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Holidaying at home – 12 ideas for a great school break (without leaving your area)

The school holidays are rapidly approaching, and you might be wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained when many of the usual holiday activities are unavailable. And you don’t want them spending too much time on devices because you know that can negatively impact student wellbeing – physically and mentally.

Travel plans may be on hold, but that doesn’t have to mean boring holidays. It’s amazing how much fun you can have at home with a little imagination. Here’s some ideas to get you started.

Holidaying at home with primary-age children

  1. Catch a movie – you can’t visit the cinema, but you can still watch great flicks. This Lifewire post lists eight sites offering free online kids’ movies. For Christian movies, you could sign up for a free trial with Pure Flix or Crossflix.
  2. Go local for exercise – families can exercise outdoors together within their area, so now is the perfect time to grab the bikes/balls/scooters/frisbee/skateboards and get outside (maintaining social distancing and state legislative requirements, of course!). 
  3. Visit a virtual zoo – some of the world’s greatest zoos offer virtual tours, including Sydney’s Taronga and the US’s San Diego Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium. Here’s 10 of the best.
  4. Theme park fun – the Gold Coast holiday may be off, but some theme parks are open for virtual tours. Walt Disney World, for example, offers virtual toursof attractions including Magic Kingdom, and Animal Kingdom. Try a virtual rollercoaster ride on YouTube with recordings of the Incredicoaster, the “Frozen” Ever After rideand It’s a Small World, among others. You can also virtually tour LEGOLAND Florida Resort and SeaWorld Orlando.
  5. Make your own games room – you may not be at a resort, but games can still be on the agenda. Why not set aside an area at home for board and card games? You could even turn your dining table into a ping-pong table. Check out this post from House Beautiful for 30 different games room ideas.
  6. Visit a national park – many national parks are currently off limits, but here’s 32 in the US that you can explore virtually and many more in Australia.

Holidaying at home with secondary-age children

  1. Virtual culture – why not get a dose of international culture from the comfort of home? Many museums and art galleries have virtual tour options, including the Louvre and London’s Natural History Museum. Here’s 10 top virtual culture tours.
  2. Online hangouts – friendships are important to teens and online video-conferencing software like Zoom and Skype mean they can catch up virtually.
  3. Upskill – holidays are ideal for learning a new skill or developing a talent. Search YouTube for lessons on anything you can imagine, like guitar, dance, crafts, gardening and cooking.
  4. Virtual concerts – musos worldwide are performing mini-concerts to keep fans entertained in isolation. Check the YouTube hashtag #TogetherAtHome for their videos.
  5. Eat out, at home – not going away doesn’t mean missing out on new foods. Look up recipes from places you planned to visit and have a go cooking them. Or order take away or home delivery from the local restaurants you’ve always talked about trying.
  6. Plan your next holiday – the whole family can get involved in plotting your next vacation. Go online, research your destination and plan transport and activities. You could even start learning the language with online courses like Duolingo, so you’re prepped with important phrases when you can book to travel again.

Author: David Garden

David Garden

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