So you and your school kids can finally smell the sweet scent of the end of the semester. In Singapore, month-long school breaks are scheduled by the government in between semesters. Your kids are practically squeaking in delight for the excitement of staying at home and never having to worry about waking up early or staying up late for assignments anymore. However, as the kids’ excitement dwindles down, you might find yourself running out of strategies to keep themselves busy. Kids of school age are easily bored thus it is a challenge to keep them entertained at all times. Worry no more as here are five productive things kids can do at home during school break:
1. Assign them simple household chores and tell them they’ll get paid for it. There is nothing sweeter than a reward after a day’s work. This activity will not only motivate them with the incentive but will likewise teach them to be responsible at their young age. Give them tasks that are appropriate for their capabilities. You can assign them to wipe the furniture, sweep the floor or set the table. Remind them to show their best in doing the chores. Teach them the techniques on how to efficiently accomplish their task. Be sure to explicitly explain the why the chore is needed to be done. Let them know what is expected of them. This will further train them to exert their best effort and reach the standards. After completing the tasks, appreciate their work and give them their deserved treats. Having someone to help at home can be a fun learning experience for the kids!
2. Make them sort their belongings. This is the perfect time to make them organize their stuff. Chances are there are so many clothes, toys, books and other things that have accumulated since they started schooling. Let them set their own schedule of organizing their things. This will practice their planning skills and will make them feel that they are in control. Guide them in what to do. For instance, if they want to start arranging their clothes and shoes in the closet, let them. Tell them to separate those they have outgrown already. Those clothes that they are still using can be further arranged by color and type. Apply the same strategy with the books and toys. You can later give these to their smaller cousins or you can donate these to charity institutions. This will teach your kids the value of sharing their blessings to others.
3. Let them cook. While you are preparing their favorite meals, let them help you. To start with, keep all the sharp utensils out of their reach. Be sure also that there are no hot pans lying around. If the kitchen counter is safe, ask the kids to come with you. Introduce them to the different measuring tools. Let them practice how to follow indicated volume of measurement. Lead by example. Let them do the proper way of mixing and the proper order of putting ingredients in the pan. Explain the logic behind every step. For instance, inform them why the onion and garlic need to be sautéed first before adding the meat. Also make them practice reading time by setting the specified minutes in tenderizing the meat. Involving them in your cooking will practice their coordination skills and will make their meals more enjoyable after!
4. Do the usual things together with them. School breaks are also the best time to bond with your kids. Even the most ordinary activities can turn into something special when done together. Now that they have relatively more television and play time, watch and play with them also. Ask your kids about the shows they are interested in. This will further enhance their observation and communication skills. Encourage your kids to ask. Be prepared to answer their never-ending why’s and how’s. Make them feel your enthusiasm in answering their questions no matter how trivial. This will establish an open line between you and your kids – they will never hesitate to ask you about anything in the future! Playtime is also a good bonding moment for parents and kids. Playing with them, especially pretend-play will actually enable you to know your child better.
School breaks can be enjoyable and productive at home. Spending your time with them during their activities will help them grow into a good individual, preparing them not only for the next school semester but for their future as well!