Do you want to stop boredom setting in for your kids in the school holidays? Worried that you’ll cave into their demands for more screen time? If you are, now is a good time to plan some fun, creative activities. Having activities for kids that encourage them to use their imagination will stop boredom setting is and is a perfect balance for any time they spend on their screens these holidays.
It’s important that kids and teens minimise the time they spend sitting still every day. If you’re not sure what’s appropriate screen time for your child then have a look at the Australian guidelines for screen time below. They recommend that:
- under-2’s have no regular screen time at all
- 2 to 5-year-olds have no more than one hour a day
- children aged from 5 to 17 years limit their screen time to no more than two hours per day.
They also recommend to break up long periods of screen time as often as possible. (Source: www.growinggoodhabits.health.qld.gov.au)
Psychologists are well aware of the negative effects on our kids when they have any more screen time than is recommended. In fact, Psychologist Victoria Dunckley M.D. says that ‘Screen time is Making Kids Moody, Crazy and Lazy’. (Source: psychologytoday.com)
Even more reasons to enjoy the following fun activities that stimulate your kids’ creativity and imagination. There is something for every situation and income level. Just remember, you don’t have to do all the work here, it’s actually better for you to ask your child for their input into the ideas. That will make them even more motivated to use their creativity and get involved in the activities.
Make a holiday ideas jar.
Find an empty jar or funky container and if required ask the kids to decorate it. Cut up squares of paper and ask your kids to write down their holiday ideas, fold up each paper and stick it in the jar or container. Each morning, one person is asked to pull out an idea.
Ask your kids what favourite baking they would like to do and bake together. If they can’t think of anything or if you’d like to use particular ingredients then name those ingredients and ask them to find a recipe that contains them.
Do a crafty project.
Search for ideas on-line or borrow an arts and crafts book from the library. Ask each of your kids to select one idea each that they can make.
Have some family colouring-in time.
Print off some free kids’ colouring pages from sites like Crayola.com. There are plenty of different subjects so that everyone can find something they like, ranging from sports to animals. You can also download some adult colouring in pages so that you can join your kids.
Plan a treasure hunt.
This will really use your kids’ imagination and creativity and you can easily do it in-doors if it’s too hot or raining. If they don’t have any idea where to start then you can do some on-line research first and guide them by giving them some examples. Don’t do it all for them though, the whole idea is to stimulate their creativity. Plenty of websites provide treasure hunt clues, just put in the search term ‘treasure hunt clues’.
Build an indoor tent or fort.
They can use couches, washing pegs or bulldog clips and some bed sheets and anything else that’s handy.
Anky Balfoort is an experienced positive parenting trainer and life coach. She has helped numerous clients and parents raise happy, confident and resilient kids through positive parenting training and coaching. She has 15 coaching, positive parenting and psychology-related qualifications which includes Triple P. She runs various positive parenting courses in Brisbane and also provides tailored coaching sessions for parents.