Ideas to keep your chil­dren busy dur­ing break

Central Otago Mirror - - FRONT PAGE -

Dur­ing school hol­i­day time it can be dif­fi­cult to find ac­tiv­i­ties for your chil­dren to do. At this time of year there are plenty of classes for the kids to at­tend and when the weather al­lows it take them out­doors. There’s noth­ing more fun (and tiring) for chil­dren than try­ing out a new ac­tiv­ity such as swim­ming. As well as giv­ing them the op­por­tu­nity to de­velop a new skill, an ac­tiv­ity like this keeps them fit and healthy. Sports of all types are ideal for bored school stu­dents who want to try some­thing new. There’s a sport out there that suits ev­ery­one, whether it’s in­di­vid­ual or team based, it’s a mat­ter of find­ing out what you’re good at ... and the hol­i­day pe­riod al­lows the per­fect time to test out some­thing new. Re­mem­ber to have a sup­ply of in­door dis­trac­tions to oc­cupy your chil­dren if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Books pro­vide a mag­i­cal place for chil­dren to es­cape to and watch­ing DVDs are an al­ter­na­tive method of keep­ing your kids and their friends at bay for a few hours. While also of­fer­ing them time to re­lax and un­wind. Board games are fan­tas­tic for keep­ing chil­dren en­grossed in a chal­lenge and pro­vide the per­fect ex­cuse for the whole fam­ily to get to­gether and spend qual­ity time with each other. Puzzles can be chal­leng­ing too. For out­door ac­tiv­i­ties or day trips away do your home­work first and plan what you can all do while there. This may be as easy as a trip to the lake front or nearby river bed with a pic­nic lunch. Re­mem­ber you don’t have to spend a for­tune to make it a mem­o­rable day. Buy an in­ex­pen­sive throw away cam­era and let them record the event on film so they can spend time mak­ing a scrap­book. This will bring out their cre­ative side and can equate to end­less hours of fun. Find out all the free at­trac­tions you can visit in­clud­ing museums, parks and walk­ing tracks. Ring your lo­cal Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Bu­reau to find out what pro­grammes are run­ning in your re­gion. Of­ten some ac­tiv­i­ties are free, or have a small charge. For the more ad­ven­tur­ous, you may want to plan a trip away, to Gore, Te Anau, Manapouri or Ste­wart Is­land or even In­ver­cargill. An ar­ray of ex­cit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties are on tap in­clud­ing ice-skat­ing, jet boat­ing and ferry rides. For those on a bud­get swim­ming pools and the movies are a just a snip­pet of ac­tiv­i­ties that won’t break the bank. Or you could get artis­tic, buy a bucket of chalk and let them draw a mas­ter­piece on the foot­path or pa­tio. Paint and crayons are other cheap al­ter­na­tives that will keep them busy for ages. Just re­mem­ber the hol­i­day’s may be a pain but with some care­ful plan­ning a great time can be had by ev­ery­one in the fam­ily. Chill out and en­joy the time spent to­gether.

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