Tuesday, 14 December 2021

By ASP School Projects

Holiday activities that the whole family can enjoy.

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If there is one thing we are convinced of, it is that children should get the most out of their school holidays this December. It is important to relax now and recharge so that everyone is ready to take on next year’s challenges in their stride.

We eagerly share lots of fun, yet simple holiday activities that children and their parents can enjoy together:
1. Adopt a pet.
2. Plant some plants.
3. Play ball games.
4. Fly a kite.
5. Have a treasure hunt.
6. Dress up like your favourite fictional character.
7. Make your own puppet show.
8. Build a small house from cardboard boxes.
9. Make a cosy tent with sheets and blankets.
10. Build a puzzle.
11. Bake something delicious.
12. Make an art piece.
13. Learn to play a musical instrument.

1. Adopt a pet.

Animals always have a wonderful effect on children. How about getting a cat, dog, parrot, fish or hamster? You can choose whatever animal suits your family best.

By earning a pet’s trust through mutual respect, your children will get to experience the delightful companionship of a non-human friend.

Your children will get the opportunity to take care of an animal. Routine activities such as feeding, cleaning and exercising their pets to keep them healthy, happy and alive is a big responsibility. This teaches children numerous skills and life lessons.

Making another sentient being a part of your household is no easy task. It should be considered carefully – such as having sufficient space, covering the monthly costs involved or whether a family member is allergic to them. Other than that, there are very little downsides of having a pet.

You don’t have to spend thousands to get a really cute pet. Don’t worry if you cannot afford a sought-after dog breed. You can easily adopt an animal from a rescue shelter.

Make sure you visit a vet to check up on your pet. They can administer vaccines and medicines. It may also be a good idea to take your new pet to a training school.

Have fun taking care of them and give your pets lots of love. In return you’ll receive it back in abundance.

2. Plant some plants.

Not all children have gardens in their backyard or access to parks, since many are growing up in cities or suburban areas close to their schools. However, it is necessary for children to feel connected to nature. The good thing is that you can start small and there is no better time than starting this holiday. A few pot-plants on a balcony or indoors can make a huge difference. Plants are beautiful to look at, they are great to touch and smell and they purify the air.

You can start growing plants from seeds or cuttings or go to the nursery to pick out some. How about some flowers, herbs, edible fruit trees or native succulents? The choices are endless. It doesn’t really matter… Just get a plant, some compost and/or potting soil and water. Now you are set to make your own paradise.

Caring for a plant will teach your children responsibility. Watering plants regularly and patiently waiting for them to grow takes time and dedication. However, seeing your plants mature and make flowers or fruits is a magical experience. This can give children a lot of satisfaction and make them proud.

3. Play ball games.

Be it rugby, soccer, golf, tennis, netball, volley ball, hockey or any other ball game, they are all super fun! Definitely an enjoyable activity during the holidays. Even if you restricted by the number of players to make up a full team, you can always bend the rules a little bit and have just as much fun.

Ball games teaches strategy and team building, improves hand-eye coordination and concentration, and all the physical exercise releases endorphins which are hormones that make you feel good.

Some families can be very competitive, which is good in some cases, but remember your kids aren’t trying to qualify for the Springboks (yet)! Just have fun.

4. Fly a kite.

In today’s world where children are very likely to be entertained by computer games, tv and apps, flying a kite is a very underrated activity that can actually bring so much joy. They’ll be missing out on a lot if they don’t try it out.

Firstly, setting up a kite is very rewarding in itself, because it takes some patience. Extra points if you design and build it from scratch.

Once your children get out of the house and see their colourful kite take off into the sky it is a very exhilarating experience. They’ll feel the light breeze blowing against their face. The wind also brings about all sorts of pleasant outdoor smells. They’ll likely see and hear some birds. They’ll get their dose of vitamin D from the sunlight.

By holding onto their kite and manoeuvring it through the air they’ll sharpen their fine motor skills.

This is simply a fun and relaxing experience for the whole family, regardless of who is participating and who is watching.

5. Have a treasure hunt.

Who likes finding a random coin in your pocket? Everybody, of course! Why not have treasure hunt?

Place treasures in a treasure chest and make a map with clues for your children to find it. Another option is to hide objects at various locations around the house.

Treasures certainly doesn’t have to be all the world’s gold and riches. Candy and trinkets will do. You can also write letters and hide them along with photos. These memories are far more precious than money can buy.

To make your treasure hunt extra fun – play the part! Draw a moustache, put on your weatherworn clothing and don’t forget your big pirate hat. Make up your own sea chanteys to sing and be merry. It is all part of the silly fun.

6. Dress up like your favourite fictional character.

Stimulate your children’s imagination while allowing them to become the heroes of their own stories. Dress up in a costume and enter a world of fantasy.

As a parent you naturally have the right to play the part of a villain. That is one way of getting back at them for leaving their rooms messy!

7. Make your own puppet show.

Watch the performance of a lifetime! Enjoy your children’s very own puppet show.

You’ll need some puppets. Get creative and make your own puppets. This can be a fun activity for your children. You can easily draw figures on coloured paper and cut them out. Add some craft objects and ribbons and see how they come to life. Alternatively use some dolls. You’ll also need to set the stage. Gather a blanket for the puppeteers to hide behind and set up a nice backdrop.

Next, you’ll need a story. Make it up as you go along; perform one of their favourite fairy tales; or get creative and write your own story.

Lastly, every good story must be heard and seen by an audience. Gather the family and a few close friends and enjoy the show.

8. Build a small house from cardboard boxes.

Here’s genius idea and doesn’t have to cost you a cent: Allow your children to channel their inner architect. They can build their own little kingdom with throwaway items. Cardboard boxes work particularly well. You probably have some lying around, or ask a local store for discarded boxes.

Building a small fortress will teach them a sense of space and scale and a bunch of other skills. They’ll love to climb into, over, and under the spaces they have created for themselves.

You are always welcome to enter their fortress if you bring snacks for them to enjoy in there. Don’t worry if the house gets a bit untidy. They can easily clean it up again.

9. Make a cosy tent with sheets and blankets.

Take some sheets and blankets on a cloudy, rainy day and get creative: make a tent from it. Use some poles or furniture to keep it steady. Put some pillows on the floor to make it comfortable.

This will teach them to be innovative and solve problems in a fun way.

Once the tent is ready, get some yummy snacks, a nice hot drink and a good book. You may end up reading until late at night. Use little flash lights, but please remember – no candles allowed inside.

10. Build a puzzle.

There are many types of puzzles available these days, but the popular jigsaw puzzle of an image that you piece together is as good as any.

This will help improve your children’s memory and concentration, as well as cognitive and fine motor skills.

Let the whole family take part in building it. The sense of accomplishment after finishing a puzzle is unbeatable.

11. Bake something delicious.

Ever wanted to know what is the secret to granny’s delicious gingerbread cookies? Well, maybe she’ll be more willing to share it if she hears her adorable grandchild will be making it with her. There is nothing wrong with having a few sweet treats over the holiday.

Baking is in many ways a crazy science experiment. It can be a mess if you don’t know what you are doing, but when all goes well it is very rewarding.

Children can learn many valuable skills from something as simple as baking. These include: following instructions as set out by the recipe, as well as calculating measurements, time management and regulating temperature.

12. Make an art piece.

Even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist, there can be no harm done by dipping your paint brush into an array of paint colours and see what happens... Encourage your children to be creative. Perhaps one day their paintings will be exhibited in world class art galleries.

Making an art piece together can be a very fun experience for the whole family. Make something with personal meaning and cherish the moment. In years to come you may look onto these art pieces with great fondness.

13. Learn to play a musical instrument.

Music is universal and touches all of us. It can evoke many emotions. There is a song for every occasion. Music can give children an outlet to express themselves and clear their minds when schoolwork takes its toll on them.

Playing an instrument does take practice and time, so don’t expect to master it over the course of a holiday, but it is worth it in the long run.

If you are a parent with a musical background, please teach your children those valuable skills. It can create a strong bond between you.

If there doesn’t happen to stand a grand piano in your living room, you can always try to make your own instruments. Hand-made instruments like drums or reed flutes are very easy to make. Get creative, especially by using old objects, even plastic. If nothing comes to mind, try out the instrument you were born with – your voice.

As a family you can form your very own musical ensemble. Don’t worry if you skip a few beats or sing a few notes out of tune. Practice makes perfect.

Let us know which activities you and your children will be participating in this holiday. Enjoy the holidays!

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