School Holiday Boredom Busters
No sooner do the school holidays get underway, that we start to hear the collective groan from parents all over the country. While we might secretly enjoy skipping the morning rush of lunch boxes, school uniforms and library bags, keeping the children entertained for eight very long weeks is a tough gig! Throw diabetes into the mix, and the need to have a pre-planned, packed calendar of fun-filled activities that promote movement and exercise becomes increasingly important.
So how do you avoid the electronics-obsessed, sedentary holiday that turns the children into square-eyed zombies? All you need to do is have a few simple activity ideas up your sleeve to help keep the holiday boredom away – and without breaking the bank. So here are a few suggestions to keep both you and your kids happy and active this summer.
Chalk It Up
Take to the driveway with colourful chalk and get creative with your kids by drawing a racetrack and race toy cars around the track. If you’re lucky enough to have a bit of extra space, your chalk track could be used for bike or scooter riding and/or running races. Chalk is also perfect for creating hopscotch or even a chalk drawing competition. If you don’t have any chalk, a paint brush and bucket of water can be used for fun, free of clean-up hassles. Give the toddler the task of painting the back fence with their water ‘paint’.
If water restrictions are not an issue in your area, combining water and a trampoline is like combining Christmas and presents – it will keep the kids entertained for hours. A hose and sprinkler can be put in the middle of the trampoline and kids can jump and dodge the water for hours on end. For a bit of extra slip and slide, add some bubble bath or shampoo to the trampoline. Kids will end up squeaky clean, saving on the shower battle later that evening. Although this is lots of fun for the kids, be sure to participate or at least provide adequate supervision.
The beach is no doubt our most amazing and better yet, FREE destination. The sun, surf and sand are a kid’s dream. As well as the standard beach essentials (fresh water, sunscreen, swim suits and shade umbrella) don’t forget the games. To help keep the kids entertained – while you enjoy the sun and saltwater – be sure to pack the cricket bat, balls, buckets and spades. To help maintain their energy levels, include a selection of healthy snacks like carrot and celery sticks with hummus dip, air popped popcorn and some fresh fruit.
With a little bit of preparation, a local scavenger hunt can get kids active and excited to explore. Write down a list of things you and your children need to find and then walk around the neighbourhood in search of your treasures. If you’re a real planner, you could have clues which lead to a special prize waiting at the final destination.
Depending where you live, seasonal fruit is available for picking and it provides a great opportunity to get kids out of the house and into the fresh air. Is there anything better than a freshly picked juicy strawberry on a hot summer’s day? For those who are really ambitious, consider getting the kids to help make jam with the fruit when you get home. This offers the added bonus of teaching them about good nutrition and the benefits of fruits in our diet.
Ok this may sound tiresome, but what child doesn’t like bubbles and water? Put their energy to good use and allow them to bubble up the car (and each other), which hopefully results in a sparkling clean car…and kids!
Invite your besties for a late afternoon play at the park. With a little extra preparation, you could pack a healthy picnic to enjoy together for an early dinner – the kids can use up that afternoon energy and be ready to crash into bed right on time!
Games Games Games
Summer in Australia is synonymous with rainy afternoons which can send the kids a bit stir crazy – and we know all too well, this is fun for no one! To avoid the rainy day ruins, how about creating a family Olympics? Think egg and spoon races up and down the hallway, sleeping bag sack races or even lego building or mask making competitions. The options are endless and you get the family moving, while maintaining your sanity!
Keeping active during the holidays is not only a great way to enjoy family time together, but also helps to keep boredom (and extra holiday kilos) at bay. For those living with diabetes, it is important to monitor your blood glucose level for any changes, particularly when there is increase in activity.
If you need some extra help maintaining your glucose levels, then get in touch with your doctor or diabetes team. When out and about, it’s always a good idea to ensure people with diabetes, and those who are at risk of hypoglycaemia, carry their hypo treatment and snacks. Drink plenty of water and enjoy the fun summer holidays can bring! Only 7 weeks, 6 days and 23 hours to go!
Want to more ideas to extend the school holiday fun? Read here for our top 10 school holiday activities for the whole family.