For those at home for two weeks with their tamariki, here’s a quote from the Dalai Lama ‘Happiness is a state of mind’.
If you’re having a few negative thoughts about the upcoming holidays, take his advice and try some new thinking. Be happy that there is no rushing around in the morning to get everyone out of the door on time, it's an opportunity to slow down a bit and have some quality time with tamariki, there are no school lunches to think about for two whole weeks, there's plenty of time to play, exercise and have some fun together as well as freedom to wear what we want with no school uniforms to keep clean
If you think you might struggle to keep kids occupied here’s some ideas to think about:
- Alternate days at home with outings
- Outings don’t have to cost money:
- visit beaches, rivers, libraries, playgrounds or parks for free fun and exploring
- check out your neighbourhood - walk around with a list of things to find
- plan to meet up with other whānau and friends outdoors somewhere
- take a water bottle and some kai with you and have a picnic
- feed the ducks, chase the seagulls, look for shells or crabs at the rocks
- take a ball, a frisbee, some chalk, a kite, or your bike for some outside fun
Have some water fun outside with adults supervising kids will love it
For little ones
- have containers, funnels, colanders for pouring and filling
- paint with water on fences or paths
- wash bikes or toys outside with a bucket of soapy water
- blow bubbles
- water the garden
- make mud pies.
For older kids - any of the above they’re keen on and…
- squirt water pistols
- fill water bombs
- have races to transfer water from point to point using a plastic cup
- race ‘boats’ made from leaves, paper or sticks.
- At home, turn jobs into learning activities you can do together
For little ones
- make lunch together
- wash the dishes or the car
- hang out the washing and have them pass you certain colour pegs
- fold and sort clean clothes – find pairs, group into people or clothing types.
For older kids
- jobs done properly could earn some tokens they can trade for device or screen time
- talk about what jobs they can complete and how many tokens they’re worth
- put the list of jobs up somewhere to refer back to.
Make this poster and hang it on the fridge for those I’m BORED moments
At home days don’t have to be spent in front of the TV or other devices all day. Break up the days by having some time:
- watching TV or on a device
- playing cards or board games
- drawing – colouring – painting
- making play dough
- visiting friends or whānau
- playing outdoors - just wrap up warm if it’s a bit cold.
And remember kids copy what they see the adults around them doing so try to model the behaviour you want to see.
‘Today was good. Today was fun. And tomorrow is another one’ - Dr Suess