Making the best of holidays
> Instead of going on trips, take the time for children to undertake special projects or learn new skills
SCHOOL holidays start next week. Some of you may have planned family holidays locally or abroad. These trips may last anything from three days to two weeks.
What will the kids be doing for the rest of the holidays? Sprout roots on the couch watching TV, or have their fingers permanently attached to the iPad or PC?
Maybe, you can enrol your children in some holiday enrichment or language classes. That is well and good, but it will still leave large pockets of free time on your children’s hands.
So give your children some special projects to do. Note that these do not always have to spell F-U-N.
Let’s face it, life is not just fun-fun-fun all the time. There are times when responsibilities must be fulfilled and work must get done. Children need to learn this fact of life.
No.4 has just finished her PT3 and she has plenty of time to spare even before the actual school holiday begins. She loves to read but then again, she won’t be reading from dawn to night every day.
She is not into extracurricular activities other than her weekly art class. Since she has turned her nose up at fun pursuits such as badminton, archery or rock climbing, she could do some stuff at home.
I have given her a choice of coming in to my office to help or baking at least twice a week. She chose the latter.
She is free to bake whatever she wants: cakes, cookies or bread since our breadmaker is sorely underutilised.
I also task her with preparing dinner a couple of times a week. She can cook simple dishes like stewed chicken, stir-fried vegetables and cheese macaroni.
If your teenagers have been trained to help out in the kitchen, you could assign them some cooking chores. Perhaps they could prepare a simple meal once or twice a week.
You could help them to plan the menu and buy the ingredients needed. Or they could work with whatever food is available in the fridge.
Since the new year is coming, how about giving the gate a fresh coat of paint?
This is a project that children can handle quite easily. Get them old clothes to wear and you can discard them if they become too stained.
This is also a good time to get the children to clear the junk that has accumulated in their rooms. Give them a box to put the things that they want to throw away.
School books can be given away, sold, or sent to the recycling centre. Clothes they have outgrown can be routed to relatives or friends who don’t mind wearing hand-me-downs.
Spring cleaning can also unearth things that are in good order but have fallen out of favour with the children.
Nowadays, there are a lot of pre-loved websites where you could sell second-hand items. As they say one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. This is a way for the children to earn some extra pocket money.