Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Keeping Children Of All Ages Occupied Over The School Holidays

OK we have all been there and heard the'

                     ''I'm Bored''
in the holidays so what can we do to stop this.

Holidays are tricky because it is taking children out of a well rehearsed routine, its all about retraining, and you just get the hang of it all and its time to go back to school.
A money of course is a huge factor in the holidays, if Mum has had to take time off work, there is the added fact of no earnings, so it doesn't always have to cost to keep the children occupied, there are loads of things to do that cost next to nothing.

Remember, It is not the amount of money spent on children that they will remember, it is the 
Spent with them that they will remember always.

Pre School Children

These are the easy ones to keep occupied, because there world has just got exciting as everyone is home more.
Regardless of whether Mum is at home or working, there are plenty of things to keep preschooler occupied.

Here are a few colouring pages to print out



Instructions here:


4 Minute Play Dough


2 cups plain flour (all purpose)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tartar
1.5 cups boiling water (adding more in increments if needed)
food colouring (optional)
few drops glycerin (optional- adds more shine!)

Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl
Add the boiling water
Stir continuously until it becomes a sticky, combined dough
Add the food colouring and glycerine (both optional)
Allow it to cool down then take it out of the bowl and knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness has gone. * This is the most important part of the process, so keep at it until it’s the perfect consistency!*
(If it remains a little sticky then add a touch more flour until just right)

Join FATSO on a Free 2 week trial and watch movies for free

Children between the ages of 5 and 10 

This age takes some consideration and they get bored very easily, I've included a few things that will hopefully give you a good balance over the holidays, you can easily see which is designed for girls and which is designed for the boys.

Free books to redeem, get in early so they arrive before the holidays.

Free computer game, get in early so it can arrive before the holidays start

Colouring Print Out


Hire a movie 

And make it fun by using these 3D glasses, again get in early so they are there for the holidays, cook up some popcorn and have a real movie day.


Join FATSO on a Free 2 week trial and watch movies for free

Host a Dance party

Invite around some of your daughter's friends, get a bunch of their favourite CDs and let them dance til they drop. All you'll have to do is provide drinks and snacks!

Tie Dying

Tie dye is a popular technique used to create colourful designs and patterns on clothing. 
Various techniques have been used to tie dye clothing for more than 6000 years.
Today, tie dye is a great way to jazz up plain t-shirts and other garments using colourfast dyes and creative folding techniques. 
What's more the techniques and these free instructions are so simple, that even kids can have fun tie dyeing!
Learning how to tie dye is very easy. 

All you have to do is follow these instructions for tie dye to create unique patterns on your clothes that will last for years...or until you want to tie dye the garment again!
The first thing you need to do when learning how to tie dye is to obtain the right materials.

You will need to buy or use clothing that is suitable for tie dye as well as the dyes themselves and other materials that make the tie dye process effective. 

Here is a list of items you will need to tie dye clothing.
Most dyes from reputable manufacturers are suitable for tie dying.
Any t shirt is fine to use
To keep your hands clean and free from dye.
Large container or bowl
To tie dye the clothing in.
Elastic bands or string
To create the tie dye effect.
Sodium Carbonate
To promote transfer of the dye onto the clothing.
(For use with certain dyestuffs. Please check dyestuff manufacturers instructions)

Next stage
The next process is to place the tied garment in a bowl of hot water into which sodium carbonate is dissolved. Immersion should be for around 20 minutes. The sodium carbonate solution will help the dye take more readily to the garment. (Please check the instructions on the dyestuff to see if this stage is necessary)

Next Stage
Apply the dye to the water as per the dye manufacturer's instructions.

Next Stage
The next stage in tie dye process is to remove the garment from the dye and leave to dry for 24 hours. The garment should then be washed thoroughly before wearing or before application of a new dye pattern to superimpose over the existing dye pattern.

Scavenger Hunt

Come up with a list of odd and fun items for your kids to find. They can hunt around the house or your garden.
Some suggested items could be:
A cancelled stamp, a straw, a rubber band, a coin dated in a particular decade, a toothpick.
If you live in the country, or go to a park, some suggestions are a pine cone, a worm, a bug, a white rock, something red, a feather. 

Make a sundial

Teach your kids how people used to tell the time before clocks and watches were invented. All you need is a compass to find out where north is and then put a stick in the ground and watch the shadow change position as the sun moves.

Make A Rain Catcher

Take a large jar and mark lines half an inch apart going up the line jar.
Leave it outside with the lid off to collect water when it rains. 

Your child will also be able to see how much rainfall there has been.

Make a wormery

If you're feeling really green-fingered, then you can also try helping them collect worms for their own wormery. Just after it rains is the best time to hunt for worms. 
Once you've collected five or so then put them in a large Tupperware box or old ice-cream tub with some soil.
Make holes in the top so they can breathe. 
Then you'll be able to feed the worms food scraps, including eggshells and vegetable peelings.
 The worms will make great compost, which you'll be able to use in your garden.

The Library

If you haven't managed to create a bookworm, then this could be the perfect place to start.
There's something for everyone here, regardless of whether they're a sports buff, adventure fan or prefer something more romantic and girly. 
Best of all, if they find some they like, it costs nothing to take them out!

Take a walk and draw pictures of where you have been

Whether you live in a city, town or the country, there will be places to go they've never been before.
Think of somewhere with spectacular views, or a part of your local area that's has lots of history attached to it. 

Visit the Beach

Even if the sun's not shining, it can be great fun, walking along the beach looking for 'lost treasure'. 
You can find crabs and barnacles in rock pools, lots of shells and amazing coloured pebbles.

Make a treasure hunt

OK, so this means a bit of work on your behalf, but why not write some clues and then hide some treats around your house and garden for your children to find.
Solve the clues and they'll get the prize

Get them to make a map

You draw the squares on a large sheet of paper and see how easy they find it to draw the local neighbourhood. 
Get them to imagine they're a bird in the sky looking down. 
Not as easy as it sounds

Have a karaoke competition

If you have a games console, then something like SingStar is fantastic, or just use CD's or download a couple of karaoke songs on the internet.
Make sure you sing along to some of the songs as well. There's nothing like embarrassing yourself to entertain your kids!

Put on a play

Encourage your child's creative side, by finding a box of dressing-up clothes and get them to come up with a story for a play. 
You might need to help them with some ideas (princess trapped in a castle; stranded on a desert island are two).
Don't forget you'll also have to sit through the performance.

Get into painting

In the same way that museums are far cooler now than they used to be, art galleries have woken up to making painting fun. 
Many of them have workshops that kids can take part in and quizzes they can answer as they go round. 

Here is a free print out to paint along with

Get into Dot Marking

Dot markers are fun stamping type markers that children use the fill in the white dots on the pictures


Go pond dipping
Get your kids to discover a bit about nature just by visiting your local pond, all you need is a net or plastic container and a local pond.
Sweep the net or carton firmly through the water and then transfer the creatures using a plastic spoon into a separate carton filled with clean water. 

You'll be amazed at what's in there!

Go educational

There are lots of things to do to refresh you memory for school, and try out some of the printable downloads from this page.

Do some junk modelling

Get together a load of things like egg boxes, cereal cartons, plastic milk bottles and let their imaginations run riot. 
If you get some friends round and ask them to bring their own junk, it becomes even more fun.
You just need to provide the  tape, scissors, glue and paint and keep an eye on them.

 If you do need some inspiration, if included an idea for a game of Skittles


1. Undo the lids of all six bottles and pour approx 50 g of rice into each bottle to weigh it. 
Run a line of glue around the inside of the lids before screwing them back onto the bottles.

2. Using our picture as a guide, decide on the 'neck', and paint the top part of your bottles a light shade for the head, then paint the body in a darker shade of the same colour. Leave to dry.

3. Paint waves or splodges on the body using the lighter shade. Paint the lids as hats with a contrasting hatband. Paint a row of dots in between the head and the body. 
Finally, use a fine paintbrush to paint in a face and strands of hair on the head.
Leave to dry completely before setting your skittles up for a game!

Go star spotting

Gazing at the clear night sky can be an amazing experience and, if you can tell your children which constellations are which, it'll be even cooler for them.
Do some research beforehand, if you want,get a book out of the library,  otherwise just get them to see if they can spot any interesting shapes in the patterns of the stars

Get them in the kitchen

There are loads of simple recipes you can try out with your children. 
If you're concerned about them getting things in and out of the oven, then why not try making chocolate crispy crackly cakes, which just have to be chilled in the fridge.
If they really love it, then why not challenge them to come up with different sandwich fillings for their tea? They many not particularly enjoy the results, but you're teaching them about taste, as well as having fun!

Fly a kite

Brighten up a windy day by going outside and flying a kite. 
You can buy kites from most toy shops or emporiums, or you could have a go at making your own.

Make paper planes

Use up all that scrap paper that was destined for the recycling and build a fleet of paper airplanes.
Then you can launch them from an upstairs window, or in the back garden. 
You could make different kinds and see which one flies the farthest.

Write a story

Use your imaginations and write a story together. 
It doesn't have to be original, the kids could write down their favourite fairy tale and just change the ending if they feel like it.
Another great idea is to write chain stories with friends.

Each person writes a paragraph and then shows the final line only to the next writer. 
Once the final person has written their section, read the whole story out loud - it's usually pretty funny!
Here are some helpful writting prompts

Well there is bound to be something in that lot, to refresh your imagination and find something that your children can participate in, and most of them were free.

Here is another download which is pretty cool

63 activities focused on skills such as shapes and colors, same vs. different, sorting / sequencing / categorizing, puzzles, mazes, fine motor, math, and literacy

Practising Maths Printable Worksheets

Free Worksheet Packet for Preschool-First Grade

Here are some sites which you can play childrens games online
But always check as there may be hidden adds or links that could be clicked on, while browsing.
Starfall – Games for learning to read.

BigIQKids - Games for money, measurement, spelling, and vocabulary.

Scholastic – A variety of games featuring characters like Clifford, Word Girl, Maya and Miguel, and The Magic Schoolbus.

Spelling City – Spelling and some language arts are available free. A paid account offers vocabulary, writing, and more spelling games.

Suessville – Both games and printable activities based on Dr. Seuss books.

SoftSchools – Offers free math worksheets, free math games, grammar quizzes and free phonics worksheets and games.

Sheppard Software – Lots of subjects covered with these games including science, math, geography, language arts, and health. There is a section that breaks down what ages they are for, from preschool to adulthood.

XtraMath – A website for students to practice math skills. You can track your student’s progress in your parent account.

Reading Bear – Free phonics and vocabulary videos.

Khan Academy – Math, science, economics and finance, and humanities videos.

ABCya – Games for grades K-5, organized by grade level. Covers mostly language arts topics.

Kids Know It – Games that cover astronomy, geology, history, math, spelling, and more.

Grade Spelling – Spelling lists and activities by grade from first grade through high school.

Turtle Diary – You can find games by grade, subject, or topic. Grades are toddler through 3rd currently, with 4th and 5th coming soon.

Peep and the Big Wide World – Lots of fun games based on the show.

Learning Planet – Games organized by grade group from preschool to 7th grade and beyond.

ScootPad – Math and reading activities where you can track their progress with a parent dashboard.

Multiplication.com – Games to help students with multiplication facts.

PBS Kids – Loads of games for learning from PBS shows like Martha Speaks, WordWorld, and Super Why.

IXL – Math and language arts for pre-k through 8th grade, plus algebra 1 and 2 and geometry.

Cookie – Learning games for phonics, math, science, social studies, and more.

FreeTypingGame.net – Exactly that, free typing games.

Typing Club – Free touch typing program.

Typing Web – Another free program for learning typing.

Music Theory – Online resources for learning music theory.

Arcademic Skill Builders – Games for math, spelling, typing, and geography. Grades 1-6.

Review Game Zone – Games to help students review subjects like math, science, foreign language, economics, history, technology, and more.

Purpose Games – Students can play games created by other users and you can create your own. Lots of geography and science games.

Easy Peasy All-in-One Homeschool – There is a review games section on this site that links to a lot of different games and is organized very well.

Math Game Time – Math games and apps.

The Kid Should See This – This is a collection of not-made-for-kids videos curated for kids. Some really awesome videos like the footage from a camera strapped to the back of an eagle.

History.com – The game section of the cable channel’s website features games from their shows, including action games and puzzles.

Ducksters – A selection of games like online hangman, geography hangman, battleship, chess, and a dots logic game.

Sesame Street – The classic children’s show has a games section on their site featuring the characters from the show.

Funschool – Word and math games.

Wordly Wise 3000 – Games to go with the popular curriculum.

Grammar Ninja – An online game with three levels of grammar fun.

Mission US – Free interactive games for learning US history.

Dance Mat Typing – Free online game for learning to type.

Fun Brain – Lots of games available organized into the categories math arcade, reading, fun arcade, and playground.

AG Kid Zone – Games featuring characters from Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Holly Hobbie, and more. These are matching, finding, and similar type games.

Veggie Tales – Games like find the penny, puzzles, and matching games featuring the Veggie Tales characters.

Hightlights Kids – Find the difference, picture sudoku, code crackers, silly story twisters, and other puzzle games can be found here. Other sections of the site include hidden pictures, jokes, and art activities.

Word Central – From the folks at Merriam-Webster, these are free word games.

Brain Pop – Social studies, science, math, health, English, and engineering and tech games.

Mensa for Kids – This site contains links to some games found elsewhere, but there are also games marked updated daily that are pop up games on this site. Games for older students.

Learning Games for Kids – A variety of games for typing, math, music, colors, and more.

Knowledge Adventure – Educational games you can search by grade, age, or subject.

Nick Jr. – Games for preschoolers featuring the characters from Nick Jr shows like Bubble Guppies, Dora, Mike the Knight, and more.

Leapfrog – Online games from the popular educational company.

Boatload Puzzles – Crossword puzzles for older students (or Mom and Dad).

Super Teacher Tools – This one last because it is more for the homeschool teacher than student. You can make your own jeopardy games to play with your students. There is a variety of other tools available as well.

Here is a  fun cook book from kellogs, with plenty to try, its downloadable or printable, you choose.

Children between 10-15

Ok we're getting even trickier, so imagination is the key here, otherwise they will spend a lot of time in their rooms.
Check out your local library or school to see if there are any holiday programmes organised, as these may help fill in a few days of their break.

Heres some free music to redeem or download




Some more ideas

Hire a movie 
And make it fun by using these 3D glasses, again get in early so they are there for the holidays, cook up some popcorn and have a real movie day.

Join FATSO on a Free 2 week trial and watch movies for free

Easy outdoor tent

Making your own tent in the garden on a sunny day is the perfect way to occupy bored children.
There's something magical about creating your own cubby tent out of sheets and string that beats a store-bought tent every time.
What you need:

1 x long piece of rope (3-5m)
2 x double bed sheets or larger
4 x bricks or rocks
6 x clothes pegs
1 x picnic blanket for inside the tent

First, stretch your rope between two trees or poles and tie firmly.
You could even use a fence post or a large hook screwed into a wall. 
All you need is two points about 3m apart and approximately 1.5m high where you can tie your rope. 
Make sure it's taut.
Peg one of your sheets to the rope, with most of its length hanging down one side and then the second sheet with most of its length hanging down the other side of the rope. 
These will be the sides of your tent.
Pull out the bottom edges of each sheet and weight them down with bricks or rocks.
Lay down a picnic blanket inside your tent.
Let your children stay in there all day: serve them lunch in there, in summer, you could even serve them their dinner inside the tent!
Whatever happens, you won't see them for at least a few hours

Mini crazy golf circuit
Find pipes, trays, wood and anything in the garden to make your own mini golf circuit - just make sure you have a set of clubs and a few balls.

Kindle Downloads
Here a couple of free Kindle downloads, you will need to be a Amazon Member though to receive these.

101 Best Jokes

Toungue Twisters For Kids

Ages 15 +

These are the hard ones to keep occupied
Remember that your teenagers want to be with their friends, and not always with you. Have an area available where they can be on their own and not always under your watchful eye. But make it a place where, while it is fun for teenagers, you can occasionally breeze in and out.

If you can
Equip a room for entertainment. It doesn't need to be a 62 inch hi-definition TV with home theater system. 
A room with a TV, VCR and DVD player, some comfortable furniture and a few pillows for throwing can be fun for teenagers a great start. 
And a few reasonably rated video games or DVD's can go a long way.

Have snaks on hand. 
This is vitally important if you have teenage boys around, but it works on the girls as well. 
Teen favorites include brownies, ice cream, and salsa and tortilla chips. 
If you have girls, make sure you have chocolate as well. 
Foods that are fun for teenagers will make all the difference in the world.

Avoid embarrassing moments
You know the things you do that sometimes make your teens feel awkward.
Don't try to be one of them; avoid your little idiosyncrasies when your teenager's friends are around.

Have things to do.
Besides movies, teens enjoy games. Consider a foosball table, a table tennis game or a pool table if you have room. 
Or just have a good supply of fun board games.
If you have girls, craft and scrapbooking supplies can make a fun evening. A basketball hoop in the driveway can occupy teen boys for a long time
Keep your standards. 
Don't let objectionable movies, alcohol, tobacco or drugs into your home.
Set limits. 
If you want the house clean in the morning, make sure your teen understands.
Keep the noise to a tolerable level, especially if you have neighbors who want to sleep. And make sure that your teen knows her friends are responsible for any damage to the property. 
Don't let it become a free-for-all just to create an environment that you think will be fun for teenagers.
Use paper products. 
If you are feeding the Third Army of teens, make sure you have paper cups, plates and utensils on hand. Clean up can be a big job if you have lots of dishes to wash.
Make it easy on yourself and have throwaways available.

Here are some free downloads which will help to alleviate the holiday boredom
Music Downloads




Join FATSO on a Free 2 week trial and watch movies for free

Try making your own coffees

Skip the expensive coffee shop and make your own. Brew some fancy coffee drinks, like chocolate black forest coffee or sweet, spicy Mexican coffee. 
If you really want to get into the coffee shop mood, read some poetry to each other or have an open-mic night

Black Forest Coffee

6 oz hot coffee
2 tbs chocolate syrup
1 tbs maraschino cherry juice
Whipped cream
Chocolate shavings
Maraschino cherries

In a mug, mix coffee, syrup and cherry juice. Stir well then top with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cherries.
Serves 1

Mexican Coffee

125ml ground coffee
80ml chocolate syrup
1 tbs cinnamon
250ml milk
60ml brown sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

Before brewing, combine coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Brew however you like. In another small saucepan, heat brown sugar, syrup and milk. 
Stir until sugar is melted and dissolved. 
Pour sugar mixture into hot coffee, and add vanilla.
A few others to try,

Cappuccino mix - 1/2 cup good quality instant coffee, 1/2 - 3/4 cup Castor sugar (depending on strength of coffee), 1 cup instant non fat milk powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon - combine in food processor until well blitzed, wait for dust to settle and put in airtight container, use 2 tablespoons per cup of hot water.

Cafe Au La it Mix - 1/2 cup good quality instant coffee, 1/2 cup Castor sugar (depending on strength of coffee), 2 cups instant non-fat milk powder, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, mix as above and use 1/4 cup of mixture for each 2/3 cup hot water. Swiss Mocha Mix - 1/2 cup instant coffee, 1/2 cup Castor sugar  1 cup non fat milk powder, 2 tablespoons cocoa, mix as above and use 1 Tablespoon per 3/4 cup hot water

Play Board Games

Have a board game night. 
Tell everyone to bring over their favorite games, and draw out of a hat to decide what you play.
Serve lots of lollies and fizzy drinks to get people in giggly moods.

Dig up some pairs of jeans you never wear and recycle them into something new, like a book cover or a practical tote bag.
Some ideas below

Bum Bag:

Instructions here

Make a Denim Pocket Quilt

Instructions are below

Free Samples at the mall

Hit the mall, break into teams and see which team can score the most things for free . 
No stealing.
Award one point for each unique item, like perfume samples and shopping bags.
Whichever team has the most points wins.

While at the mall, get a make over

Go to the make up counter at the mall and get a free makeover.
(If you like what the make up artist did, you should probably buy at least one product that she used on you.) 

People Watch

Head to a well-trafficked area - like the mall, or the park - find a comfy spot and people-watch. 
Just try not to get caught.

Make Overs

Pool all of your make up, nail polish and hair products and give each other makeovers. 
Post the final results on Facebook and see what everyone thinks of your work.

Video Games

Invite some friends over to play video games. If you're sick of the games you've already got, put out a request on Facebook to trade games with a friend for a couple of nights.


Go on a hike and take a break somewhere pretty to write poetry, using your surroundings as inspiration. 
When you're done with your work, read it and critique each other's work. 
Submit your favorites to your favourite teen magazine or your school's literary mag.


Borrow a book or borrow a couple of odd-sounding movies from the library. If they end up sucking, it's no big deal - they were free, after all.

Poker Night

Host a poker night, using M&M's as your poker chips. 

Local paper

Check your city guide or newspaper to see what free festivals, shows and museum exhibits are in your area this month. 
Open your mind and go to something you've never been to before.

Make Smoothies

Berry Smoothie

1 cup low fat strawberry yogurt
1 cup mixed berries (fresh or frozen) (strawberries, blueberries, etc)
2 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate

Combine in a blender and mix until smooth. 
Thin with more orange juice if desired

Bug Juice

1 Can of Green Juice
2-2 liter Sprite
1 container green sherbert

Mix first two ingredients in large punch bowl, add sherbert to keep the mix cool. 
This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc. 

No comments:

Post a Comment