Deep into the holidays and trying to think about ways to entertain the kids and keep them off the screens the whole time whilst we stay sane. Here are a few of ideas that get the kids thinking about eating healthy and moving and enjoying the summer weather.
Get the kids to design a menu and get cooking – grab some recipe books out or use the healthy eating advisory service recipes get the kids to explore and design a menu. Then give them the task of checking the ingredients and making a shopping list. If they are old enough let them take the lead on cooking or if they are a bit younger get them helping you in the preparation. Great way to get them enthusiastic about dinner time.
Meal plan: While you are at it why not get the kids to design a weekly meal plan and allocate who wants to cook each meal a great way to kick something like this off in your house and get the kids taking responsibility as well.
Make your own pizza party: pizza dough is easy and fun to make with the kids. Or if you are short on time grab some ready-made ones in the supermarket or you can even just use a sheet of puff pastry, if you have that in the freezer. Let the kids choose some toppings and spread the ingredients. If they want to make a face on their pizza for fun go for it.
Play Cafe: let the kids set up a café at home and feed their parents if you are working from home win, win! My kids love setting the table up and writing a menu and waiting on you. Keeps them busy and creative. Hopefully you can also get them to clean up after, that’s hit and miss at our place.
Snacks: don’t forget your five a day. Cut up some fruit or veg and have them stored ready to whip out when the dreaded “I’m hungry” comes. Maybe some healthy muffins or mini quiches make a batch ready for quick snacks or lunch time.
Plant a garden: one way to help kids get into fruits and vegies is to get them active in the garden. It doesn’t have to be big, a few herbs in a pot if you don’t have much room. Things like mint, basil and oregano for your pizza, rosemary is hardy and smells nice. You can plan lettuce seeds all year long or set up a few bamboo poles in a teepee shape and you can grow some beans or snow peas (great to pick and eat). Kids always love strawberries so don’t forget them. Corn is amazing freshly picked and eaten straight away in summer (top tip to help them germinate make sure you plant them grouped together not in single rows). Kids are going to love eating what they grow.
Picnic in the park: pick a nice day and head to the local park. Maybe you can meet another family and each bring some food to share, doesn’t have to be fancy, cut up some fruit or veg, hummus dip, maybe some pikelets, some homemade popcorn (not the processed stuff if you can, its covered in oils and sugar) hang out by a playground or take a ball, a kite, frisbee or some yard games like bocce and get them moving as well.
Speaking of getting active, there are usually some great holiday programs run by different sporting codes see if you can find one that suits your family.
- Sports clinics are a great boredom buster Australian sports camps have loads of different types of sports activities to check out Australian Sports Camps for their list of activities.
- Check with your local sporting club or council to see if they are running any local clinics not on the list.
- If your kid is into gymnastics local clubs often have great day programs running for different ages. Look up gymnastics near me to find one in your area. A great why to try something out
- Swimming, jump in a pool: kids love to a chance to splash around it’s usually affordable day out at your local council pool.
- Get out and go for a ride or scooter– It cost nothing gets you outdoors and you get a bit of sunshine and exercise too.
Exploring and learning
Parks Victoria junior rangers‘ program is a great series of events in our state and national parks across Victoria both metro and regional, maybe they have a program running near you. Check out their website for more information
Zoo’s Victoria: Melbourne Zoo, Healesville sanctuary, Werribee and now Kyabram Funa Park all have some great natural spaces for kids to explore, lots of walking to get them moving (and sleep well at night) and best of all kids visit free in the school holidays. They usually have some programs running in the school holidays so check out their website for their keeper talks and other events.
Local councils – check out the local council’s websites for any activities they have happening in your area or surrounding councils as well Pick and choose.
Remember when you are out and about don’t forget your hat and sunscreen, mind the UV levels!