Lifestyle

Lerato Maimela
Digital Journalist
8 minute read
30 Jun 2021
4:11 pm

34 things to do with the kids these school holidays in the safety of your home

Lerato Maimela

Don't let the latest lockdown regulations ruin your children's winter school holidays. Use this holiday guide to have some indoor fun.

Picture: iStock

In his televised “family meeting” on 27 June 2021, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be moving to an adjusted level 4 lockdown and that schools would be closing sooner for the winter holidays, starting from 30 June 2021.

With the country’s stricter regulations, people are forced to spend more of their time indoors. It can get frustrating having the whole family in the house when you are working from home and chasing deadlines.

Our school holiday guide will help ensure your kids are entertained throughout the holidays indoors and away from any trouble.

Origami

Origami is the art of paper folding, often associated with Japanese culture. The word has now been used as an inclusive term for all paper folding and can be a fun and creative activity that will keep the kids busy for hours.

Get the little ones stacks of paper and make use of platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest for ideas and folding instructions on a wide variety of origami designs.

Puzzles 

Building puzzles is super fun as a family activity, but it also has many cognitive benefits for the little ones, such as:

  • Attention to detail
  • Improves memory
  • Increases IQ
  • Improve problem solving abilities
  • Better collaboration and teamwork

Prepare meals as a family

Having to make meals for the whole family does not have to feel like an extra chore. Involve the kids in the kitchen and make them help you with creating delicious dishes. Not only does this promote them helping around the house and making your job easier, it also promotes a fun family bonding experience.

Here are a few fun dishes you can make with the whole family:

  • Make your own pizza
  • Create your own tacos
  • Make your own pancake stack
  • Build your own burger
  • Chocolate covered fruits
  • Make your own toast

ALSO READ: ‘No, uncle Cyril, you’re wrong’ – SA not impressed with Level 4 move

Get gardening 

Spend some time in the sun decorating your garden and planting fresh produce and flowers with the whole family. The little ones will love getting messy in the fresh soil and helping wherever they can.

Home day spa

The children would love a spa experience at home, so planning one as a family is going to be exciting. Get them bathrobes, some massage oils, a few white towels and a classical playlist. Top the ambience off with some scented candles and you are good to go. Chances are the kids will pass out on the bed after they have been pampered and give you the chance for some alone time.

Order takeaways

The lockdown has been extra long for families and moms cooking dinner every night with no option to order takeaways and take a break. Level 4 regulations that allow for the ordering of a wide variety of takeaways come as much needed relief.

Create fun science experiments

Keep the kids entertained and also educated. The internet is filled with easy and super fun children friendly science experiments that make use of ingredients and products that should be available in your kitchen cupboards or on your garage shelves.

Make use of platforms such as YouTube to find the science experiments that your children will love to do.

A few science experiment ideas your kids could try:

  • Baking soda volcano
  • Make your own slime
  • Grow crystals
  • Mold science
  • Instant ice
  • Egg in a bottle

 Watch old movies 

We all have those old family friendly favourite movies which we can watch time and again, yet never get tired of them. Your children should be familiar with your old time favourites, but if they are not, then take the time to introduce them to the movies you loved watching growing up, which could be available for streaming on Netflix or Showmax.

Some old time classics:

  • Shrek
  • Matilda
  • Annie
  • Shark Tale
  • The Lion King
  • Finding Nemo
  • Toy Story
  • Home Alone
  • The Karate Kid
  • The Incredibles
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • The Parent Trap

Go for a run

Although the rules in lockdown Level 4 are much stricter, you can still get some exercise outside, making sure that you follow the correct Covid-19 protocols. Run around the block a few times with the  kids a few times a week to ensure they are getting regular workouts  and a breath of fresh air.

Play board games 

It’s the oldest idea in the book, but sometimes you need to get the kids off their electronics and doing other things which challenge them mentally. Whip out the family favourite board games, switch off the iPads and TVs and spend some quality time with the kids.

Backyard movie night

If the kids are  big movie fans, then organise a projector, white cloth and play a new movie you know the kids will enjoy. Get popcorn, camp chairs, blankets and some beverages. Just ensure that the movie’s age restriction can accommodate the whole family.

Watch YouTube series

Sometimes you would like to have some alone time doing the things you love to do, solo. Hand the kids their electronics and play these popular children YouTube channels for them that will keep them entertained for a few hours.

Cartooning Club How to Draw

This channel is perfect for children who are budding artists. It’s a simple, straightforward concept where the host takes you through a step-by-step or line-by-line guide how to draw different cartoon objects from a simple game controller to an elaborate Spiderman. Drawing plays a huge role in young children’s development and can help them think creatively and develop hand-eye coordination. And of course, you’ll be able to decorate their bedroom walls with the cool art they draw.

National Geographic Kids

Ever wondered how many words are in the English language, or how often meteorites the size of basketballs land on Earth? This YouTube channel will be able to tell you the answers. The channel is filled with funky videos which have been professionally produced with interesting trivia facts, animals and science topics. There are short minute-long videos which you and your child can take in and digest easily, as well as longer more in-depth videos which delve deeper into these awesome topics.

Ryan’s World

Sometimes you just need to get advice from an expert, even if that expert is only eight years old. Ryan’s World is a channel hosted by Ryan Kaji and began in 2015 with the host reviewing different toys and giving his expert opinion. The channel has evolved to include other fun activities like pretend play, science experiments, music videos, arts and craft and more. Ryan is friendly, cute and has an innocence about him, which makes him a host that your children can relate too. No wonder in 2008 he was listed as the highest-earning YouTuber!

Picnic in the backyard

Pack a picnic basket filled with your family’s favourite snacks and goodies and head to your backyard with a blanket to have a picnic. Being cooped up in the house for too long can get everyone a little cranky. Get a few hours out in the sun!

Collect rocks and paint them

Go to a nearby park and collect rocks then make a craft day out of it. Paint them with whatever paint you have at home and maybe even watch a few  YouTube tutorials on how to turn them into rock magnets for the fridge.

Build a fort 

Although this may take up a lot of your time and result in a lot of packing up and cleaning, building a fort with the kids is  a super fun activity. Build the fort with your biggest bedding and cushions and have a movie date inside or a small indoor picnic.

Play a game of freeze dance 

Choose some of your kids’ favourite tunes and turn up the volume. Ask them to dance until the music stops. When it does, they have to freeze in whatever position they find themselves in – even if they have one leg up. To make the game more challenging, ask the kids to freeze in specific poses, like animals, shapes, letters or even yoga postures.

Make a holiday tree 

Got some old cupcake liners lying around? Depending on their colours, this paper tree craft can be used to make decorations for different holidays throughout the year. Red and green liners? Christmas! Orange and black? Halloween! Pink and white? Valentine’s Day! Create a cute family tree with old cupcake liners that represents this year’s winter school holidays.

Go old school. Play hopscotch

You might think this game is too simple, but it’s always a great time killer and super fun to play at any age. Get some chalk and draw your hopscotch lines in your driveway which will easily wash off later.

Wash the car

Kids love any activity that has to do with water and getting a little messy. Ask them to help you wash your car for more hands on deck and to give them some fun out of the house and under the sun. Don’t forget the sunblock!

Colouring in

You don’t need colouring books to get the kids to colour in some pictures and designs. Google some fun and exciting pictures your kids would love to colour in and print them out right at home to keep the kids busy for some time.

Scrapbooking 

This has been a method mothers have used for years to bond with their children and make new memories while sorting out the old ones. You don’t need scrapbooking kits. Just use old photo albums and transform them with stickers, banners and ribbons which will make the experience of going through old photographs much more enjoyable.

Make a DIY balance beam 

If you have masking tape on hand, why not make your own balance beam? We all know how much kids love walking in straight lines every chance they get. Put on some music and one at a time the kids can take their turn walking one foot over the other along the straight line of tape. Make the game more challenging by having the kids walk backwards or balancing with one foot on the line.