The ultimate guide for a fun-filled and stress-free school holiday

Have a dedicated area where everyone can spend some quiet time. Picture: Markus Spiske/Pexels

Have a dedicated area where everyone can spend some quiet time. Picture: Markus Spiske/Pexels

Published Mar 20, 2024


Every parent who has experienced school holidays with energetic toddlers and young children knows how difficult it can be to keep them entertained throughout the day (short of parking them in front of a screen for hours on end just to get a break).

LEGO South Africa has unveiled a lifesaver for parents with their latest creation: “Surviving the School Holidays: A Helpful Guide for Parents.”

According to the experts at LEGO, there's hope for a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season with the family.

With a sprinkle of creativity and a dash of planning, parents can transform the school break into a time of fun and relaxation for everyone involved, all without sacrificing their sanity or turning their homes into a chaotic mess.

Playing with LEGO® bricks is also a great way to spend time together and bond as a family, and even get to know your kids a little better. Picture: Alena Darmel/Pexels

Create a schedule

Plot out each day of the holidays in rows in a spreadsheet along with columns that detail activities, meals and snacks for the day. Have a look at activity ideas further down the article for inspiration.

This may sound like quite a chore, but planning out each day this way, or at least having a general idea of what each day will look like, removes a great deal of stress for parents, and even helps with grocery shopping ahead of the holidays.

Activity ideas

Messy play is every parent's nightmare at clean-up time, right? But hold on, because messy play is not just about chaos; it's about letting kids dive into their creativity, explore new textures, and engage their senses through open-ended play with different materials.

To keep the little ones entertained, consider setting up a few sensory bins. For the tiny tots, opt for taste-safe and edible items, and always keep a watchful eye on them.

Try adding food colouring to a basin of water and tossing in some lemon slices for the kids to scoop up with spoons, ladles, or spades.

Another idea is to make your colourful jelly using gelatine or agar-agar with a few drops of food colouring, providing a less sugary alternative to store-bought jelly.

Now, for the parents who love the fun but dread the mess, creating a dedicated messy play area in the garden can be a game-changer. It makes cleaning up, including the kids themselves, a whole lot easier.

If outdoor space is limited, consider laying down a newspaper, a large tarp, or even black plastic bags to protect your floors and furniture. When the playtime is over, simply gather it all up and toss it in the trash.

And let's not forget the timeless joy of building with LEGO bricks. It’s an activity that's just as thrilling for kids as it is for adults. For the little ones, it's a chance to unleash their creativity and bring their wild ideas to life.

And for the grown-ups, it's a nostalgic trip down memory lane or simply a fun opportunity to build and break apart like a kid again.

Playing with LEGO is also a great way to spend time together and bond as a family, and even get to know your kids a little better.

For parents who need a little time to themselves to enjoy a cuppa, LEGO plays are also a fantastic way to encourage and foster independent play as well as social play with siblings or friends.

Give them a theme and countdown timer to build their creation or create an idea jar filled with LEGO build ideas that they can tackle on their own, while you sit back and watch from the couch or get a few chores out of the way.

Other great ideas to include in activity calendars are:

Holiday-themed scavenger hunts: Create clue cards kids can use to find a range of easter items, like easter eggs, bunny ears around the garden or the house.

Create a cinema experience: Grab all the pillows in the house, let kids choose a movie and snacks, and get cosy in front of the TV for a movie marathon.

Create a special holiday reading nook: Have a dedicated area with books for the whole family and comfy seating where everyone can spend some quiet time.

Get some exercise: Find a fun family workout video to follow online, get dressed up in the whackiest workout gear you can find, and get sweating – don’t forget to take pictures for memories later on.

Surviving school holidays isn’t all that difficult or nearly as impossible as you thought, right? With a little planning and organising ahead, you can save your sanity and even enjoy a well-deserved break as a family this holiday season.