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 , 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!

: If you have a GPS device and its a nice day, try . 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

Here are a few other awesome DIY items you can try:
ducttape-walletCreate your own Sun in a Jar
Duct Tape Wallets :
Diet Coke and Mentos: – 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

And should you have a computer setup for every child in the house, here are some excellent non-social networking websites – Addictive educational games for kids. They wont realize they are learning whilst playing! – NASA have space related fun things to do – 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!)

If you dont hear much from me this will be why

They say children cost a lot of money, about $250,000 each or some such, but what they dont talk about is the time!

One of my daughters recently did a Bugsy Malone stage show at school, I encourage them to join in things like this as its great for personal growth and self esteem, anmd often cheap entertainment! However any parent whos done it knows there is a lot of commitment also from the parents to get them to practices on time, making sure they have costumes etc.

Currently my second daughter who is in a cheerleading show. Now this isnt your normal cheerleading, we live in Cambridge which is a smallish town of 16,000 people. Once dance teacher does pretty much all dance classes. From Hip Hop to Ballet, Tap dance, and of course the cheerleading. So as a result the Cheerleading is more of a dance style than traditional, however the kids like it and enjoy it so im happy enough.

On saturday they are doing a Dance show, it includes the entire dance school. This means a good couple hundred children, some of which are in multiple dance classes and costumes. Logistical nightmare for most but the lady who runs the dance class is fantastic, and everyone pitches in. A side effect however is the time spent practicing making sure each group has their part down pat.

Anyway, I digress, what I wanted to do was give you an idea on the schedule we’ve been keeping the last week.


7am wake up

7:10 Im up and dressed

7:20 Im putting vegs in slow cooker for dinner

7:30 Throw ingrediants into breadmaker for Foccacia bread dough

7:40 Making sure kids have medication, reading school notices, checking schedule

8:00 Leaving the house

8:30 kids all dropped at school and we have 30mins spare for breakfast. Hit the cafe to have a break as well

9-13 Working at

13:00 Lunch

14:45 Leave to pickup kids from school

15:20 got kids, waiting at bus stop for mother coming into town on a bus (that was late!)

15:45 Arrive home, roll bread dough out and put it in the oven.

16:00 finish dressing daughter for dress rehearsal, cover her hair in enough product to hold it in place for hours

16:30 Get bread out of oven, dish up soup and bread for kids

16:45 Leave for dress rehearsal late. Left other kids with mum at home and another bread mix in the machine and intructions for mum to cook it.

8:30 Left dress rehearsal earlyish as our part was done, got home, had my dinner and other load of bread

9:30 caught up on emails and anything urgent, planned next day

Friday – Plans for today

7am: awake

7:20 got up slower today, woke at 2am and couldnt get back to sleep till 5am – too much stress?

7:30 Got chicken out of freezer, tossed it in oven tray with potatos and program the oven to have it cooked by 3:30pm

7:45 Head out to the supermarket to do shopping, run outta milk, marg, tea, bread, sanitory pads, and pretty much everything

8:15 get back from shopping, take kids to school

8:40 arrive at work and type up this post

9:00 work till lunch

12:00 Lunch break i need to , buy bras that dont show in costume for daughter, birthday present (her birthday is sunday), pay bills, ring sons doctor and have lunch

1:00 work again

2:45 Head out to pickup kids

3:30 get home, cook veg to go with roast, slice up roast whilst they cook

4:00 feed kids, get daughter dressed and made up again, add more product to her hair

5:00 be at rehearsal again

8:ish finish and come home, shower daughter

Saturday: I get the morning free to sleep in! then show is on at 2pm and 7pm and we have to go to Hamilton somewhere this day

Sunday: Clear out rumpus and get food out for birthday party, deal with 10 squeeling girls and feed them for a birthday party lasting 4 hours

Monday: Im doing as little as possible! Its my birthday! 36 and ill be feeling every year of it i reckon 🙂