Cheap thrills

2011-07-04 00:00

HAPPY holidays can quickly turn into frustration exchanges if you are faced with bored and nagging children sitting­ idle.

But instead of waiting anxiously for the holidays to race by and your routine­ to return to normal, do something fun with your little ones.

Thinking creatively and eliciting ideas from your children about what they want to do might just eliminate the parental holiday headache, and need not bring the broken-bank blues either.

Pietermaritzburg is generally sunny­, warm and dry, so use the weather to your advantage.

• Do some gardening. Digging in the sand, gathering leaves and painting pots can be done outside for hours. It’s fun and free.

• Build an obstacle course. This can be done inside with pillows, blankets, boxes and the like. Or outside with pots, bags and boxes.

• Go to the library and spend a few hours choosing books. Turn off the television and computers and devote time to reading.

• Become a director. Get some ideas from the children and make a play. Show it to the grandparents afterwards. Make sure that granny has some biscuits for matinée refreshments.

• Reinvent old toys. Clean out the cupboards and resurrect those packed-away playthings.

• Have a picnic in the garden. Get some help preparing some tasty treats. Spread a blanket on the grass and enjoy the wintery sunshine.

• Paint faces. A little bit of face paint can bring a lot of entertainment.

• Get a scrapbook and have the children start a diary and picture book of their holidays.

• Become a decorator and mover. Follow­ orders from the children and together change their bedroom’s layout. A change is as good as a holiday, so a change during a holiday is twice the prize.

• Share your own childhood. Find a timeless activity from your youth to share with your own children. Remind them this is what you used to do.

The holidays are here. Make them count.




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