SCHOOL IS OUT! The holidays are finally here! For children, that is probably THE most exciting to look forward to after a year of school, tuition classes and examinations. BUT for parents, this might actually be a nightmare! Leaving your children all alone at home for a whole month? NO WAY! Some of you may think of sending your child off for more tuition and classes to fill up their schedules, but let’s admit it, those costs money, and even as adults, we too look forward to taking a break and having a relaxing holiday.

So, for your peace of mind, here are 10 things you can let your children do to fill up their time constructively during the month-long holiday, in no particular order:

1. WRITE A BOOK

Photo by pan xiaozhen

This is an exciting one. You may wonder what? Haven’t they written enough already in school? Wouldn’t they NOT want to write anything? But you may be surprise. In school, our children have to follow a set of rules, titles, context and the format to write. But with this project, your children is given their own creative minds to create their very own narrative and story.

Check out these children writing on their own at a young age. You’ll be surprised!

What you need: Notebook / several sheets of blank / lined paper, pen / pencil

2. DRAWING

My children can’t draw! Or so you thought. Arts come in a variety of form, and it may or may not make sense. Check out this painting by Pablo Picasso, auctioned by Christie’s in 2015, it’s worth a cool $179 million dollars! 

Pablo Picasso’s 1955 painting Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)

There are many local talented young artists in Malaysia, your child may be a hidden gem too!

What you need: Drawing book / canvas / several sheets of blank paper, pencil / colouring stationeries

3. PAINT THE HOUSE WALL

Hold your horses. What?! Yes you heard me right! Children loves drawing on walls anyway, why not leave one side of a white wall for them to go free and wild, treat it like a mural, you may be surprised what artistic sense it will bring to your house!

Photo by Justin Lim

What you need: Wall paint, pencil to sketch

4. BUILD TOY HOUSE FROM CARTON BOXES

Photo by frauscheiner

Not every home has a tree big enough to build a tree house – and its complicated too! Why not try with carton boxes to build a toy house instead of buying a new plastic one. Not only will you have a much fun and safe environment to build the toy house, you are contributing to mother earth too! 

Get some ideas on pinterest or read more about them here.

What you need: Carton boxes, scissors, pencil, tapes

5. GROW A PLANT

Photo by Daniel Hjalmarsson

Let your child feel a sense of responsibility during the holidays. Grow a plant! Help them learn the responsibility of taking care of a life – albeit a green one, and with less life-and-death consequences. They will also feel the sense of pride and empowerment when their plants bloom. It can be flowers, vegetables or even fruits.

What you need: Soil / cotton, container / pot, seedlings

6. BAKE OR COOK UP A STORM

MasterChef Junior

All great chefs have a start from home. So does a good healthy food habit. This is also great way to engage your children if you have difficulty in getting them to eat their food. Rope them in from the start of the grocery selection, preparation and cooking process. As you can see from recent flurries of young chefs in MasterChef programs. It may be challenging, but engaging your children to help out in the kitchen during their holidays or searching up recipes and doing groceries with you, will cultivate a sense of appreciation for food and healthy eating habit. 

What you need: Cook book, apron, child-friendly kitchen equipment 

7. VOLUNTEER AT AN ANIMAL SHELTER

Be a volunteer at an animal shelter

Rather than owning a pet due to whims and fancies of your children, why not let them dip their toes into the world of caring for another living creature at the animal shelter. This will help empower them that they can take care of another being, and also bring out the compassion in the young ones.

What you need: Contact your local animal shelter

8. PAINT EGG SHELLS

Maybe not as intricate as this, but you get the idea!

This is a little more fancy craft, and works wonders to decorate your home. Store up egg shells when you cook by cracking just the tip enough for the contents to flow out, then you can rinse and dry them before letting your child paint them. These will be perfect for Easter too!

What you need: Egg shells, child-friendly paint and brushes, cup to fill water for rinsing, and rag to dry the brush

9. CREATE DECORATIVE ITEMS

Christmas Deco
and hang them up in time for Christmas!

Prepare festive decorations by letting your children create them during their holidays. Make it their project to create Christmas, Chinese New Year or Hari Raya decoration this holiday period. Get them to come up with ideas, and then work with them to create the decorative items. You get to spend quality time with your children too!

What you need: Scissors, papers, glue, tape, colouring materials and pencil

10. HOLIDAY ITINERARY

A fun sample Disney itinerary

If you are planning to bring your children for a vacation, why not let them do the planning instead? Have them look up maps and books, or search online for things to do, food to eat and places to visit. Your children will thank you for trusting them – and when you do take up their suggestions, they will be so very proud to see their work bear fruit. Their knowledge of the geography and history of the destination will increase, and you will have a truly enjoyable holiday when your children are part of its planning.

What you need: Books, maps, computers

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