresh air is good for everyone so don’t forget to go outside. Why not take part in a bug hunt? What about counting the number of birds seen in 5 minutes? You could create a photographic record or a chart. Cloud watching is another fascinating way to pass the time. Children can describe what shapes they see. It is also a great opportunity to teach children about the different cloud formations and weather types in a fun and relaxed way.
Taking a long journey with children, often an essential component of holidays, can be a parent’s worst nightmare. However, with a little thought it doesn’t have to be fraught with tension. Eye-Spy is a perennial favourite of children and adults of all ages. Another favourite game that my family enjoyed when the children were younger, and indeed still do enjoy if truth be known, is Spot the Lorry. You play by calling out the names of different haulage firms as you spot the lorry. One point for being the first to correctly name the company. Incorrect naming causes a point to be lost. The winner is the person with the highest score at the end of the journey. This is a great game for helping to teach colours, shapes and reading.
These are just a few of the fun activities that you can use to beat the holiday blues and keep your children occupied; no money or technology required!
Amanda Davey is an experienced teacher, ex-childminder and mother who enjoys learning, teaching and creating fun and exciting experiences for children of all ages. For more ideas on how to prevent holiday boredom and to keep children amused visit http://my-personal-tutor.blogspot.com and download her first published free report: Beat the Holiday Blues – 32 Activities to Keep Your Children Occupied. A portfolio of her work can be found at http://amandadavey.webs.com
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