Keeping your children amused during school holidays – geek style

Oh no! its that time again! I really dislike having to change my whole routine for school holidays, i have to pay a babysitter, or work from home (my employer is fantastic like that!), and generally try and keep the kids from going nuts with boredom. During the summer its fine because they can play outside at parks, bike, swim, and go to camp. During any other season, chances are its to cold to do a lot of those things, and its often windy or raining.
So, what do you do? Well heres a few ideas I came up with for my kids.

rag-doll-kung-fu-fists-of-plastic-20080715052128948_640wGame Consoles: they don’t have to guns and sit down games, my children currently favour Kung Fu Ragdoll on the PS3 which involves shaking the controller, and apparently a lot of jumping up and down, tongue out the side of the mouth and often screaming. Keeps them amused for hours. I’m not overly fond of them sitting down much so we also have a WII which has tons of games that involve action and movement. Not to mention Rockband/Guitar hero which both involve drums, singing, and guitar!

Creativity: If you havn’t found it yet, check out instructables.com , where you can make easy fast entertaining things like an LED stuck to a battery (aka throwies) , to building your own Yurt. In fact they even have their own category specifically for kids! http://www.instructables.com/kids

geocachingGeocaching
: If you have a GPS device and its a nice day, try http://www.geocaching.com/ . Sign up, put your address in the finder and look for Geocaches nearby. They give you the GPS co-ords, you go to the area and then the hunt for the geocache is on! its somewhat like a treasure hunt, only world wide. Once you find the cache, its usually a plastic container, you can sign the log book, log it on the website, and if it contains “trinkets” you can take one and put something else in its place. Geocaches are usually around the most scenic places in the world and include lovely strolls through areas you probably never noticed before. This also makes a long journey down New Zealand fun when you stop every hour or two to find caches! You can even start a few of your own caches! Check out my photos taken whilst Geocaching http://www.flickr.com/photos/wishes/sets/72157622353424642/

Here are a few other awesome DIY items you can try:
ducttape-walletCreate your own Sun in a Jar http://lifehacker.com/5315357/create-your-own-sun-jar-lifehacker-edition/gallery/
Duct Tape Wallets :http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Duct-Tape-Wallet
Diet Coke and Mentos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKoB0MHVBvM – however you may want a nice sunny day for this and some old clothes, and PROBABLY want to do it outdoors!
DIY things with solar panels http://lifehacker.com/5314498/top-10-diy-projects-that-harness-the-power-of-the-sun

Websites:
And should you have a computer setup for every child in the house, here are some excellent non-social networking websites
http://www.brainpop.com/ – Addictive educational games for kids. They wont realize they are learning whilst playing!
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forkids/kidsclub/flash/ – NASA have space related fun things to do
http://www.exploratorium.edu/ – explore the Museum of Science and Human Perception Online!

Last but not least, go into your cuboards and drag out those board games. Cranium, Monopoly, Trivial Persuit, and the new favourite Hannah Montana game with CD (it makes you dance and sing!)

3 Replies to “Keeping your children amused during school holidays – geek style”

  1. Thanks, for that! Tons of good ideas! I was already in “oh no its school holidays” mode. Hard to keep 14yr, 12yr and 7yr happy all at the same time…

    Iona

  2. Hey, these are great ideas, thanks. I'm another work at home Mum, charged with looking after the kids during the holidays. They're pretty good now, and most mornings they watch kid's tv while I get the bulk of my work done, then we'll try and do something together. Later, I'll catch up on work again – on the laptop usually – while they watch afternoon kid's tv or play on the computer. I also have them a few days here and there in vacation care – fun days like rock climbing and roller-skating – so I can catch up on work. The computer and geo-caching ideas are particularly cool, so thanks for sharing. I'll let you know how we go!

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