Once this week ends, the school holidays begin!
While children are rejoicing, some parents are scratching their heads, wondering how they can keep their children occupied and entertained. When I picked Phoebie up from school the other day, I met some of her classmates’ mums and they shared my sentiments. On the one hand, we are happy to spend time with the children, but on the other hand, 24/7 with them at home means we need to think of activities to do with them.
This may not be the most comprehensive list, but these are what I thought of and plan to do with Phoebie.
1. Go for a holiday
For kids, it really isn’t about going far and beyond. So plan a holiday according to what your budget and leave allow. Destinations like Disneyland Hong Kong is a favourite among Singaporean parents.
If you want to go somewhere nearby, there’re many options in our neighbour, Malaysia. Nearby options include Legoland Hotel, or a little further like Malacca, Port Dickson or Kuala Lumpur.
If going overseas is an issue, there’s always the option of doing a staycation instead. Book a room at a local hotel and be a tourist in Singapore! Show Singapore to your children in a special by taking the Duck Tour. This may be that special memory your children will have of their school holidays.
2. Educational destinations
Whether it’s the Singapore Science Centre or Arts museum, there is somewhere you can bring your children for an educational tour.
3. To the beach
What can I say? Children love sand and water! And the best part is, this is free! Just bring a few recycled plastic items like jelly cups, milk powder scoops and plastic bottles, and the children can have a good time digging sand and building sandcastle.
If time permits, bring along some simple food and a mat. That’ll make a nice picnic outing.
4. Indoors playground:
These places are practically everywhere now! Even neighbourhood shopping malls have them. Just to name a few, you can bring your children to Polliwogs, Sing kids, Hokey Pokey, Kids Amaze or Fidgets. These places are good alternatives to outdoor activities because of the monsoon season at the end of the year.
Of course, it doesn’t take a playground that charges an entrance fee for children to have fun. A lot of malls have free indoors playgrounds too. Just run a check on google for free playgrounds at malls and you’ll find somewhere to bring your children.
5. Water play:
Most children love playing with water and water play is a legitimate reason to get wet. A lot of shopping malls are now equiped with such play areas and the best part is, they are free! If the mall nearest to you doesn’t have a water play area, simply google for shopping malls with water play and you’ll find somewhere to bring your children.
One of my favourite free water play places is at Gardens By The Bay. Right next to the water play area is a playground, so children have lots to play with.
6. Theme parks:
Whether it’s Universal Studios Singapore, Legoland Malaysia, or the newly opened Angry Bird theme park (also in Nusa Jaya, Malayasia), a day in the theme park is always a day full of fun and laughter for the whole family.
One thing to note though, is height limits for rides. If your children are below 1 metre or even below 90cm tall, there is a limiter number of rides they can take, due to safety regulations. So choose wisely, not only based on what’s fun, but also where your children can participate most.
7. Go To The Library
Ahh… The world of books, full of colourful pictures and stories of all kinds. This is the best place to nurture the habit of reading. Let’s not forget that it’s indoors, so there’s no need to worry about weather changes.
8. Visit The Local Farm
There is no need to go overseas to help your children escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. As developed as Singapore is, there are still places you can bring your children to enjoy some simple farm life.
The Lim Chu Kang area boasts a great variety of farms. Known as the Kranji Countryside, children can go farm hoping and see all kinds of plants and animals.
There’s also The Animal Resort at the Seletar Farm area. One farm, many animals. So it’s a great choice.
9. Catch A Movie In The Cinema
Bring your children for one of the new child-friendly movies at the cinema. A trip to the cinema is always something special that children enjoy.
10. Catch A Movie At Home
If bringing the children to the cinema isn’t possible, then bring the cinema home to the children! You can buy/rent/borrow a film the whole family can enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
This is one of my favourite options for young children because young children have a tendency to talk during a show. I also like to use the chance to share some learning points from the film with my daughter. Just dim the lights and make it feel like you’re in the cinema.
11. Art projects at home
There are lots of art projects you can do at home with your children. Sand art, making things out of recycled items, or simply painting on a piece of paper, these are all ways your children can exercise their creative juices.
12. Cooking together
This is one of my favourite things to do. Whether it’s baking or cooking a meal, my four-year-old daughter has tried her hand at helping me in the kitchen. It spurs her curiousity about food and she learns how her food is prepared. The most important thing, of course, is to give her age-appropriate tasks. This ensures safety.
So with a few days till the start of the school holidays, have fun planning what to do with your children!