Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Simple cool stuff to do with the kids during the break...

So the school mid-term break is now in full swing for the parents among us, and after Disney Junior (DSTV channel 309 for those non-parental readers) is all maxxed out, we have to start getting a little bit more creative in terms of stuff to do.

After all, this is meant to be quality time that we should be spending with our kids, is it not?

So it occurred to me that all we really need to do, is go back to basics.
I dusted out the crazy cobwebs in my noggin, and took a trip down memory lane, back to when I was a kid who still held school holidays in high regard.
Man, those were the days - endless weeks of free time, so much free time... where did all the time go?
Does time diminish as one grows older? I guess in a way it does, but that's a subject for another day...

Anyway, I came up with a few simple things from my childhood that often provided hours of entertainment, and which still apply today.
Just because we live in a world full of iPads and WIFI, doesn't mean that our kids can't still enjoy some of the same things that we did while growing up.

Next time you are at a loss for something fun to do, maybe this list will be of some use:

  • Build a puzzle:
    I used to spend hours as a kid on jigsaw puzzles, and they fascinate me to this day.
    The kids also love them, even from a young age.

  • Make some Lego:
    Does anybody not enjoy Lego? 
    From building crazy castles as a kid, to creating massively reinforced cars (only to smash them into the nearest wall), Lego is truly timeless.

    Lego at work.
    Lego at work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Roast marshmallows:
    This one requires some adult supervision obviously, but it's a favourite and generally accompanies any braai as a sweet treat afterwards.
    Avoid contact with clothing...!

  • Swim:
    Kids go nuts for pools in summer. It's that simple.
    If the weather permits and you are fortunate enough to have access to a pool, get in.
    We have some pretty awesome summers here in South Africa, so we may as well make the most of them.

    Blue-water-pool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Make a fire:
    Lighting up a fire at sunset just does something for the soul. Perhaps somehow it connects us to our ancestral roots, to a time when fire was vital for survival.
    Who knows - all I can say is that even as an adult I still enjoy a good fire, be it a campfire or a small log fire to roast some marshmallows over.

    Just flames
    Just flames (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Stargaze:
    While stoking the fire, why not turn your eyes up to the heavens and pick out some of our celestial neighbours or constellations.
    Apart from the moon, several of the planets in our solar system are easily visible in our night skies, and with dark enough skies and cloudless conditions, even amateur equipment can reveal a surprising amount of detail on objects such as Saturn and Jupiter.
    Pretty awe-inspiring, and appreciated by young and old alike.

    English: Pleiades Star Cluster
    English: Pleiades Star Cluster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • Create silence:
    Here is one that I struggle with a lot, but which I still try to achieve, however difficult it may be.
    When you get home, switch your cellphone to Silent. It has been ringing all day, with a thousand different people vying for your attention.
    So ask yourself, how many of those people are more important to you than your loved ones?
    It's not easy I know, but in a world where constant noise is the order of the day, a little bit of silence can't be a bad thing. 
If it's an excursion you are looking for, then head over to our other blog - Plebs with Kids, where we review kid-friendly spots in and around Johannesburg.

As I type this post I keep thinking of new things that I want to add to this list, so I guess this post will be a bit of a work in progress.
Can you think of anything that you loved as a kid, that you feel deserves a mention?

Drop me a comment below and maybe I'll add it in :)


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