School holidays provide the opportunity for a breather from the rigours of daily school life – from early morning wake-ups to after-school activities. My children count down the days to every school holiday in the hopes of being able to sleep-in and with dreams of multiple playdates and endless fun.
Unfortunately, with 2 older school-going children in our midst, the reality is that our holidays also involve some level of academic work. I have learnt that building learning time into each day provides us with ample opportunities for play. As long as we have a plan to tackle the things that need to get done, we would still be able to enjoy meaningful and enriching experiences.
My children and I have put together a list (our own wish list, if you like) of what we think would make our holidays extra fun and memorable – read on to try them out yourself!
1. Take a walk down memory lane
My children love hearing about our childhood and what we were like growing up. They especially enjoy listening to us recount our funny encounters of yesteryear. Spend a few evenings walking down memory lane as you reminisce your growing up years together. You may even want to pull out old photo albums to help you recall those forgotten memories.
Spend a few evenings walking down memory lane as you reminisce your growing up years together.
2. Discover local marine life
Earlier this year, we spent a Saturday morning walking along the beach at East Coast Park. We combed the shore in search of seashells to add to our collection, but little did we expect to find hermit crabs, sea stars and sea snails.
It was a fun-filled morning of chasing after tiny crabs, watching them bury themselves in the sand, and discovering other interesting marine life living on our shores. We can’t wait to go back again this holiday!
3. Have breakfast for dinner
Switch things around and have breakfast for dinner; or, better yet, let the kids take charge and plan the family meal instead. My children jump at the chance to have pancakes, bacon and eggs, and even cereal for dinner. Now that they are older, we also allow them the privilege to prepare the entire meal for us all. It’s great fun watching them work together in the kitchen, and it’s also an invaluable opportunity for them to practise planning and teamwork skills.
4. Create a holiday reading plan
Being an avid reader, reading 10 books was on my daughter’s checklist for this holiday. My son is less into reading and would rather spend his time drawing. So I created a holiday reading plan to motivate him to read more.
It involves taking them to the library to choose their own books, and then getting them to draw out their favourite scene from each book. I’m hoping that this would give my son something to look forward to after completing every book and help cultivate in him a love for reading.
I plan to take them to the library to choose their own books, and get them to draw out their favourite scene.
5. Build a Lego city
My children enjoy creating and making. Getting them to work together to plan a Lego city, work on their individual segments of that city and then put it all together at the end is a project that can stretch over the entire holiday break. It will encourage them to expand their imagination, stretch their creativity and hone teamwork skills, not to mention making good use of all the loose Legos that we have around the house.
6. Recreate your favourite childhood games
The holidays may give us good reason to take a breather from the plethora of technology that our children are exposed to daily. Inspire them to go tech-free by teaching them fun old-school games, like the ones we grew up playing. Make a skipping rope with chains of rubber bands and teach them how to play ‘zero point’, hold a flag eraser tournament at home or go outdoors and teach them how to play ‘police and thief’.
I’ve realised that the best holidays for us do not involve elaborate plans, expensive outings or a far-away destination.
At the end of the day, it was the quality time we spent together, in each other’s company that truly mattered to them.
Have fun with these ideas, and have a great holiday!
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