We’ve been kept busy during the first two weeks of the year-end school holidays. Here are some school holiday activities ideas:
7y9m Vee loves robotics. We stopped his school robotics activity after one term because he became too tired to complete his homework and had insufficient time for free play.
In replacement, we agreed on joining a robotics programme during the school holidays. So he went for full day session at RM140 (~SGD45 / USD32), paying half out of his savings.
Robotics classes in Singapore and Malaysia often use the Lego Mindstorm school sets. This is an example of the home set:
2. Free coding courses
In the afternoons, Vee may also work on free coding courses at Code Studio here and learn to use simple computer commands.
3. Playing with LEGO & other construction toys
We bought our LEGO Education sets from Amazon here:
- LEGO Education Brick Set 4579793 (884 pieces)*
- LEGO Education Wheels Set 4598357 (286 pieces)*
- LEGO Education Doors, Windows & Roof Tiles Set 4587438 (278 pieces)*
- LEGO Education Community Minifigures Set 4598355 (256 pieces)*
These are superb value for money and offer unlimited possibilities for creative play.
Other construction toys we love are:
- GIGO Junior Engineer* (good for 2+ to about 6 years old): We have 3 boxes — basic set, ball track set and gear set — for the kids’ building projects.
- Lepao (good for about 5 to 9 years old): Lepao (Taiwan) is the authorised manufacturer of German-designed Lasy blocks, so we bought our huge sets from Taiwan Toy R Us.
Here’s an example of the Lepao elevator:
- K’NEX* (good for about 7 to 12 years old. I’ve already given a set of K’NEX to a nephew as birthday present.)
4. Culinary sessions
Learning to cook is an essential life skill. (Frankly, I prefer baking snacks much more than cooking a full meal.) Little El was the first to start on making nutritious cookies — mashing bananas, pouring & stirring ingredients.
Older children can help out in more ways in the kitchen, IF they’re cooperative.
This is something really easy to offer — provide a wide range of art supplies to let the children explore. Give initial guidance on how to use each material and let their creativity run wild — ON the paper, and not on the furniture though.
Some of our favourite basics:
- Drawing block paper (thin and about size A4 for colouring; thick and about size A3 for painting)
- Thick coloured paper
- Coloured pencils (thick for younger kids, thin for older)
- Crayola washable marker pens*
- Paint (Crayola washable ones for toddlers)
The first presentation of each art medium includes how to clean up after art work. By being responsible for cleaning up, the child learns to be careful when working. (5yo Jae actually enjoys washing the paint materials he uses!)
6. Strategy games
Currently, Vee is hooked onto playing The Rivals for Catan* with me. We limit it to 45 minutes per session so that I can tend to the younger children too. Embarrassingly, I’ve lost EVERY game so far. He even taught me how he strategised to win. Am I getting old or what?!?
Anyway, I’m glad that he’s finding his interests and strengths.
Other strategy games that our family plays:
- Monopoly Deal* (Card game that’s completed in about 15 minutes. My kids start playing this from about 4 years old.)
- Chinese chess* (Xiangqi)
- English chess*
Next up, I’m going to buy:
- Go* (or Weiqi, since El is older than 3yo now and not likely to mouth any small parts. Finally…!)
It’s been a hectic two-week taking care of the kids from morning till night. Hope this post gives you some ideas for this or the next school holidays. Have fun!
P.S. Check out my workshops here
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