Ok, you’ve had them all term! Oh, and the term before that! You’ve done the hard yards, you’ve worn the ‘adult hat’, ‘teacher hat’ and ‘work hat’ all at the same time… and for months now. Who needs the break? You or the kids? We vote both!
We suggest letting the kids explore and play on their own by setting them up to be independently engaged. Holidays should be for taking a break from whatever your nine-to-five has been. Under remote learning circumstances it is most probable that the current environment has dramatically increased your household’s screen time. It needed to! How else were they going to connect with remote learning. Therefore, these holidays we are recommending that perhaps their brains are due for a screen break (the online structure of their nine-to-five).
Don’t get us wrong! We’re not banning screen time. However, these holidays may be an opportunity to rewind to some of the basics.
Get Back To Nature
Schedule in some outdoor time. Have you ever noticed that you sleep better after a day of outdoor activities? This is because to be ‘at one’ with nature is simply relaxing. Have your kids engage with the environment this break!
- Outside play time,
- Nature treasure hunts,
- Sensory play with dirt/sand/water,
- Painting with water,
- Creating a birdhouse,
- Megabeasts investigations,
- Playing sports barefoot or;
- Just simply sitting in nature.
You are never too old! Think of all those movie directors and fiction authors who never let their imagination slip by. Imaginative play is not just about tea parties with your dolls.
Perhaps you have a creative child who has been looking for an outlet for their imagination. They could be inventors, play writers, story tellers, entrepreneurs even! This is about setting up to allow them to explore and express themselves in an activity where time disappears and they’re allowed to run wild with their own thoughts.
Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
Board games, obstacle courses, building projects, research, you name it! Is there a particular topic that you know your child loves? Let them tune in to it…
- Spending time training the family dog to complete a new trick,
- Building a piece of furniture for their room,
- Playing board games,
- Creating Board Games,
- STEM fun,
- Riddle solving and inventing;
Discovering or Rediscovering Hobbies
Do you remember any of your hobbies as a kid? Perhaps Yo-Yo tricks, magic tricks, flower pressing, collage, reading, bike jumps, skipping…
Allow them to pick up their hobby and become engrossed with how they could improve, their play or task.
Setting New Goals
Most children will talk about something they want to be “…when I grow up”. Do you tell them that it’s cute, or do you encourage them to actually give it a go? This could work in your favour; We know of a few tweens who are now the family chef or even design and sew their own clothes.
This is about encouraging them to continually allocate time for practising what they perhaps dream about being good at.
It’s inevitable that they will have some screen time. They’ll want to perhaps watch a movie one day or play a game. However, as we mentioned, their holiday and brain break should perhaps limit screen time as their remote learning has been based on screens.
Researchers from UCLA on a study about screen time concluded that
“… face-to-face time is essential for children’s social skills. Unplugging for short periods of time can help children better understand non-verbal cues…”University of California LA
This is important because their social interactions have been hugely missed this year with restrictions and lockdowns. It is for these reasons that we, at Positive Teaching, are supporting limited screen time these holidays.
As a recommendation; the Sydney Children’s Hospital’s research team supports the suggested study by the American Academy of Pediatrics on; Recommended Screen Time, outlined in the table below.
Mrs. LD’s Favourite Activity Idea Sites