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Defeating Boredom

How to keep the little ones entertained for cheap (or free!)

This page added 25th November 2017

The Christmas holiday period can be busy for families for many reasons. Celebrations, social outings, present shopping and children being home from school. For every family with children, the struggle of keeping the little ones entertained is an endless battle. A battle where, more often than not, the parents or babysitters are the ones who are worn out, while the children continue to bounce around with seemingly endless energy. To help all of our lovely readers out this holiday season, we have done a little brainstorming of a few simple activities for families and children, for a relatively low or no cost.

Firstly, outdoor activities are a fabulous way to ensure children get exercise, fresh air and an hour or two away from the iPad and television screens. A few of the activities I used to love as a child include taking nature walks to spot birds and animals in your local neighbourhood, or going for a swim at the local pool or beach.

For children with a lot of energy, an obstacle course can be an exciting new way to keep them busy. For example, set up some hula hoops, a broom stick or a small box and have them hop, run, jump and skip over the obstacles. You can rearrange the obstacles to keep them on their toes.

Another outdoor activity that is great for the whole family is taking a drive or a bike ride to your local park. Most local parks also have picnic and BBQ facilities, so make the most of those when the sun starts to shine. In the evenings, your children and all their friends can be kept busy with a movie night, or even camping in the backyard: All you need is a tent and a sense of adventure!

Camping in the backyard can be turned into a more exciting night with some star gazing, hot chocolate or even a bonfire with marshmallows if the summer nights are not too warm.

Rainy days can be especially challenging for parents and it can be hard to keep activities interesting and varied for children. Board games and movies are a good start, although when you find yourself unable to watch Frozen for a third time in one day, there are other options! Visiting the library on a rainy day and taking a couple of books home to keep the kids busy for a few afternoons is a great start. The beauty of libraries is that you can get a range of resources including books, movies and music to add a little more variety to your day. Another activity you may like to try is baking with the kids. This activity is great because you and the kids can enjoy both the cooking and the delicious snacks afterwards.

Another indoor option with endless possibilities is a craft day or “crafternoon”. Using simple objects from around the house, like tissue boxes, toilet paper rolls and scraps of paper can result in some amazing creations and hours of fun. An idea you may even wish to try is creating a holiday diary, where the kids can take a photo of an activity and write a memory about the day. This is a fabulous keepsake and allows the children to get creative as well. Both baking and craft are especially great for the Christmas holiday season, as they can be adapted to Christmas themes cookies or ornaments. Handmade items that you and the kids make can also serve as gifts to family or as decorations for your own home and Christmas tree.

Children are inevitably going to keep parents on their toes during holidays. Although with this article in your pocket, you and your family are sure to have weeks-worth of fun!

Written by Holly, ADAVIC Volunteer
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