10 family fun holiday activities
The weeks leading up to Christmas seem to be a crazy mix of last minute work, pre-Christmas get to-gethers, coordinating kids activities and juggling the many demands put on us all. But the summer holidays also bring a welcome break after a busy school year and a time to enjoy unhurried activities with friends and family.
Here are some fun ideas to keep the kids happy right through January.
Camp outside in the back yard
You don’t need to head into the wilderness to have a fun camping experience….you can head into the back yard. Pitch a tent or tepee and fill will cushion or blow up mattresses, sleeping bags and pillows. Have a BBQ and eat marshmallows before bunking down as a family. If it’s not your thing, invite some of your kids friends over for a sleep over – they will love it and it undoubtedly will be a holiday highlight.
If it’s too wet to camp outside- bring it inside. Pitch a tent, put up a tepee or make a cubby house that the whole family can sleep in - it’ll be fun.
Challenge your family to a games tournament
A fun thing to do on a rainy (or hot) day is to divide the family into teams and have a round robin of board game competitions. Our family did this with another family and it was loads of fun! We set up 3 games, Monopoly, Charades, and Cluedo. We had a time limit to complete each game which kept the pace fast and ensured the younger kids didn’t lose interest. The winning teams for each game were awarded points (Monopoly and Cluedo were worth 10 points each and each Charades round was worth 2 points). The losing team had to cook dinner. It was fun, emotion filled and the kids are busting to do it again.
Kids love whipping up cakes and cookies in the kitchen and it’s a great time to learn the basics of baking. If you have older kids, let them loose with a cookbook and give them free reign in the kitchen – they will love the independence and may surprise you with their creations.
Who doesn’t love watching movies… so why not make a movie marathon. Perhaps choose a theme like comedy, family or action movies and allow each family member to choose their favourite. Make some popcorn and ship in the pizza and your movie marathon is complete!
Head out on a road trip
Holidays are a great time to get behind the wheel and head off for some day trips. Are there any places within a couple of hours drive from your home that you’re busting to explore. Take a picnic, some outdoor games and head out for an adventure – the kids will LOVE it!
Set up a new play space
Young kids love their own magical play space. It doesn’t need to be fancy, a simple tee-pee with some toys inside is enough to create excitement and hours of fun. The novelty of being able to climb into a hide away space is super enticing to little people.
Have friends over for a playdate
Term time is often so jam packed with after school activities, weekend sport competitions and home work that there is little time to just hang out with friends. Holidays are the perfect time to invite some kids over for a play date or sleep over and let them make their own fun and games – kids are great at entertaining themselves.
Set up a creative space
Pull out the craft stuff, coloured pencils, paint and paper and put it on the kitchen table. You’ll find the lure of the colours entices the kids to tap into their creative spirit. If they feel they can get really messy even better so add a plastic drop cloth and they’ll be entertained for hours. Don’t forget to display their creations around the home, they’ll beam with pride seeing their master pieces on the walls.
Throw a holiday party
Why does all the partying need to be done before Christmas, why not invite family and friends around in January just for the sake of it. Get the kids to make the decorations and ask your guests to bring a plate of food – it couldn’t be easier and more relaxed.
Create a food garden
Find a space in your garden for a veggie patch and get the kids to help you create it. Head to your local plant store where your kids can choose their own vegetable or herb, you’ll find if it’s theirs they will love looking after it and be thrilled when they go to harvest and eat it!
Dont forget to relax these holidays...while it’s great fun to be doing a bunch of different activities, make sure you block out some time for yourself; for an afternoon sleep, for a walk, a swim or curl up with a good book. Summer holidays are a great time to reenergise yourself for the new year….I hope you enjoy yours.