School’s out, the kids are home (still) — what now?

Based on your electricity bill, summer has not been cancelled and you still have no clue what you are going to do with the children for the long holidays. Many vacation spots, summer camps and pools have closed due to coronavirus and despite wishful thinking, it’s not leaving any time soon.

School’s out and we need to find ways to occupy our kids, but what?

So what are we to do with the children who are restless, bored out of their minds and eating us out of house and home? All is not lost as there are still some activities that are kid-friendly while being cost-effective.

Your first source of assistance should be the grandparents’ house. Whether they are close by or in the country, when it doubt, lean on your parents. They have much to share including surviving in and appreciating a world before gadgetry took over. It can also be fun for them, satisfying for the old folks and a relief for you. Let them eat their snacks for a while.

Karina's Kitchn skewers of shrimp
You don’t have to go far to entertain kids. If they like eating, chances are they will enjoy learning how to make their favourite meals.

If they are not an option, get creative. Think of your child or children’s strengths and interests and play to them. This makes it easier to customise and tailor activities for them individually that will not only keep them occupied but may even have them learn a thing or two.

If your son or daughter is good with their hands, a project that they can dedicate at least part of their summer to is to build something that they can look at and feel a level of pride. If you are tactile and can swing a hammer, why not make the building of a tree house a task you can work on together? There are dozens of tutorials on how to do the basics of knocking together a square or rectangle frame and material should not be a problem as sourcing old crates is simple enough or ask furniture makers for discarded bits and pieces. What counts is the effort of teamwork and if you are daunted by a tree house then start off smaller and construct a doghouse for your pet.

If being outdoors and getting dirty is not for your child, do not despair. Once again think about what they like to do or watch on television. If it’s cooking pull out your old cooking book or better yet have them browse YouTube for simple dishes they always wanted to try themselves and then head to the supermarket for the ingredients. Have you not seen what kids can do on Junior MasterChef? Age is no longer an excuse for them to be spending all day playing mind-zapping video games. Get them engaged. There may be some initial protest as children see everything as work and work is a four letter word but stay the course and allow them to be great in their own small way.