Holiday Activities for Nannies
Keeping kids of any age entertained during the school holidays can be a challenge for even the most experienced of Nannies, and very few times of year are as stressful as the back end of the Christmas school holidays. The excitement and hype of Christmas and New Year is over and not only is the heat (or the cold, depending on where you are in the world) really starting to set in, most children have had their parents home for an extended period and now they are returning to work, which can result in some separation anxiety and tears for the Nanny. Breathe some fresh energy into your school holiday plans with these fantastic ideas from all over the world, which will not only stimulate and entertain the children, but keep within budget too!
Make A Splash
Wherever you are in the world, you’d be hard pressed to find a child that doesn’t like swimming! Whether it be an indoor heated pool or an outdoor aquatic centre, swimming not only keeps the kids busy for hours, it also wears them out like nothing else!
Get Out In Nature
Snowing for your holidays? Make a snowman and have a snowball fight. Sizzling hot? Get on down to the beach! Beautiful weather? Go for a bush/forest walk!
Kids always have their tried and true favourite park, which is ideal to pack a picnic and head off for a play, however it is always fun to explore new parks and playgrounds.
Visit your local museum for a dose of history or an art gallery for some creative inspiration.
Your local library is one of the most under-utilised tools at a Nanny’s disposal. Not only does it have thousands of books for both children and adults, you’ll find your local library has DVD’s and other resources to rent for free. Local libraries are also great places to find out about community events and school holiday activities in your area.
Arts and Crafts
There is no end to the amount of arts and crafts you can do at home with kids. Some ideas include:
- Chalk drawing
- Painting - finger, brush, feet, weapon of choice!
- Drawing and colouring
- Jewellery and beads - especially if they are the painted pasta kind!
Arts and crafts can be incorporated into seasonal activities, such as painting eggs at Easter time or making Halloween masks and can even extend to longer projects, such as papier mache, popstick/matchstick constructions and other creations that can provide hours of concentration and entertainment.
Let’s Go Window Shopping
Trawling your favourite shopping centre/mall during the holidays can often result in a whole day’s worth of window shopping and taking advantage of the free school holiday activities, such as live entertainment, music and art and craft stations.
These can done ANYWHERE! Whether it’s at home, at the park or on a longer drive in the car, writing a list of items to find never gets boring for kids. Make it harder for the older kids and easier for the little ones.
Bake Up A Storm
The best part about baking is undoubtedly the taste-testing, but it can also stock up the freezer for school snacks!
The Cinema Experience At Home
For a fraction of the price of a few hours at the cinema, you can create a cinema experience at home! Pick a day where the weather is only good for staying indoors and stock up on popcorn and pillows. Let the children pick out their favourite movies at your local rental store or download them from a reputable source.
Pedal Pedal Pedal!
Kids love to ride! Bikes, scooters, skateboards, rollerskates/blades; anything with wheels will entertain for hours. Incorporate your scavenger hunt and park visit on a long bike ride, or visit a skate park and try out some new tricks.
Camping (or Glamping)
You don’t need to leave home to go camping. The backyard is the perfect spot for a tent and close to all the comforts of home!
Encouraging children to write and illustrate their own stories is not only a very rewarding experience for the child, it is almost a rite of passage. In an age where traditional pencils and paper can be a little scarce, kids can still obtain a real sense of achievement in writing their own tale and creating the pictures to go with it.
Another activity that can mean so much more than a store bought version is card-making. Spending some time to hand-make cards for friends and family’s birthdays and special events throughout the year will not only mean so much more to the recipient, but will save you the stress of remembering the card for the present!
When All Else Fails, Arrange a Playdate
Kids have a unique ability to entertain themselves when they have a friend over to play. Make sure you have contact details for the friends of your children and organise reciprocal play dates to give them the social experience they need, and the break you deserve!