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Published August 22nd 2012
Let's face it, keeping children indoors and occupied on the weekends or during school holidays when it's rainy or cold weather can be a challenge. There is only so much you can do before they (and you) start going stir crazy.
Here are some simple ideas to get you out during the school holidays and enjoy some fun activities with the kids. All it takes is a little planning ahead.
Pack a few snacks, a swimsuit and a towel and head to your local indoor heated swimming pool. The kids will burn off all their excess energy and sleep well at night.
If you've never tried ice skating, then you have to give it a go or at least let the kids. Many cities have permanent ice skating rinks, so check out your local area. Ice skates are available for hire directly from the rink, so all you need to do is bring some warm clothes and perhaps even change of clothes for the kids and be ready to make a fool of yourself. Ice skating is a lot of fun and burns off lots of energy.
OK this is a no brainer and probably the first thing that comes to mind, but how about doing movies with a twist. Take the kids to an Imax Theatre for an awesome experience, especially if the movie is in 3D. Alternatively, host a movie day/night at home. Rent a movie, invite some of your children's friends, make popcorn & choc tops and the kids will be entertained for hours.
This is a very popular activity, especially on the weekends and many bowling allies get booked out. So why not get organised a day or two ahead and book a lane to ensure you don't miss out. If your friends have to work during the holidays offer to take their kids for a few hours and they will happily reciprocate babysitting when you need time out.
Cook Up a Storm
Kids like to get involved in what you do, so why not let them choose a recipe that is easy to make, take them grocery shopping and let them find the ingredients for the recipe and pay for it at the cash register. And rather than looking at making dinner as a chore, make it a fun experience by letting kids take charge (with some adult supervision) of course. Here are some fantastic kids cook books to get you started;
Betty Crocker's Kids Cook! Mini Chef – Cooking With Kids Ready Steady Bake - Cooking For Kids And With Kids
Cake Mix – Cooking For Kids
so order them today and you will be set for many cooking adventures during the holidays.
Yes you read that right. Arm yourself with some wet weather gear and several containers and head to the beach. Let the children collect shells, sticks and other bits and pieces from which they can create some great art at home. Kids love getting out during the rain and especially if it's to go treasure hunting. No doubt they will get wet, so bring a towel and change of clothes and have a hot chocolate waiting for them at the end of this adventure.
Sydney has two great Aquariums – Sydney Aquarium and Manly Oceanworld. There is so much to see and explore and during school holidays both aquariums have special kids activities. Visit their website for more information.
This is great especially if you have boys who love planes. Head to the nearest airport, park yourself near one of the large windows and watch the planes land and take off. Grab lunch at one of the takeaway shops and you have a worry free day.
Magazine Picture Puzzles
Create your own simple jigsaw puzzles from magazine pictures or even postcards or photos. You will need magazine pictures, glue, scissors, thick cardboard. Glue the pictures onto the cardboard and when the glue is dry, cut it into puzzle shapes.
There are plenty of rainy weather activities for kids to enjoy. All you need to do is plan a little ahead and get organised. If you do that, the next school holidays will be a breeze, as the kids will be occupied for hours with fun and interesting things to do.