How to Keep Your Children Engaged Over the Long Holiday

Chalkboard holiday image
Chalkboard holiday image

With candidates closing in on wrapping up their national examinations, parents are now turning their attention to enjoying quality time with their children.

Most children, naturally look forward to the Christmas festivities after racking their brains for a full term.

In this less strict environment, parents worry about how to keep their young ones engaged in meaningful activities, as they take a break from heavy school work.

Children at a playground
Children at a playground
East African Playgrounds / Play Action International


The proliferation of social media sites and digital content has also left parents at a loss for what their children consume online.

Since a bell and schedule may not suffice in the home setting, parents have devised different ways of engaging their young ones.

Encouraging Activity

The lack of a routine leaves children with nothing but time to explore. 

Left to their own devices, the youngsters can get up to all manner of mischief. 

Thus it is advantageous to incorporate physical activity into their daily schedule. For example, organizing play dates, family hikes, and other physically engaging pursuits that are fun as well as involving.

Besides outdoor activities, children can also have fun inside the house by building forts from pillows and other items and playing board games like Monopoly and Word Puzzle.

Nurturing Hobbies

You can take advantage of the free time to promote your kids’ hobbies

If your child is an avid reader, why not take them to the bookshop and get a book or two? 

A study by Cambridge notes that kids who read at least 12 hours weekly have better mental health and record higher cognitive test scores than their counterparts. 

You can even create your own little family book club. The number of hobbies that your children can explore is endless, including, swimming and music lessons, ball games, gardening, cooking, baking, drawing and so many more.  

Smartphone screen
Smartphone screen

Monitoring Screen Time

Banning technology in your home may end up backfiring, as your young ones, especially teenagers are bound to engage with smartphones and other devices virtually everywhere they go. 

Thus, a more productive approach may be to devise regulations with them, for the use of these devices. 

Your children will most likely appreciate your involving them in the decision. Studies have related constant exposure to smart devices like personal computers and smartphones, with increased stress and anxiety, affecting mental health. Thus, a regulated amount of screen time is advised. 

Holiday Classes

Tuition classes during the long break can help children brush up on subjects they find challenging in school. 

There are teachers who offer tuition lessons in the neighborhood at a fee. 

The classes can also be accessed virtually. Some religious institutions even organize such holiday classes. Regardless of the source, it is important to verify the authenticity of the person offering the lessons to your kids to avoid any untoward eventualities by masqueraders. 

House Chores

Allow your children to help out around the house. You do not want them lazying about all day, with the nanny at their beck and call. A few house chores will instill in them a sense of responsibility and diligence that will be of benefit when they leave the nest. 

After all, you would want them to become responsible adults who can take care of themselves without relying on you for every decision around the house. Be careful when using chores as punishment as this may lead to a negative connotation. Instead, present the chores as a shared responsibility.


The opportunity to serve others can be fulfilling for your kids. 

It also helps them build healthy relationships with their peers while nurturing their collaboration skills. 

Even better, volunteering as a family will set a good example for your child showing them the meaning of being charitable and compassionate. Your local community will most likely have plenty of opportunities for volunteering.


Contrary to popular belief, going on vacation does not have to be an expensive affair

You can visit culturally significant places in your locale at pocket-friendly prices. If you live near a lake or large water body, it is fairly affordable to access the beach and enjoy the breeze as you play family games. 

While you are off work, probably on weekends, you can arrange a stroll to the local park and treat yourselves to a fun day out. Museums and zoos are great options too.

An aerial view of the Swahili Beach House Resort, Kenya
An aerial view of the Swahili Beach House Resort, Kenya