Trying to get your children outside in the winter holidays, particularly when the wintry weather isn’t overly appealing, can be challenging. While you wouldn’t dream of sending them out when it’s pouring down with rain, it’s important to use those breaks in the weather to your advantage. Staying cooped up inside during the school holidays isn’t fun for anyone.
While the kids are probably more than happy to lounge around watching TV, playing computer games or browsing the internet on their tablet, there comes a time when leaving the house is as much for their sanity as your own. Here are just a few of the many options – from things you can do at home, to extensive holiday programmes that cater to your children’s needs.
There’s an abundance of activities to do here during the school holidays, including nature challenges, kids vs. wild, Matariki mobiles and much more! And if you can't make it to the programs, children love walking around the gardens and learning about all the various plants and flowers that make this garden so full of life. Winter growth is very unique which makes it the perfect time to visit the gardens.
If you’re in Wellington, your kids are going to love the Wilder Kids programme. Aimed at 5-12 year olds, your children will have a fun outdoorsy day learning about nature, creepy crawlies and how to protect everything in New Zealand’s big backyard. The programme runs every school holidays, and while winter limits outdoor time, your kids will still be learning heaps.
Safe Kids in Daily Supervision (sKids) has become New Zealand’s most significant private supervised care facility. While they provide your children with plenty to do after school, they also run holiday programmes to appeal to many.
From cooking and sports through to making huts, music, dancing, and taking outings, you will find every child will enjoy everything this programme has to offer. While the outdoor components of this holiday programme are weather-dependent, you are sure to see even the indoor activities challenge your children to try new things and enjoy a unique environment that may be a little outside of their comfort zone. What’s more, sKids has programmes throughout most main centres in New Zealand – from Otago all the way through to Auckland and everywhere in between.
If your children fall into that age gap that makes them a little too mature for most holiday activities, they are sure to love what Auckland for Kids has to offer. Not only do they cater to young school-aged children, but teens and pre-schoolers as well. Therefore, you can rest assured there’s a vast range of activities that surely mean you won’t need to drag the kids out of the house – they’ll drag you.
You can choose from general holiday programmes with a little bit of everything, or something more targeted. From art, cooking, and sports through to dance, drama, photography, and film, there is so much to experience these school holidays.
Give Them A Project
If it’s been that long since your kids have been outside that they no longer remember what the yard looks like, then it’s time to rug them up then kick them out. When there’s a break in the weather, there’s no harm in the kids putting down their electronic devices and finding something to do outside. If you’re waiting for the “I’m bored” to fill your ears within mere minutes, then give them a project.
They could learn how to prepare the garden for winter crops or learn how to create a hen house. Or, if they want to earn pocket money to do something with their friends, they could get their hands dirty and remove all the dead plants that fell victim to harsh winter frosts. The backyard is a blank canvas for activities; the kids just need time to see it.
Mini Winter Sports
It’s all too easy to let the kids stay inside on their mobile devices all day because it keeps them quiet and out of your hair. However, given the holidays span for two weeks, and even more over Christmas, it’s not something that can fill all that time. For these holidays, why not get them interested in mini winter sports? If your backyard is big enough, they can set up a course in the yard to play on. Golf, cricket, and soccer are all valid options. Even if the grass is a little soft, it will get them outside and active, albeit, a little muddy.
Wintry weather is never pleasant to venture out in, but it’s also not convenient to be cooped up inside all day either. Even if the kids are happy to stay warm by the fire, it’s a good idea to get them involved in projects that will stimulate and challenge them.
There are several excellent holiday programmes throughout the country that provide all manner of activities. However, if keeping them at home is far more convenient, then you will also find your backyard has more to offer than you think.