Parenting is one of the most paradoxical tasks of all time: it is daunting yet rewarding, and you would go from “Aww I want another one” to “Never again” in just a split of a second.
The only break parents get from all the screaming and the twentieth “but why?” of the day is when they send them to school; but when the school teachers, too, need a break (from thrice the amount of “but why”s), the only sliver of peace that parents have for the day gets threatened. Especially now that most of us are working remotely, we’re sure you’re racking your brains thinking how to keep a 4 year old busy while working from home.
Fret not! We’re here to protect your peace. Here are some ideas on how to keep your kid entertained for hours so that you still get your break while your children are on theirs.
1. Indoor Activities
Let’s start with activities to keep kids busy in the comforts of your own home.
This is best suited for younger kids so you can start them early! Of course, don’t jump straight into things like vacuuming or scrubbing the toilets; start small with habits you’d like to build, like putting things away at their designated places, or wiping off the crumbs at the dining table after snacking.
If you have more than one child, you can even be creative and make it into a little game! They can win by speed, where the fastest one to put away 20 things on the floor back to their original place wins; or they can win by points, which they collect by putting away more things.
The best case scenario is when the competition becomes a tie, and you introduce an additional ‘game’ as the decider. While they help with tidying up, you can join them and do the more complicated cleaning so that they know you’re involved in their little activity.
After all, a portion of your breaktime from the kids (if you’re a housewife or househusband) is used to clean the household anyway, so utilise this time to get the task done with your little helpers around!
It’s not a game without a winner, so make sure their victory feels like one when they’re done at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to be grand - letting them decide on the day’s dessert or giving them an extra hour on the videogame should suffice.
b. Projects for all ages
If you don’t have the time to monitor their chores and look after them lest they break something at home, projects like puzzles and crafts are other good examples on how to keep a bored child busy. Keep in mind that jigsaw puzzles can be choking hazards to young children, so do get something that’s safe.
Mind puzzles will keep them occupied for the rest of the day once you get them hooked on to it, and crafts will last them a while if they’re determined enough to finish what they started (this would be a good opportunity to teach them the importance of perseverance as well). Choose from a variety of puzzles here to find the one that suits your child best.
If you have a preteen, get them involved in projects that require more time, perhaps even throughout their school break.
Things like knitting a sweater and woodworking are relatively low in cost, but could keep them occupied for days to come. If you have the budget and your child is interested in technology, building a computer would be a useful skill to have.
c. Dinner night
This is a great way to incorporate some useful life skills to your pre-teen or teenager. Let them be in charge of the family meals for the week while you take a break from the kitchen, wake up to breakfasts prepared, and come home from work to dinners ready. Just get them set up with an electronic gift card that allows them to purchase the ingredients needed and you’re good to go!
To learn more about our gifting ideas, click here! Thoughtful Gifts to Cheer Someone Up
2. Outdoor Activities
The indoors are fun, but occasionally we have to get out there and soak in some of that Vitamin D!
a. Getting creative outdoors
If you’re thinking of how to keep a 4 year old busy at home where it’s safe, but still want them to get some sun, you can do so at your own compound or balcony! Kids are curious about everything, so just introduce them to something new like repotting plants and pulling out the weeds, and then when they get invested, teach them a thing or two about taking care of different plants. If they’re a little older and you don’t mind having a fresh new look for your porch, let them repaint your fences or paint a mural!
It doesn’t have to be huge, murals can be done on wooden garden furniture or just a part of your wall. If you have garden furniture with wooden panels, get them started on a project to paint a different picture on each panel every day, and by the end of the school holiday you will have yourself a whimsical little corner in your garden.
Even if you’re not liking the idea of a permanent change (or damage, depending on your children’s artistic abilities) to your porch, you can get washable and non-toxic art. You can even plan ahead and purchase digital gift cards beforehand to let your kid decide on the type of art medium he or she prefers.
Parks are truly gems of the neighbourhood. They have the swings and slides for the preschoolers, shaded benches for reading and picnicking, spaces for roller skating or skateboarding, the list goes on.
They’re ideal for family outings with your kids during their school holidays because there are so many different things to do! Let them feed the ducks or blow bubbles with new park friends or go on the slide for the tenth time while you sip on your coffee with a good book as you soak in the morning sun. The best part is that it requires minimal planning, just pack some light bites and sunscreen and you’re all set for the park.
Perhaps you have done all the above activities with your child before or you have a kid who isn’t easily impressed by the regular, seemingly mundane activities; here are some more ideas on how to entertain a bored child.
We’re talking about full-on physical adventures from outback hiking and caving to abseiling and diving. These will definitely satiate your thrill-seeking child and keep them entertained during their break. Like we mentioned, these are strenuous activities, so make sure your children are physically fit enough to participate in them.
If you’re not sure what sort of adventure they’re into, you can purchase gift cards online that allow access to different choices so that they can decide for themselves. For your convenience, there are several digital gift cards in Australia condensed into one travel and adventure gift card that is swappable with related brands that will provide your child with the experiences he or she prefers.
d. Holiday camps
Camps are a great place to make new friends outside of school and learn how to be independent - it’s like a boarding school that lasts for a few days. Send your children to a youth camp, or - if they’ve had lessons - a sports or music camp. It helps them hone their craft, and most importantly it builds their soft skills immensely. Camps also have guides, so you wouldn’t have to worry about not having any adult supervision throughout the programs.
Plus, camps usually cater to all age groups; so whether you’re thinking of how to keep preschoolers busy or how to keep your teenager occupied, you can send them all to the camps they’re interested in.
At the end of the day, holidays serve as an important break for your children to rest and recharge after months of getting information drilled into their heads. So, it is important that your kid genuinely enjoys their holidays - be it indoors or outdoors, alone or with a group of friends.
If you are not sure what your children prefer, why not get them a one-size-fits-all gift card from a one-stop gift card shop, and let them decide for themselves? If you already have a preference and would like to nudge your kid towards a certain direction, you can buy gift cards online with a specific theme; if not, you can opt to buy one that basically comprises of a variety of Australian gift cards into one single card.
Supporting your parent employees during the school holidays
As an employer who cares about your parent employees, you can actually help lighten their burden during the school holidays by simply buying them some corporate gift cards. That way, they would be able to focus better at work rather than constantly thinking of how to keep their single child busy.
All you have to do is choose the type of corporate gift cards online - be it your standard corporate e gift cards or custom corporate gift cards, send the gift card online to your employees, and they’re all set to handling both their kids and their job well.
The best corporate gift cards make the recipients feel that the gifter has put a lot of thought into them; which is why our corporate branded gift cards are one of the best choices of Australian gift cards online.
GIFTA provides a platform for you to purchase corporate gift cards for employees from different backgrounds and preferences with our choices of corporate prepaid cards, corporate services gift cards, and corporate visa gift cards. If you’re looking to buy corporate gift cards to support your employees, take a look at GIFTA’s selection of corporate gift card ideas to start.
As the school break approaches, Contact us to learn more about how we can help you and your parent employees plan ahead with our list of available corporate gift cards in Australia!