Fun ways to engage the kids when you can’t go out this June holiday
by Christine Leow // May 27, 2021, 10:55 pm
This may be the second time children have to stay home during their mid-year holiday, but thanks to last year's Circuit Breaker experience, there are now many more options for family fun indoors. Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash.
The much anticipated and hard-earned June holidays are upon us. But, once again, Covid-19 has put paid to all our holiday plans.
When dining out is ruled out, and outings are ill-advised and only allowed in pairs, how can families still create happy memories together during Phase 2 (Heightened Alert)?
Salt&Light offers some ideas.
One of the things families discovered during last year’s Circuit Breaker was that they had plenty of time together. Staying in seemed to stretch out the time and it also made interactions unavoidable.
Parents can use this as an opportunity to bond.
1. Enter your child’s world
This holiday, June Yong, 40, is going to use the time at home with her three children – aged eight to 12 – to bond over activities they enjoy.
“I would try to use the time to work on crafts with my daughter. That’s her favourite hobby.
“I’m also getting my elder son to teach me Minecraft so I can speak his lingo and understand his passion a bit more.”
Ask to join your children in whatever they are interested in and you might just discover a new topic of conversation at home.
2. “Travel” during mealtimes
Staying in also means eating in.
Try organising an indoor picnic.
Said Yong: “I think it’s back to basics for many families. And that probably looks like having more meals together, possibly cooking up new recipes or baking together.”
There are now baking kits that you can order online so you can skip supermarket runs to get ingredients.
Wynne Chua, 37, plans to put her baking skills to good use. She and her children aged seven and four will be “baking treats together to bless others”.
If you want a break from kitchen duties, however, you can order in. Check out this list of F&B businesses.
To add a little zing to your meals at home, try organising a picnic at your balcony or having a themed cuisine party where you can get dressed up in outfits from that country and pretend you are dining abroad.
3. Get moving with music and games
Ong Yi Kwee, 37, has four sons aged six months to eight years and he intends to leverage the fact that the boys are so close in age.
“The boys will be playing with one another, using whatever interests them and engaging in pretend play.
He intends to encourage their camaraderie “and play dance videos to use up their energy”.
If you are thinking of getting your children to dance away, too, here are some sites for children’s worship songs:
When the children tire of dancing or each other, Ong intends to take them one by one to the swimming pool in their estate.
Chua will be drawing inspiration from the Bible for her playtime with the children.
“I will read Bible stories to them and then role-play the stories. We could make costumes and props.
“We also need to step up and do our part so that Christian stuff doesn’t just happen on Sundays.”
“We might also build a wall and call it Jericho and go around it seven times to make it fall.”
The family has a Bible edition of Win, Lose or Draw as well.
Said Chua: “So far, the kids can guess the characters Jonah and Daniel.”
Yong will be pulling out the board games, too.
“We have the Bible Sequence board game that we can play together as well as other Bible trivia card games.
“While church may have activities for the juniors, I think we also need to step up and do our part so that Christian stuff doesn’t just happen on Sundays.”
If you are on the lookout for games you can play as a family, try local Christian stores for Bible-themed ones. You can order them online and stay safe at home:
Your family may want to keep outings to the minimum. But that does not mean you cannot have a movie night in.
Stream wholesome, life-affirming movies from Singapore-owned SMIX. One of their newest titles is 100 Yards. The story tells of a college athlete stricken with cancer who goes in search of his missing mother only to discover physical, spiritual and emotional healing.
SMIX also has a Discovery Series of specially curated children’s programmes that deals with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) topics so your little ones can learn while they are being entertained.
Other children- and family-friendly sites for movies or programmes include:
There are also many YouTube channels offering faith-based programmes.
If you are looking for local ones, Church of Our Saviour (COOS) has its own YouTube and Telegram channels called COOSkidz with Bible-based stories and lessons. If you want to make sure your children improve their Mandarin while they learn about God, COOS has a Chinese YouTube channel as well.
The Treasure Box SG has online programmes that run like a children’s church service complete with worship, teaching and activities. So, they are interactive and make for a great way for parents and their children to watch and do something together.
Other YouTube channels for family viewing include:
- Kid’s Corner
- The Beginners Bible
- VeggieTales Official
- Two By 2
- Bible stories – the teaching of Jesus
- Stories for Kids
- Kids Play and Learn
- Christian Kids TV
- The Holy Tales
- Listener Kids
- Christian Baby Bounce
Online resources just for kids
Your children are likely to want to play games on their handphones, tablets or computers. Don’t fight it, redirect it.
There are plenty of Christian children’s activities and games sites you can offer them so that they can be engaged online safely:
Older children can be left to explore the sites on their own. For younger children, you can pick activities for them – games, story-telling, craft – that they would enjoy online.
For the extroverted child, there are camps to join. The Treasure Box SG has a June programme coming up. The first three runs have been snapped up but there is a fourth one (June 21-22) for those aged seven to 12.
Count on Elvin and Esther Foong to use their usual good cheer and playful banter to bring to life Ephesians 3:18-19 over two sessions with praise and worship, games, team challenges and lessons.
All the material you need – colour-printed activity booklet, craft materials and snacks – will be delivered to your home before the camp.
This June holidays, art gallery Sound of Art is piloting its first online art workshop. Designed for kids aged 4-12, children will learn to make natural, toxic-free paint out of food ingredients commonly found in the home. Along the way, they will learn biblical lessons through art.
Those who do not have brushes and paper can request for them to be sent by mail at an additional cost.
Apart from June 5 and 12, additional slots have been added on June 19 and 26 due to popular demand.
Children’s ministry veterans David and Cynthia Leong are also running their Shine holiday camp for children from K2 to P5 (six to 11) on June 17-18. This year, the camp will focus on Daniel and his three friends who were devoted to shining for God in very difficult situations.