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Keeping kids occupied during the December holidays

Friday, November 27, 2015

Right about now, most schools are busy with their final year exams, which means in less than three weeks’ time, schools will be breaking for the festive season holidays and kids are going to be home.

With a whole month and a half to themselves, they surely will run out of things to do and may get up to mischief. Have you thought about how to keep them occupied and out of trouble during this holiday period? And no, endless hours spent in front of the television playing games or watching cartoons don’t count.

Luckily, with a little planning, keeping children busy and entertained during the holidays is as easy as getting online insurance quotes from Dialdirect. We have come up with some fun ways for you to keep them entertained while at home, on the road, and even away on holiday:  


Staying home


If you are going to be home these holidays, there is nothing scarier than hearing a restless child say, “I’m bored.”  Here are a few fun suggestions to engage them:

  • Holiday programmes

Libraries, museums, aquariums or local churches usually have special programmes for children over the holidays. Find out if these are offered around your area and how to go about getting your children signed up. Before you sign them up however, it’s wise to check with them if it’s something they could be interested in.  

  • Summer camps

If you are working and are unable to spend time at home with the children over the holidays, you could take them to a summer camp for kids, where they will interact with other kids their age. These camps are usually supervised and have programmes that are especially suited to them.  

  • Arrange movie days

Have some family bonding time indoors where each of you picks your favourite movie, prepare some snacks and let the movie marathon fun begin.

  • Involve them in household chores

To you, this might seem like not much fun at all, but to young children, being entrusted with the responsibility of cleaning around the house is a big privilege. You can even involve them in preparing meals. You can make this fun by letting them have the responsibility of a particular chore such as washing dishes or clearing away after meals.  

  • Organise sleepovers

Something that all kids love is playing with their friends. Arrange with other parents for a sleepover, and you can take turns hosting the children at each house; this will make you the coolest parents ever.

 In the car



We’re blessed with an abundance of beautiful holiday spots in South Africa, but getting to these can require hours on the road and kids will surely become restless on the journey. Here are a few ideas to keep them entertained en-route:    

  • Audiobooks

If you are traveling by car it could be a little hard for you to read them a book whilst you are driving. Pack audiobooks of their favourite stories for them to listen to.

  • Colouring books

To keep their minds off the long journey, another winning activity for young kids is to let them have colouring books, but don’t forget to pack crayons as well. 

  • Pack snacks

Kids get cranky when they become hungry, so make sure you pack enough snacks for them to pass the time. Ensure you have a variety to offer them from sandwiches, to chips, to fruits, and enough juice and water too.

  • Movies on tablets

Pack a tablet loaded with movies, documentaries or games. However, make sure to limit the time spent on it. 

  • Regular stops

Plan regular stops so that they can stretch their legs and go to the toilet; this will definitely take their minds off the journey.

While on holiday

When on holiday with little kids, it’s impossible to be relaxed if they are not having a good time, so to ensure that they do get their fair share of fun, here are some activities for them:

  • Museums

Take them to kid-friendly museums; many areas have local museums around the town. This could be of interest to kids who have an affinity for history and art. 

  • Exhibitions

If you are going to be holidaying around major cities such as Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban, you could find out if they have an upcoming exhibition and if these are open for kids too.

  • Theatre/puppet shows

Find out if there are any of these types of shows around and take your little ones to watch, because children love nothing more than watching a fun and engaging show that is also interactive. Big theatres often have pantomimes around this period. 

  • Adventures

Older children might enjoy going for walks, hiking and guided adventure trails, so find out if the place you’re staying at will arrange such activities for kids.

The holidays are just around the corner and the sooner you prepare for them, the better the holidays will be for everyone. After all, when kids are bored, it’s tough on everyone in the household as parents will attest. You don’t want them occupying themselves with mischief, because this means you may end up having to claim on your household insurance because they enjoyed a game of cricket in the lounge.