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Let the School Holidays Begin….

The school holidays are upon us again, yes, already! School holidays are different for each family. Some parents do not get time off, so it is routines as usual. Some parents stay home with the children for 2 WEEKS, which can be full of ups and downs! For all of us, this time comes with its different challenges, both positive and negative.

What I have learned, as a parent and teacher, is that 99% of the time, well planned time is 99% more positive. Have a plan. It does not have to be a detailed, perfectly timed plan (unless that’s your thing). Try to have one thing each day that is focused on the kids. Let them choose from a list or fill up the calendar for the holidays in advance, whatever works for your family. Kids like to know what to expect and they LOVE to know that it involves something fun for them.

I have come up a few ideas below to will start your list. A lot of these ideas will also keep little minds active during this time away from the classroom. Learning when you don’t even know it is the best kind of learning! Read more to get a little holiday inspiration…

WRITE AND ACT A STORY
Some children need no prompting when asked to tell a story. Some need a bit more inspiration. Get some old magazines and let your children pick one picture as the basis for their story, to inspire the storyline. Make a plan: Who, Where, What happens, Why… Drawing a storyboard helps to sequence the events for younger children.
Not writing yet? Storyboard with pictures is the best way to tell a story at this age.
Once the story has been created, let them act it out with siblings or stuffed animals. Be flexible and do what works for your family. Older children LOVE the opportunity to make their story into a movie.

SCAVENGER HUNT
This is a favourite in my family. If you have the time and resources, this can be an event that takes place across your neighbourhood. If you have younger children, this works best in smaller spaces, such as your own backyard.
Make a number of clues that suit the age of the children. Older children can do this for hours! It adds to the fun for older children to add some riddles and trivia facts to make them work a little bit harder to get that next clue!
If you have children that cannot read, use picture clues. They can draw them themselves and hide for a friend or sibling.
Clue #1 is given to the players, which gives clues about where the next clue may be located i.e. you may find me in a place to rest your head (pillow – EASY!!). Make them tricky and funny. Have the kids make their own. The options are endless… Happy hunting.
Recycling Tip: use old plastic Easter Eggs to hide clues.

OBSTACLE COURSE
This activity is self-explanatory but cannot be underestimated. The amount of fun is ridiculous. It can easily take an entire day, maybe an entire weekend. Why not invite all the neighbourhood kids, make tickets and decorations?
Material suggestions: balls, hula hoops, ropes, frisbees, egg & spoon, plastic trays for balancing on heads?

CREATE AN SCULPTURE USING RECYCLED MATERIALS
The first part of the fun is collecting old things from around the house. i.e. empty (clean) milk cartons, egg crates etc You can encourage the children to either have an idea of what they would like to create first, then find materials that will work OR find materials and use them as the inspiration. Either way, the results are so great. We once had a Giant Dragonfly, complete with Christmas bauble eyes, hanging on the veranda. If I’m being honest, this was before children!

ENDLESS RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES on http://education.abc.net.au.  If your kids are going to have screen time, it should be valuable content OR better yet, encourage the beginning of a project i.e. tessellations decorations… amazing!

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