Keeping the kids happy at home these school holidays


In the face of COVID-19, parents around Australia have been juggling all their normal responsibilities, plus remote learning for their children, for weeks now.

In the face of COVID-19, parents around Australia have been juggling all their normal responsibilities, plus remote learning for their children, for weeks now.

Explore the backyard

This period of self-isolation is the perfect time to make the most of what you’ve got at home.

Backyard camping will keep the kids amused and entertained these holidays – plus it creates a change of scene while you’re still hanging around at home.

Set up a tent in the backyard and recreate the camping experience. Plan a scavenger hunt in the garden, toast some marshmallows over a fire, and enjoy some star gazing.

Apartment dwellers don’t need to miss out either – Scouts Australia have put together a list of community challenges or you can plan an indoor camping party.

Get your armchair travel on

We might not be allowed to travel, but with a bit of imagination, you can experience a new place without leaving your home.

To begin, pick a destination. Research ten facts about the country you’ve picked or to plan a holiday. Then do a bit of virtual sightseeing through things like:

Embrace the country you’ve picked by learning some phrases in the local language and cooking a meal that includes some national dishes.

Making and creating

Parents around Australia know one of the most common interruptions is their children crying “I’m hungry.” So, satisfy grumbling tummies and fill in some time with cooking!

There’s loads of simple recipes that most primary school aged children can tackle with just a little bit of supervision, like muffins, and high school aged kids can take on more. Take the chance to teach them a few simple dinners. Bonus points – they can then be responsible for cooking at least one dinner a week.

Craft is also a winner to fill in the time. As well as the usual ideas, why not build your children’s understanding of science and set a challenge like building a bridge out of household items? Or get them busy mixing up a batch of slime or playdough for hours of

Physical challenge

One of the problems for parents managing COVID19 and school holidays is burning energy. Vacation care programmes like soccer and gymnastics camps not only keep the kids occupied all day, but also send them home ready for a good night’s sleep.

So, how to wear the kids out, plus keep them physically well? Luckily, there’s plenty of options. Ideas to try include:

  • PE with Joe Wicks
  • Cosmic Kids Yoga (or older children and teens might prefer something like Yoga with Adriene)
  • Creating an obstacle course at home
  • Allocating an exercise (eg 15 push ups) to each letter of the alphabet and creating workouts based on names, places and more.

Banish “I’m bored” once and for all

Of course, how could we forget one thing that will absolutely keep the kids busy – household chores!

Mutter the phrase “I’m bored” and mum or dad can bring out a jar filled with jobs around the house for the kids to do. Wash the car, clean the bathroom, fold washing, vacuum the floors. It’s time to put those kids to work.

What are your ideas for managing these school holidays?

There’s loads more options too like board games, family book clubs, online video chats with grandparents, Lego challenges, letter writing and more. We’d love to hear your ideas for getting through school holidays without any of the usual support structures.

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