Tag: school holidays

10 “At Home” Activities For Kids To Do During The Holidays

10 “At Home” Activities For Kids To Do During The Holidays

Previously holiday breaks during the school term were never a big thing, because I worked from home and had my mornings free, it meant that I was on hand to entertain the kids. We would adventure, we would play, we would explore. Fast-forward a few years and now I’m not at home, I’m in an office, (like 80% of South African mothers), and my “mom guilt” is going into overdrive that my kids are sitting watching TV all day. I now fully understand “holiday clubs” at school.

So, I’ve been thinking…. thinking of activities to set up for the boys that they can play with limited supervision. I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic nanny to take care of them so they can enjoy a bit of a break from school, but, she has other work to do and is not on hand every single second to supervise activities. Enter good old “google”, and I am shocked. Almost all the “holiday activities” designed for children require mom to be around or set up… Scrap that plan. So, I do what I do best and get to thinking of crafts to keep them busy. That’s why I enjoy crafts so much, they stimulate kids but they also don’t require much supervision. So, they can get on with sticking, creating and crafting and everyone else can get on with their work too.

So here is my top 10 list of crafts (Ok there are 11 but I couldnt choose) to keep your kids entertained these school holidays. These do require some forward-thinking mums and dads. Setting up the night before and putting the crafts out, it shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes and are ideally suited to children up to the age of about 7.

Paint and Play Day

Set up some paint and a variety of materials for the kids to paint on and play with. Sponges, brushes, flowers and stamps make great tools for the kids to explore with and play with different texture canvases such as foil, cardboard and bubble wrap. Make sure you place a suitable ground cover down to stop the paint from getting all over your floors.

Create a Collage

Cut up a big piece of cardboard from a leftover box to use as a nice big canvas for little hands. Gather up a variety of items, ribbons, stickers, magazine cut outs, paper doilies, muffin cases, pomp oms, anything your heart desires. Better still I normally do a craft cupboard stock up at CNA before the holidays start. You could get creative and chose specific colours. Kids love nothing more than gluing and sticking. Trust me, it’s a winner every time! Lay out all the materials on a tray for them with the glue and canvas and let them stick to their hearts content.

Create a Scavenger Hunt around the house

Hide a few objects around the house (choose distinctive things or specific pictures). Draw up a list of all the things hidden and tell the kids to go on a treasure hunt! Once they tick everything off their list tell your caregiver he/she can give them a small treat.

Clay Play

Get some good old fashioned air dry clay OR modelling clay. I prefer air dry clay as I can keep their creations forever. You can find this at any stationery store like CNA or your plastic-land/ Westpack stores. Make up a bowl yourself the night before, I often find if I am not there it is easier for my kids to see what to do when they have an example to follow. Ask your caregiver (if you aren’t home) to place down a floor protector and give each child a nice fist sized amount of clay. Let them create to their hearts content and let the final product dry in the sun. Once dry (probably by the time you are home), let them paint it.

Movie Day

I’m pretty sure this is one we have all done before. Surprise them by renting their favourite movie, or download it on Netflix. Layout some blankets and pillows (or a tent if you have one) in the lounge and pre- make some popcorn before you go to work. Let them stay in their PJ’s for the morning and watch their favourite Netflix while snuggling up with some popcorn and hot chocolate.

Create a mini activity centre

This could be done in or outside the house dependent on your situation. Create a “bean bag” toss – put a strip of tape down as the standing line and some “Hoola-Hoops”. The aim is to try and get the bag into the target area. Bowling – If you done have tenpin pins at home grab some paper cups and stack them together in a triangle shape. Using a ball or a bean bag, let your child try to knock down the cups. Golf putting – Simply take a plastic cup to use as your “hole”, the kids must try and put their ball into the cup to sink it. The possibilities are endless here.

Have a baking day

Yes, this is possible, even If you aren’t home. If your caregiver knows how to cook buy some pre- mixes from snowflake or Pillsbury. Easy ones like muffins or brownies. Lay out the ingredients the night before and the kids can mix away and then whoever is home can pop it into the oven. OR if you aren’t comfortable with the “baking” aspect they could ice some Marie Biscuits (Just make up the icing the evening before), or make some Jelly.

Montessori inspired Activities

Have a look at my blog post on my favourite Montessori activities for toddlers around the house. Most of these are independent and allow for easy clean up. Another great “keep busy” one is a good old peg board! Developing those fine motor skills while keeping them focused.

Sidewalk chalk

Buy a pack of good old sidewalk chalk from your local stationery store or plastic land. Let them draw their masterpieces wherever they feel free (outside of course). It’s the only time my boys are allowed to draw all over the walls, and the pavement outside. A quick rinse with the hose, or a rain shower will leave absolutely no trace of Picasso’s masterpiece.

Playdough invitation to play trays

My only disclaimer here would be, if your kids are younger and they will be playing partially unsupervised, maybe make your own playdough. I have a super quick recipe here. That way you can have peace of mind that it is non-toxic and “safe” if they decide to swallow a mouthful. Set out the playdough on a tray and put individual items of interest in separate containers around it. You could theme it, for example; construction you could make a brown dough, add in a few toy diggers and some “stones” (fake or real), some sticks and tools. Let them create their own little universe. Alternatively, pre- order some carefully thought out themed packs from party play dough.

Sensory Trays

Limited supervision required depending on the route you take. I often post up our sensory tray adventures on Instagram and then forget to post them on the blog, so if you are looking for ideas make sure you follow my Instagram account here. Ideas to do could include a winter wonderland (with snow made from Bicarbonate of Soda and white conditioner), an undersea adventure, either made with jelly, cornflour and water or sludge, or an outer space galaxy made with some painted black rice, marbles, stars and figurines.

You can have a look at my sensory mud tray here or a cloud dough experience here.


So there are some activities to get you going, now that I’ve started I have a couple more up my sleeve. Sometimes you just have to write things out a little to get your mind going! I hope I’ve inspired you in some way. The “Mom Guilt” will never subside but we can make ourselves feel a little better.

Family Fun These Holidays At Fourways Mall

Family Fun These Holidays At Fourways Mall

Eeeeeek ! It’s the first day of the Winter holidays here in South Africa. 3 whole weeks of school kids being at home and craving entertainment. As a parent I know one of my biggest questions is “what can I do with the kids”, “where can I take them”. If you are still looking for places around Johannesburg to take your kids you can see my favourites list here, or if your looking for child friendly restaurants have a look here .

These holidays I officially have one more place to add onto that list. Fourways Mall is the place to be these winter holidays, with a range of specially created and curated fun experiences adding to the centre’s already exciting mix of entertainment offerings for the whole family. Whilst it is under construction, with some even more exciting kid friendly additions (KidZania I am counting the days), the mall is still very much open!

Over and above the firm favourites such as BOUNCE, Adventure Golf and The Fun Company (including Tenpin Bowling and SpinZone Bumper Cars), the Mall has created 14 popup entertainment stations along the shopper’s journey, giving kids and adults alike the opportunity to take a breather whilst shopping.


The #FourwaysFun popup stations include activations such as ‘A Spot of Fun’, where kids (and maybe mums and dads!) are encouraged to stick coloured dots anywhere and everywhere, all over the walls and furniture too. For younger kids this is a chance to break all the rules and stick stickers where ever they want!

Instagrammable opportunities abound, from the Snow Globe selfie station to the Thought and Speech Bubbles corridor that adds a social twist to the passage to the bathrooms. Magnetic walls and colouring in opportunities create the Bucket List Wall outside Mr Price Home, along with a giant selfie frame to finish off that perfect shot.

Play-Doh has also jumped on board with an interactive Pop up “Play-Doh Town”. Journey through the interactive Play-Doh world and with a purchase from the stand and join the Play-Doh jamming section, where a modelling artist will be on hand to guide kids while they play, sculpt and mold their unique creations. On Friday June 22nd come and meet Childhood development expert and owner of the Pikanini Brand, Una van Staden. While the tots play, moms will get some great advice and tips on how to get the most out of playtime and inspiring imagination with Play-Doh.

The Mall will also be home to a baby grand piano – next to Foschini, seemingly held afloat by a cloud of balloons, and shoppers are invited to tickle the ivories for a touch of whimsy mid shopping journey. Get involved with creating art by trying your hand at the “Yarn bombing”, creating unique pieces of art with wool and pins.

The Emoji Mojo Corner offers a themed backdrop and endless emojis and other props to make the most of emoji moments, from ( 😀 ) to (hearteyes), (kiss), and of course (stareyes). This along with the Selfie Station filled with emoji balls may have just been the highlight for my boys.


For those that find shopping a little stressful, three pillars throughout the Mall are wrapped in bubble wrap, with shoppers invited to pop as many bubbles as they can. Can you say toddler heaven?

The Fun Factory offers Tenpin bowling, Spin Zone Bumper Cars, and a X-Rider 4 D Theatre, all in addition to its thrilling arcade games, making it the perfect destination to round off a busy day at the Mall. The beauty of this is that the bumper cars are “safer” for younger kids. I’ve taken my boys on some seriously rough bumper car rides before, where the impact was too rough for their little 4 year old bodies. This one however, with the boys safely on mom or dads lap was perfect for them.

What kid doesn’t love trampolines? BOUNCE is running a holiday programme in venue all day, every day of the school holidays and BOUNCE Epic Passes are available for anyone who wants all day access. For the more adventurous they also offer the first its kind wall climbing area called Clip ‘n Climb, as well as an adventure X-Park with an aerial runway.

Without a doubt my kids favourite stop at the Mall is Adventure Golf. Its Yusuf’s request every weekend to go and play a few rounds. At Fourways Mall the setting is so serene with waterfalls and tropical trees, it’s a treat for everyone!

While the 14 #FourwaysFun installations will only be in place from 22 June to 1 July 2018, they hint at the full “shoppertainment” offering that will be on offer once the Mall’s refurbishment is complete. New venues in the pipeline include KidZania, a massive children’s educational city, a Panarotti’s family restaurant on the lower food court level, and a new French Taco (Mezzanine Level) among others.

Fourways Mall has something for every member of the family, these holidays make a challenge out of it and see if you can spot all 14 of the #FourwaysFun installations. Its my number one family friendly mall!