Ah, the challenges of being responsible for hyperactive children. Feeding, clothing and sheltering a young brood of kids is one thing; keeping the cheeky guys entertained is another thing entirely. Balancing the kids’ desires for fun activities with cost and educational value can be a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
If you find your wits nearing their metaphorical end as school holidays draw closer, fear not: our suggestions of seven great ways to keep the whole family amused will give you the peaceful, calm and headache-free time at home you deserve. Relief!
Getting back to nature
Learn more about your local area by going on a nature walk in your vicinity. It’s the ideal chance to get the kids to learn about their local environment and how important it is to take care of it. Plus, more selfishly perhaps, we tend to find that if you take them to a beautiful enough spot, it may just awe them into peace and quiet. Score.
All on board
Board games are a great way to bring the family together. Alternatively, if you’re all hypercompetitive types, a not-so-friendly board game could potentially tear you all apart in fits of competitive rage. Start with the basics – say, Snakes and Ladders – before progressing to Monopoly or you may risk having World War Three erupt in your household.
Few activities bring a family together closer than silently ignoring each other for a few hours to watch a blockbuster instead. For a well-planned movie night, make sure everyone agrees upon the all-important film selection in advance, prepare the necessary popcorn and ice creams and, voila, you end up with a genuine bonding experience. Kudos if you develop your child’s critical thinking skills by discussing the movie afterwards.
Trip down memory lane
This one is cheap, quick and super simple: just take out your old photo albums or home video footage and put it on proud display for the kids. Reminisce in unison and be sure to share your favourite funny memories; the entire family will be in stitches in no time.
Family baking – Ways To Entertain The Family
Sweet-toothed families will adore the family baking activity, which involves cajoling your brood into cooperating in the kitchen through the promise of a sugary treat in compensation. Muffins, cookies, cakes or brownies – take your pick!
Stories of any kind are a great parenting tool that, when told correctly, can engage your child’s imagination, empathy and sense of thrill. For the older kids who fancy themselves too cool for chapter books, add a bright torch, creepy tone of voice and spooky twist in your story – ghost stories are always cool.
Test the entire family with an impromptu trivia contest. Get each family member to write a question on their topic of expertise on colour-coded cards so that they can’t cheat by answering their own ones. Next, simply quiz each other on the inane and possibly useless contents of each other’s brains and see who scores the most points! A trivia night may even be educational; just don’t expect the facts you all learn to be, you know, particularly useful later in life – except for future trivia nights, of course.
Maria Lucia is a freelance writer from Sydney who, as the eldest of five, has spent many a rainy day devising fun activities to keep kids entertained, from Christian youth camps to sampling the local convention centre.