Listening to my friends wrestle with what to do with their children over the December holidays considering the rapidly increasing daily Omicron positive stats, has me yearning for the simple days of when we Jozi suburb raised kids knew that the mass exodus to Gogo in the rural areas or Soweto took place every first weekend of the school holidays.
Now it’s no longer a question of when are the children going, it’s a matter of if? Parents have to now worry about the possibility of their child infecting their grandparent with a virus that could potentially kill them. What truly traumatic times for our children.
With the December school holidays beginning in less than ten days, we at AoS have curated a list of fun, COVID-19 safe activities for you, your child, and your family to enjoy this festive season. We hope this will help ease some of the angst that comes with parenting in a constant state of limbo.
Kids Holiday Program at Merschool:
The programme includes:
7am – Arrive, eat breakfast
8am – Play time
10am – Workshop
12pm – lunch / rest
1pm – workshop
2pm – swim
3pm – play time
4pm – snack and movie
5pm – Home time
Play areas with different activities like playground, lego, dress-up, puppets, library etc will be available to choose from during play time. During workshop times we will alternate between yoga, animal mobility, music, pool games, martial arts and Arts and crafts.
Tea will be provided twice a day. Please pack breakfast, lunch, snacks, change of clothes, swim clothes, towel, goggles and swim cap. Please mark all belongings.
R100 an hour or drop in for a workshop only
R250 for half day 7am – 12pm
R350 a day
R1 500 a week
R5 000 for the full program 6 December 2021 – 14 January 2022
10% sibling discount
Please note they will be closed on public holidays.
Contact email@example.com to book.
Outdoors Summer Fun
Kite Flying – Not only is this a fun, budget-friendly, outdoorsy, memory-making activity for the whole family to experience together, there are also social, and physical benefits to kiting, and also educational aspects one has to take into consideration whilst flying a kite. Your child will learn things relating to;
And, kite flying also contributes to the development of their kinesthetic awareness, hand-eye coordination, as well as gross motor skills.
Gardening – Okay what parent has not had to wrestle dirt away from their toddler? Gardening is an activity you can do with children of all ages, you’ve just got to figure out age-appropriate tasks/responsibilities for your child to do to keep the activity fun and them engaged for longer.
Picnics – Food, outdoors, and bonding. Sounds like a winner to me. Not only is this an inexpensive way for the family to eat out, but it’s also something the children can help prepare for or enjoy in your garden or lounge on a rainy day.
Hopscotch – Remember the endless hours you spent playing hopscotch with your friends and cousins? I recently taught some of the tweens in my family how to play and their parents can’t stop thanking me. Hopscotch now occupies their children’s attention for hours at a time and according to my cousin has drastically reduced the weekly amount of Xbox arguments she used to get into with her tween.
If your home does not have a large piece of flat dirt for them to play on, you can also use paved or concrete surfaces such as your garage that they can use sidewalk chalk to draw the hopscotch on. In case you’ve forgotten how this works, here’s a YouTube refresher.
Acrobranch – Explore your inner child with your children by swinging through the treetops at the Acrobranch park. Acrobranch is a family-friendly and safe space for children as young as three years to enjoy acrobatic bungee-style adventures to obstacle courses and even combination courses, zip-lining, swing bridges, and Tarzan swings.
Be prepared to spend anything between R140 to R280 per person depending on which course you’re doing. Make sure you book and pay online beforehand as it’s a cash-free space.
Cradle of Humankind – Take a break from the city and enjoy a day in Maropeng exploring the Cradle of Humankind. The interactive and informative learner centre is a hit with children – adult ones included. The underwater boat ride also serves as a guide through the history of Earth’s creation. And if fossils are your thing, then you can take the family on a tour of the home of the historic ‘Mrs Ples’ – the Sterkfontein caves.
Maropeng and Sterkfontein are open from 9 am-5 pm, with the last daily tour commencing at 4 pm.
Please note: bookings for Maropeng and the caves must be made online beforehand. Sometimes the caves are closed to the public, so please call them beforehand to check if they’re open.
Roller Skate/blade at Roll Egoli – Roller skate/blade to your heart’s content for R95 per person. Roll Egoli also offers other activities such as indoor wall climbing and they also have a food stand with some kid-friendly staples, such as Pizza.
Fun Indoor Activities
Christmas Decorations – This is an opportunity to create a new family tradition and unique decorations out of things like CDs.
Here’s What You will need:
- Christmas/Plain Wrapping Paper
- Printed Christmas Colour Pages
- Glue and Ribbon or Twine
Take the Christmas wrapping paper and cut out circles the size of the CD. Stick the paper onto the disk. Alternatively, you can use plain white or coloured paper that your child can decorate by drawing, painting or sticking stuff on. The final product will need a hole drilled into the top of the disc for the twine or ribbon to go through. Once that’s done your child’s ornament is ready to be hung on the tree or stuck with prestick on the window!
Treasure Hunt – This one is going to take a little planning on your part and the level of complexity will be determined by the child’s age. You can design treasure hunts to be as short or as long as you wish. The clues need to be fun, appealing and should require some thinking on the child’s part.
Treasure hunts are also a fun way for your toddler age child to learn colours, shapes and how to be observant of their surroundings. The older children get to exercise their brains in a fun and interactive way. – a workout that doesn’t feel like working. If only exercise worked the same way…
Baking – For some, the thought of baking with your child sounds like the perfect setup for a messy nightmare. However, baking not only helps your child develop a life skill but also provides an opportunity for your child to practice essential skills like reading (recipe) and counting/measuring (ingredients). So break out the measuring cups, spoons, and rolling pin and watch as your child becomes an egg cracking pro!
Board Games – There’s nothing like a rainy afternoon or early evening of bonding over a rambunctious board game of Monopoly, Pictionary, 30 seconds or a card game like Uno, speed, or snap. My mother often talks to me about how she observed/learned about some of my and my brother’s characteristics.
Affirmation for the African Child – Building self-esteem through positive representation and self-belief is an important part of raising healthy children. Representation is empowering and allows children to develop a sense of belonging and inclusion. To play a key role in the transformation and development of self-esteem, confidence and a positive mindset in children, Fix Scholarship and Diketo Inclusive Education have collaborated to create one of Africa’s first inclusive affirmation cards for the African child, titled “Affirmations for the African Child”.
Start your day by repeating daily affirmations with your child this festive season. Shop for your set of affirmation cards here.