Whether you're traveling in the car or on an aeroplane, staying in the city or bunking down in the country, keeping the kids occupied these holidays could be the difference between a relaxing break or a best-forgotten vacation.
As stressful as it can be for parents to prepare and organise the troops for a holiday, the pressure can be equally demanding on younger members of the family as they are taken out of their comfort zone and away from the things they are familiar with. This can sometimes manifest itself as boredom, bad behaviour and even aggression putting an unnecessary strain on the patience of everyone around.
Here are some great examples of how you can keep the kids occupied this holiday season.
Time to break out the old fashioned board games
Despite this being the online era of games and computer screens, a good game of Monopoly, Checkers or Trivial Pursuit can keep the young ones and the young at heart entertained for hours. Travel size versions of your favourite games are readily available so its easy to pack a few boredom busters in your luggage or carry on.
2. Internet friendly gift cards
If your child has an Internet capable smartphone or tablet then why not buy them a Google Play or Apple iTunes gift card so they can stock up on their favourite eBooks or games. Google play has a huge selection of child approved educational games and apps alongside fabulous eBooks of all their favourite fictional characters like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
3. Shuffled and cut
It’s hard to believe that something so small and light to carry can result in so many hours of competitive fun. Pound for pound, the humble deck of cards packs more punch than a heavy weight champ. With thousands of possible ways to entertain, the kids can play Snap, Last Card, Go Fish, Old Maid, Concentration, Rummy, Slapjack and House of Cards just to name a few!
4. Backyard cricket
Break out the sunblock and floppy hats and hit the grass or the beach for a non-stop cricket championship. Inexpensive cricket travel kits that are lightweight and highly portable can be purchased from most toy shops and department stores so the backyard bash tradition can live on. Make it a test series for days of outdoor fun.
5. Family film night
Portable DVD players are not just a godsend for the car and aeroplane, they can also be useful for a fun filled family film night. Take along with you on your holiday your favourite childhood movies whether it be The Sound of Music, Herbie Goes Bananas or Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and take a trip down memory lane. Throw cushions and beanbags on the floor, fill up a couple of oversized bowls full of popcorn and laugh and cry alongside your kids as they experience the same feelings that filled you with hope and awe as a child.
6. For the younger ones
If you have a tablet or iPad check out your Google Play or iTunes app store for thousands upon thousands of free educational games and books that you can easily download for hours of little people fun. But lets not forget how we were entertained as kids with colouring books, crayons and story books. Get the older kids to read with the younger ones, or use a good book as a bedtime story to settle the kids down after a fun filled day.
7. Budding little masterchefs
Set aside some time to get the kids cooking in the kitchen. Whether you're camping or “glam”ping , pick a couple of your favourite child friendly recipes and get the kids involved in feeding the masses. If you have older kids, make them the sous chefs with the younger ones their chef apprentices. Try baking brownies or toasting marshmallows, making sloppy Joes or ballpark worthy hot dogs.
For more everyday inspiration and exclusive offers, register now as a Stockland Member to receive monthly updates, the latest news and exclusive events from your local Stockland Shopping Centre.