Visit whānau and friends to break up routine

Going for a trip to visit nearby whānau and friends can be a welcome change of environment and playmates for your tamariki, as well as yourself.  You could also take care of whānau members’ children so it gives them a break as well. They can return the favour a few days later!

Allow yourself a break from household chores

School holidays can be a holiday for you as well! You can take a break from school lunches and your normal routines, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get all the housework and errands done. If that load of washing has to wait then it has to wait – enjoy the time you get to spend with your tamariki.

Seek out free activities in your area

There are lots of free school holiday activities that are run in libraries, museums and community centres around the country. Check with your local groups and see what they have scheduled.

Turn chores into a fun game

If you’re worried about finishing some of your chores, turn them into a fun activity that you and your tamariki can do together. Give them a challenge – see who can tidy up their toys the quickest!

Don’t be afraid of the cold weather

You don’t have to avoid heading outside altogether just because it’s cold and wintery. Wrap your tamariki up warm and go for a winter walk – even if it is just around the block. It’s important to get in some physical activity, and it means they’ll come back home refreshed and with a little less cabin fever. 

Stuck for ideas?

There are lots of low-cost and no-cost ways you can spend time together and get involved in play with your tamariki. Check out Tiny Adventures for more great ideas.

You’ll need: One cup of water, 1/4 cup dishwashing liquid, 2 teaspoons of corn syrup (optional), a clean container, and a pipe cleaner or some bendy wire 

  1. Bubble mix: Gently stir the water, dishwash and syrup together, then pour the mix into your container.
  2. Bend one end of your wire so that it forms a small circle. Or find something with a closed circle, like scissor and     whisk handles, or a tea strainer
  3. Dip the wand into your bubble mix. Can you see some in your circle?!
  4. If so, gently blow through the circle… bubble magic!

 Easy option: Buy your first bubble mix and just top it up when you run out.

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You’ll need: 340g of spaghetti pasta and your favourite tasty extras... see below!

  1. Cook and drain your spaghetti. Follow the instructions on the packet.
  2. Add your favourite extras! Tasty tomato: Add a can of plain or flavoured tomatoes to your drained pasta. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add some fresh basil (optional). Veggie hide and seek: Pan fry and add 1-2 cups of finely chopped/grated veggies. We love onion, carrot and courgette. Vegemite treat: Stir a little butter, 2 tablespoons of water and 2 teaspoons of vegemite (or marmite) into your drained pasta.
  3. Sprinkle with grated cheese and serve. Yum yum!
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You’ll need: A sock for each person, a pen, stickers, or buttons and glue (optional) 

  1. Use your sock like a glove, putting your thumb in the heel and fingers in the toe.
  2. Music: Have your puppets sing a song!
  3. Story: Get your puppets to act out a story.
  4. Chat: Use your puppets to chat about  your favourite things.

 Extra: Give your puppet a name?

Draw, sew or glue on some eyes and hair

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You’ll need: A mess to tidy! A little goofiness and some friendly competition!

  1. Race the song: Put on a song and see if you can tidy up everything before the song ends!
  2. Play mission impossible: Put on some theme music and take turns choosing a mission. E.g. Our challenge is to put away anything that’s blue. Or all our shoes.
  3. Kids vs parents: Race each other – kids tidying one room, adults another! Eek – don’t let the kids win!
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Activities to try with your tamariki