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Entertaining your kids

Article By: Melanie Hartgill - Educational Psychologist

Entertaining your kids can be difficult at the best of times and it's even more difficult during holidays. While there are a number of children’s holiday activities available that provide safe environments and fun times, these can get pricey so here are some suggestions to help take some of the stress out of it and keep everyone happy without needing to spend a fortune.

  • Make paper planes - use up scrap paper to build a fleet of paper airplanes and launch them from an upstairs window or in the back garden.
  • Tie-dyeing - this is a great way of jazzing up some of your children’s old clothes or bed sheets and it is fun to do. Basically, you gather up, fold, and tie your t-shirt (or other item of clothing) with rubber bands or string and leave it to soak in fabric dye. The internet has more detailed instructions if necessary.
  • Make a scavenger hunt - come up with a list of odd and fun items for your kids to find; they can hunt around the house or garden.
  • Get them gardening - growing plants is great fun and they can watch the plants get bigger and flower in front of their eyes. There are many plants even a young child can grow, including small trees, herbs and vegetables. This can even be done in a window box or small pot - if you grow herbs like basil, parsley or cress, they can eat them once they've grown.
  • Visit your local library - this is the perfect place to inspire a budding reader or open up more options to your existing bookworm.
  • Learn origami - the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding easy to do and is also cheap, as you can fold a sheet of paper into almost anything, as long as you've got a pattern - these are easy to find on the internet.
  • Have an arts and craft day and get some canvas and paints, they can be bought in bargain shops for as little as a pound and use paints or crayons and the kids can hang up their creations in their rooms.
  • Build a den with the kids - all you need is some boxes or sofa cushions, a few blankets, and a bit of imagination.
  • Get cooking - pick a recipe with the children, go shopping for ingredients and cook something together that you can enjoy eating afterwards.
  • Dig out the puzzles, games and books and give them a go. Some good old-fashioned entertainment can be really fun.

Don't try and fill every minute of every day. Encourage your children's imagination and independence - let them play in their rooms or the garden. Have fun!

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