It’s the time of year we all look forward to – getting together with family, leaving work behind for a week or two, and spending quality time with the little ones. That said, it’s usually not long before we’re reminded just how much energy it takes to keep a child in high spirits and without their usual playmates occupied and entertained! We’ve put together a few ideas for activities that you and the youngsters can enjoy together while creating some special memories too.
Explore a family tradition from yesteryear
Being such a time of family and tradition, the festive season presents a unique opportunity to teach your kids about their heritage in a fun way. If their grandparents are part of the celebrations, ask them about the traditions that their families took part in when they were small, and see if you can reenact them with the youngest generation. Most of us have some sort of mixed heritage, and it can be an interesting educational experience for you and the kids alike to explore the past.
The festive season is a great opportunity to finally start work on compiling your family tree, or perhaps even just to learn a few ‘Christmassy’ words from a different language that your ancestors used to speak!
We all know that it’s important to keep our kids fit and active, but with all the technological distractions of the modern age, dragging them away from their screens can be a challenge. (Even if that challenge is that it means we’ll have to drag ourselves away too!) But the holidays are also a unique opportunity to explore some activities you wouldn’t be able to find time for during the school months. Keep a lookout for venues offering specials during the festive season, especially if it’s something you’ve never tried before.
Some activities can be just as fun for the adults too – take paintballing for example. Look for a venue that offers kid’s paintballing, and if your child is old enough then you’ll often be able to participate in a game together! Dads can often feel a bit left out during the year, but this is the kind of activity they can really get involved in. Quick, nimble and agile players often have an advantage in paintball – so don’t be surprised if your youngster outperforms you somewhat!
Other good sporting activities for the family include squash or tennis, taking on a round or two of miniature golf or putt putt, horse riding, kayaking or paddle boating – whatever activities are on in your area.
Get out into nature
Experiencing the outdoors together is a family tradition that we really shouldn’t let go of, so make sure to spend some time getting back to nature with the kids. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not head off for a camping adventure together? If that sounds like a bit much, make sure to take in some of the sights near you, be it a nature reserve, pretty hiking trails, a wildlife sanctuary or even the botanical guesthouse in Oranjezicht.
If you’re lucky enough to be going on a family vacation somewhere exotic, make sure that you include activities that let your kids learn about the environment and wildlife that the area is home to.
Head out for movie night
With the rising popularity of streamed and on-demand content, many kids have little experience with actually going out for a movie, and that’s sad! Besides being a fun family event, the experience no doubt brings back happy memories for mom and dad too. Disney and Pixar always have a few good movies coming out over this period, and there’s even the new Star Wars film for the older kids – and dad, of course!
Even better, you won’t have to worry about burning the popcorn either! Throw in dinner at a new restaurant or just getting your favorite take out, and an evening at the movies is a must this festive season.
The festive season can get really expensive, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun on a budget too. Have a few activities on the go at home – tackling a big jigsaw puzzle together over a few days is a traditional favorite. If your dining room table is going to be in high demand, then use a large tray that lets you move the masterpiece-in-progress around when you need to. Board and card games also remain a firm favorite. Try some creative arts and crafts projects like making your own Christmas decorations or just stringing popcorn.
The most important part of the holidays is that you spend time together, so being on a budget really doesn’t need to get in the way. Happy holidays!