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10 ways to get kids busy this long holiday

Holidays are perhaps the time of the year when most parents have the opportunity to spend quality time with their children. It is also a period that many children find exciting and look forward to, being the end of several weeks of academic activities.

However, while some children find the holiday period fun and thrilling, some find it boring – and according to child development experts, how the children spend their holiday depends on the kind of environment their parents create for them.

For some parents, they use the holiday to engage their children in another series of academic activities by hiring home tutors for them.

While this may not be entirely bad, experts have advised parents and guardians to use holidays to engage their children in other activities apart from academics.

For parents and guardians having challenges in knowing what to engage their children in, the following 10 tips can be helpful in creating an exciting holiday for kids.

Hold an Olympics-like game: This requires little equipment such as ‘sack race’ or a ‘tug of war’. Remember all those games you used to play when you were a kid? You can bring the memories back and let your children also have fun playing those games. The children will be happy while you too will recall old memories.

Camping: If you have a tent and live in a secure environment, you can arrange a camping trip in your garden with the children for one night. During this period, they can use the opportunity to engage in paintings which can be bought in shops. Let the kids paint and hang up their creations in their rooms.

Do a toy cleanup and visit an orphanage: Research has shown that the fewer toys you have in your home, the more creative your children will be, as they’ll learn to make do with less and engage properly with the toys they own. And there’s no better time than the holidays to do a good cleanup. Let your children help you sort the toys they are happy to part with, then take them along to an orphanage or other non-profit organization and encourage them to give them away to those who really need them. Children are never too young to learn the act of kindness.

Volunteer: You can also find a practical way for your children to serve and contribute to the community. Go with them to clean the streets or deliver meals to the homeless, the sick in the hospital, or the elderly ones.

Improve their physical health: This is very key. While schools are in session, your children probably have to wake up early to prepare for school. Now that they are on holiday, let them sleep well, exercise regularly, and eat healthily.

Learn a new skill: Your children can use the holiday to learn skills like coding, public speaking, cooking, drawing, car wash, photography, and how to repair broken items. You may never know how this would prepare them for the future.

Visit the museum: The arts culture is perhaps low in Kenya, but that’s probably because many adults themselves don’t go to places where arts are displayed. Use the holiday to take your children to the museum. It will make them more knowledgeable and they will also leave the place inspired.

Learn a new language: Children have the ability to learn new skills and languages faster than adults. Find places around you where languages are taught or hire a language tutor for them. Within two weeks, you might be surprised they are able to construct a sentence in a new language.

Make them watch educational YouTube videos: Your children can watch crash courses on YouTube, where they can learn a series of subjects such as physics, history, chemistry, astronomy, and biology.

Create a family photo album: Most of our pictures are digital and simply sit on our cellphones or cameras without us ever displaying them at home. Why not make a point of having some family photos printed and let your children create their very own family album? Let them decorate the pages, while you share stories about each family member. This seemingly simple activity will enhance your children’s memory, as well as encourage their creativity as they decorate each page.