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Keep learning in the school holidays

It’s the end of the first term and everyone is looking forward to a short break. Getting the right balance between rest, relaxation and learning can be tricky.

For parents of primary school children, here are our top 6 school holiday activities that will encourage learning while also being good fun for everyone in the family.

1. Try some coding
Google believes that every student should have the opportunity to learn code. They offer some amazing programmes through schools, but they also have a CODE website where children from the age of four can learn to code online. It’s great fun, learning how to build a Star Wars Galaxy, or coding with Anna and Elsa from Frozen or making a new game – there is a huge range of one-hour lessons for children of all ages and lots of videos and interviews with the Google team if you get stuck or need some inspiration.

2.  Pick a cool crafty activity
Keep those egg cartons and toilet rolls because they could contribute to a fabulously crafty afternoon of activity. The Kidspot website has hundreds of craft ideas from how to make a hobby horse, paper mache piñata, or pet goldfish, to a message in a bottle and more. There are easy lists of what you’ll need and simple DVD instructions for the not-so-naturally-crafty.

3. Get on board with a science experiment
Science isn’t only for the classroom. Pull on your painting clothes and get a little messy with these 7 fun science experiments. All of the experiments use readily available household materials and have easy to follow instructions.

4. Get cooking
Children of all ages enjoy the chance to help cook and prepare food. There are hundreds of great websites offering recipes, but we particularly like Jamie Oliver’s Family Food Tube. All of the recipes are designed especially for families, making them super tasty and healthy. There are also lots of children involved in the videos, helping to cook the food. And lastly there are some great one-minute video tutorials, such as how to teach your children how to chop safely.

5. Explore the great SA outdoors
Autumn is a great time to get out of the house and explore the parks, gardens and beaches of Adelaide. Nature Play SA has compiled a list of 25 activities for children during autumn. There are some great ideas that explore the different colours, smells and textures of the changing seasons.  

It’s not an activity, but sometimes it’s ok for children to be bored
If you’re a parent, don’t feel the need to fill up every spare minute or organise an activity every day. Studies have shown that boredom is not only a precursor to creativity, it is also beneficial for everyone’s mental wellbeing and functioning. In her article about boredom, Teresa Belton, a Visiting Fellow at the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia, explains why it is good for children to be bored and to learn how to potter, not always having the expectation that they should be constantly entertained or on the go.