Copious amounts of TV or playing games online are a convenient way to entertain kids during school holidays, but certainly not the healthiest. As advocates of physical movement and mental health, Hot Ground Gym has put together a list of fun, creative, and stimulating holiday activities for kids, no matter the season.
1. Make a List
First things first! Get your kids to draw up a list of holiday activities they’d like to do. If they’re invested in the process, they’re more likely to participate. You might divide activities into groups, for example, “things to do at home” and “things to do outside the home,” this ensures there’s plenty to keep them occupied on rainy days too.
2. Plan a Picnic
Holiday activities with kids like picnics are novel, easy to arrange, and can involve family and friends. Fresh air does wonders for kids mental health, reducing anxiety and improving mood. Picnics are cheaper than eating out — if your fridge is well-stocked, you won’t have to spend a cent.
They’re also a great excuse to spend quality time bonding with your kids. Most children don’t like sitting around for too long, so taking some lawn games along, and encouraging a run-around, brings a welcome change from watching TV or eating at home. When it comes to a special occasion, it may also be a good idea to think about arranging an outdoor birthday party.
3. Offer Physical Activities
Enrolling kids in extracurricular classes alleviates the need to constantly keep them busy and offers parents some rest and relaxation. Hot Ground Gym’s obstacle course fitness classes are suitable for children aged five years old and up.
Our classes are divided into three age groups to focus on appropriate fitness and team-building challenges that strengthen kids physically, mentally, and emotionally. Themes and activities change every week to keep things fresh and exciting.
4. Learn to Cook
Besides being an important life skill, cooking with kids expands their horizon and provides an opportunity to teach them about healthy eating habits and nutrition. Holiday kids activities that involve baking or cooking also bring the family together.
Because family traditions are often passed down through food, cooking with your kids is a delicious and exciting way to weave together history and culture. You can also get your kids to cook recipes from other cultures, exposing them to new experiences.
5. Teach Your Kids About Entrepreneurship
Behavioral researchers encourage parents to teach kids about money from as young as three years old. Holiday activities for kids like creating cookies to sell at a local market or selling clothes that no longer fit them can teach your children about entrepreneurship.
When you create an opportunity for them to earn, you help them understand the value of money, and this affects how they spend it. You can also use this opportunity to teach them about concepts such as saving and investing.
6. Have a Treasure Hunt
Make a treasure map with clues to find some treasure you’ve hidden in the garden or inside the house. The treasure doesn’t have to be expensive or big — sweet treats generally suffice. If it’s Easter time, you could create an Easter egg hunt, and similarly to Christmas, it’s extra fun if Santa hides the presents.
There are several templates you can download to make the prep a bit easier, and your kids will love the different themes, ranging from princesses to pirates.
7. Spend Time with Peers
Arranging playdates with friends or allowing them to partake in extracurricular kids holiday activities at Hot Ground Gym gets children out of the house. A large part of our camps and classes are also dedicated to team-building activities designed to facilitate social cohesion, develop confidence and strengthen collaboration. Kids make new friends and learn to work together with others as they accomplish common goals.
8. Sharpen Skills
For kids needing to improve academics, the holidays offer ample time to brush up on skills, either by working through syllabus work with their folks or hiring a tutor to help boost academic performance.
Gamifying the experience, or incentivizing extra effort with a toy, treat, or doing a fun activity can motivate them more. If need be, chat to their teacher about where they should improve and ask for resource recommendations.
9. Set Up a Movie Theater
You can go all out and buy a projector, or just set up a simple movie theater night by getting the kids to “camp out” in the lounge. Kids holiday activities like these work well for sleepovers too. Make it extra special by setting up a pillow fort, or making their favorite movie snacks at home.
10. Research Family Tree
At some point, all kids ask about their family history. Creating a family tree is a fun winter break activity for kids that teaches them where they’re from and how they’re connected to others. If possible, print or find old photos for them to add to their family tree diagram.
Depending on their age, kids can create their trees online or with pen and paper. You might even get grandma and grandpa involved and ask them to bring old photographs and share family stories with them.
11. Consider Leadership Camps
Wondering how to keep kids busy during the holidays? Send them to leadership camp, where they’ll develop personal skills that apply well beyond school. Hot Ground Gym’s leadership camps are filled with fun obstacle course activities that allow kids to learn from each other.
While building physical strength, they also boost confidence and grit. Our programs are designed to encourage peer cooperation and provide opportunities for kids to take on leadership roles within group activities.
12. Painting and Sketching
When the weather’s bad, you can entertain kids during school holidays with painting and sketching, which enhances hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. A simple action like using scissors can improve a child’s ability to do other things like tying shoes.
Arts and crafts also teach kids about spatial relationships and nurture self-expression. All you need is some paper and paint, or better yet, you can always buy DIY kits, like paint-by-numbers, beadwork, or coloring-in books.
13. Grow a Garden
A study by Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences found that kids who partook in a one-year gardening program increased their overall life skills by 1.5 points compared to those who did not participate.
Growing a garden teaches kids responsibility, cooperation, and patience. It also exposes them to reasoning as they learn about the weather, simple construction, and nature. If you don’t have the space, you can always substitute a patch of garden for a pot plant or simple bean growing.
14. Explore Nature
The average American child spends about four to seven minutes a day playing outside and over seven hours sitting in front of a screen. Playing outdoors isn’t just enjoyable, but necessary for growth, healing, and mental health.
Spending the day at the beach and going on nature walks gives children the chance to explore the natural environment and test their physical limits. Regardless of what they’re doing, outdoors usually involves more exercise than sitting on the couch.
15. Visit Animal Farm or the Zoo
Animal farms and petting zoos are great activities for kids during summer break. These day excursions provide opportunities to teach kids about environmental awareness and animal care, especially when they’re young. Some zoos offer educational programs and special events. For example, nighttime outings, conservation days, or days dedicated to specific animals.
Having a list of fun holiday activities for kids on hand eliminates the stress of devising plans when the holidays are in full swing. If you’re looking for a way to keep your kids fit, occupied, entertained, and learning, then consider letting them take part in Hot Ground Gym’s energizing holiday camps. Contact us to enroll them today!