Keeping the kids entertained this school holidays

December 21, 2018
by Jamie Tips and Tricks

    The school holidays can seem to go on forever, with parents and kids going a little bit stir crazy all over New Zealand! So we have compiled some fresh ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer…it’s guaranteed fun for everyone! You’re welcome.

    Here are some easy ways to keep the kids entertained this summer…

    Idea #1
    Host your own backyard picnic

    What better way to enjoy a sunny day than heading out for a picnic. It doesn’t have to be somewhere flashy, take it to the local park, beach or even your backyard!

    The food doesn’t need to be fancy either. In fact, a picnic is a great opportunity to pull together your leftovers and get everyone grazing. The kids will also enjoy raiding the pantry and pulling out some things to add to the picnic basket.

    Here is our quick picnic checklist:

    1. Fill your picnic basket, a cooler bag or chilly bin. Don’t forget to throw in some reusable picnic cutlery and plates, napkins, cups and utensils.
    2. Pack up your food into containers that can be used to serve the food too. Or try this nifty idea of using a muffin tin for your veggies sticks and dip.
    3. Grab a blanket or some beach towels to sit on.
    4. Throw in a ball or frisbee for some fun picnic games.

    Idea #2
    Make your very own homemade playdough

    What’s not to love about playdough? Especially the homemade kind! You can colour it using food colouring, or if you want to experiment you could try using a little ground turmeric or beetroot water to make yellow or pink playdough!  

    If kept in the fridge, it will last for a couple of months at least. Perfect for rainy days or keeping the kids entertained while you cook dinner or do some chores! Dig out some cookie cutters for a bit of extra fun.

    How to make playdough for the kids:

    1/2 cup salt
    1 cup plain flour
    2 tbs cream of tartar
    1 cup water
    1 tbs oil
    3 drops liquid food colouring

    Step 1. Mix all ingredients together in a medium-sized saucepan.
    Step 2. Stir over heat until dough is pliable.
    Step 3. Allow to cool, and store in a well-sealed plastic bag or container.

    You can make yellow playdough by adding a little ground turmeric or pink by adding some beetroot water!

    Idea #3
    Get back to baking in the kitchen

    There is a simple joy in baking with kids, while it might not come from the additional mess, there is something to be said for the fun involved with licking the bowl. The watchful eye as the cake rises in the oven, the sense of achievement as the cake comes out of the tin and the enjoyment in polishing the whole thing off!  

    Why not try this tasty muffin recipe below? You can use whatever fruit or berry you have at hand, and even add some choc chips or nuts for something a bit extra. It’s guaranteed to bring at least a couple hours of fun, entertainment and a tasty treat for everyone!  

    Blueberry Muffin Recipe

    2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
    3/4 cup caster sugar (or brown sugar)
    1 cup frozen berries (blueberries or raspberries)
    1 cup buttermilk
    60g melted butter
    1 egg lightly beaten

    Step 1. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, stir in sugar, then combined eggs, milk and oil. Do not over-mix, the batter should still be slightly lumpy.

    Step 2. Spoon half muffin mixture into prepared pans, sprinkle with 3/4 cup blueberries, spoon over remaining mixture.

    Step 3. Sprinkle with remaining blueberries and topping. Bake at 200°C for about 20 minutes or until browned and firm. Stand 2 minutes, remove from pan, cool on wire rack.

    Idea #4
    Create some fun veggie stamps

    Every now and then we all end up with a not so wonderful piece of fruit – a dry orange, a floury apple or some bendy carrots. Rather than tossing these straight in the bin, why not re-purpose them into stamps for an afternoon of arts and crafts? The end result can be used as gift wrapping, homemade cards, wall hangings or just stuck on the fridge!

    What you’ll need for an afternoon of veggie stamps…

    • Your choice of fruit or vegetable (lemons or limes, apples, pears, celery, carrots and capsicums all work well)
    • Ink pad or craft paint
    • Scrapbook or sheets of paper
    • Paper towels
    • Tea towels

    Step 1. Cut the vegetable crosswise to reveal the cross-section. Stand, cut side down, on paper towels to blot up excess moisture.

    Step 2. Press cut side of vegetable into ink pad or paint to cover the surface.

    Step 3. Lay a folded tea towel under the paper or card to be stamped. The layers of the towel soften the surface so that the vegetable can press evenly into the paper. Stamp a repeat pattern all over the paper for gift wrap.

    Step 4. Stamp a single motif onto a blank card for a matching tag.

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