How to Keep Your Children Occupied During School Holidays

While school is in session, keeping your child active and busy is quite easy. They go to school during the week, and they work on their homework and leisure activities after school. However, some parents become stressed at the idea of finding ways to keep a child busy during school breaks and holidays. The solution is simple: make sure that your child is involved in extra-curricular activities in the community and in the school.

Winter Break
Most school children have a few days off from school during Thanksgiving break. They also have a couple of weeks free in December and January for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This time can seem never-ending for a child who is easily bored. However, if you involve your child in fall and winter sports, then they have something to look forward to. For example, basketball and football teams have sports practice and even games and tournaments during Thanksgiving and Christmas break. If your child is involved in one of these sports, then they are sure to stay active. Not only do they stay fit, but they also develop skills that will help them as adults. For instance, participating in team sports helps your child learn to work well with others. Their personal and team achievements can also help them feel better about themselves. When they learn a new skill or when they are victorious, it makes them feel special and valuable.

Summer Holidays
Summer vacation is the most extensive break for kids. It is a great time to take a family vacation, but children may also feel that it’s an opportunity to spend more time with their peers. If this is the case, then summer camp is a good option. You may be able to find a short summer day camp in your community. However, depending on the age and maturity level of your child, you may choose to send them away from home for a week or two instead. At camp, children socialize with people their own age. Younger kids participate in camp sports, construct crafts, and learn more about the arts. Older children will participate in the same activities, but they will perform tasks more suited to their adult skills. In some cases, older kids have the opportunity to mentor the younger kids.

Spring Break
Most children receive a one or two week vacation from school during March or April. If you live in a warm climate, try to get your child to participate in outdoor activities during this time. Long bike rides and trips to the beach are fun, and they allow children to participate in physical tasks like walking, running or beach volleyball.
Spring sports are also an option. Most schools have tennis teams and track and field teams that practice during these months.

Indoor Games and Activities
If your child does not enjoy sports or the outdoors, try encouraging them to find other activities. Electronic games can be fun, though they are sometimes addictive. Do not allow your child to spend too much time on their computer or PS2, and try to encourage them to play educational games.

Indoor arts and crafts are a good idea for any season. Encourage your child to create artwork that you can display around the house. Younger children may enjoy making finger paintings and colored drawings. Cooking, pottery-making, knitting and sewing are all good activities for older children.

Music is also a good way to keep school-aged kids busy. Some children take piano lessons as early as age five. Other children participate in their school’s concert band and marching band. Practicing a musical instrument is always time well-spent.