kids

6 ways to keep your kids busy these school holidays (so you never hear "I'm bored" again).

YouTube Kids
Thanks to our brand partner, YouTube Kids

Ummm, serious question: weren’t the school holidays only, like, five minutes ago? 

It sure feels like the Easter Bunny just hopped off, and we were lamenting the end of the first term. 

But in the flashest of flashes, half a year of school is done, and soon, the little darlings will be right back by our side, asking “what can we dooooooo?” as they follow us around the house relentlessly. 

It’s a scary prospect for the under-prepared parent. How to keep them engaged, entertained, and challenged for two weeks (all while we’re getting our own work done and trying to keep the house from looking like everybody has been lounging around it for approximately 257 days straight). 

The juggle is most definitely real, but here are some fun activities to keep the kids busy and give us adults at least a few days grace before hearing "I'm bored". 

1. Veggie patch kids 

There’s a chill in the air and Jack Frost often pays a visit, but the cooler climes can be the ideal time to plant some leafy greens and tasty veg. Put on a coat, some gardening gloves and get out in it for a payoff that could include a hearty minestrone soup (when it’s time to pluck them out of the patch, of course). 

Plant lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, peas, beetroot, carrot, celery, radish, spinach or cabbage in DIY planter boxes or pots, and have the kids help you make little picture labels, so you remember what has been planted. 

Unexpected bonus: sowing and harvesting their own garden goodness means they’re more likely to try a vegetable they haven’t sampled before. 

2. Knowledge is power 

Always inquisitive about the world around them, my children will be learning with the help of the YouTube Kids app – a more contained environment that makes it simpler and more fun for them to explore new topics online and be entertained, all at the same time. 

Guided by us, the kids can choose their own adventure on the app, which leads them through informative and exciting videos that help them make new discoveries.

YouTube Kids is its own app, built solely to create a safer environment for kids of all ages to encourage curiosity by watching content from Australia, and all over the world. 

My son has started footy this year and loves to practise AFL Auskick drills alongside the stars of the game who take them through skill tests from their own backyards. 

Younger children will love the singalong songs from the Aussie Bounce Patrol team, with actions to get the moving while they hear nursery rhymes and catchy tunes to practise the alphabet or how to count. 

Image: Supplied.

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My daughter loves videos led by artists and creatives and has been able to create some remarkable artwork by following the simple lessons on the screen beside her. 

Constantly improving and updating, YouTube Kids has new features appearing regularly based on recommendations from parents and childhood experts. 

I feel reassured by the parental controls, which include screen limits, content controls and age limits. It’s like an extra set of ‘eyes’ on my kids when they are using their devices.

3. In the swim 

Swimming is not just a sunshine activity! Getting down to the local indoor pool can be just as fun in the depths of winter. Splashing around until you’re wrinkly in the satisfyingly warm water of a heated pool is an activity often overlooked at this time of year. 

Keep the water safety message and the building of important swimming skills going by taking the plunge. It is such a fun way to keep active in the holidays that doesn’t involve being out in the cold. 

4. Terrific tie dye 

This is something we do every holiday time (we perfected it during the pandemic!), and because it turns out differently each time, we’re still not sick of it. Tie dying t-shirts, pillowcases or bags is an easy creative winner. 

Cheap and cheerful home dye kits are available almost anywhere, so they're really accessible. Once you've picked up your supplies, grab plain white garments from your nearest department store and you’re good to go. 

We like making personalised pillowcases for somewhere to rest our heads during cosy family movie nights or tote bags in our favourite colours to help carry the market shopping or all the books we’ve borrowed from the local library. 

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Image: Supplied.

5. Kids in the kitchen 

Baking a chocolate cake or helping to make a toastie will always have a place on our school holiday to-do list. Life skills with a bit of fun along the way? Perfect. Something you get to taste test at the end? Even better! 

But if your child is new to cooking, a great place to start is with talented YouTube Kids creators like Blippi and Omari Goes Wild. Their videos specifically take the confusion out of cooking and baking for younger audiences. 

6. Short and tweet

Find a quiet place in your favourite outdoor space and wait for flocks of feathered friends to fly by. Head out to the park, nature reserve or just in the backyard and observe the habits and species of the birds near your home.

Encourage the kids to use a notebook to record what they see, making note of colours and behaviours. It’s a good time to get ready for the Aussie Backyard Bird Count (a great initiative you can do at home) which takes place later in the year and provides researchers with vital information about the birds that live alongside us.

YouTube Kids is an app made just for kids, created to give them a more contained environment to discover new and exciting interests.

Download YouTube Kids on your smart device now.

Feature Image: Supplied.

YouTube Kids
An app made just for kids. YouTube Kids was created to give kids a more contained environment that makes it simpler and more fun for them to explore, and easier for parents and caregivers to guide their journey as they discover new and exciting interests along the way.