Fun School Holiday Activities

I’m bored!’ It’s the cry all parents hate to hear during the school holidays. Keep restless kids happy and busy with these simple activities.  
1 Mix up watercolour paints
It can all be done using ingredients in your kitchen! In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons each of bicarbonate of soda, cornflour and vinegar with 1 1⁄2 teaspoons of light corn syrup. Wait for the fizzing to subside. Separate the mixture into several small containers or jar lids (with high edges). Add 8 drops of food colouring to each batch and mix well. Put a different colour in each batch or combine colours to make new shades. Kids can either use the paint straight away, or wait for them to harden, in which case, they’ll need to use a wet brush before painting.

2 Build a simple sundial
Take a 25 x 25-centimetre piece of cardboard and poke a stick through the middle. If necessary, screw or nail a small board to the bottom of the stick to hold it upright. Place the sundial in a sunny spot. At each hour, have the kids mark where the stick’s shadow falls on the cardboard. Check again the next day, and sure enough, the sundial seems pretty accurate. Check a week later, though, and the shadows won’t align to the marks at the right times. Encourage the kids to start searching the Internet for an explanation for this, which is that the earth is tilted on its axis.

3 Make a play castle
Any large-appliance cardboard box  can be turned into a medieval castle. Cut off the top flaps and make battlements by cutting notches along the top. To make a notch, use a craft knife and make a cut on either side of the section you want to remove, then fold the cut section forward and cut along the fold. To make a drawbridge, cut a large fold-down opening on one side that is attached at the bottom. Connect the top of the drawbridge to the side walls with ropes on either side, punching holes for the rope and knotting the rope on the other side. Use gaffer tape to reinforce the holes. Also cut out narrow window slits in the walls. Let the kids draw stones and bricks on the walls.

4 Frame favourite photos
Use an old CD to make a picture frame. You need a CD, a picture of you that is larger than the CD hole, a large bead, ribbon and glue. Glue the picture in the middle of the CD on the shiny side. If you wish, decorate the CD with markers or stickers. Use a hot-glue gun to attach the bead at the top of the CD, allow it to dry and thread ribbon through the bead.
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