7 ways to keep your little ones happy this festive season

Black family spending quality time Image: iStock

Keep your children engaged with these fun activities

Holidays are supposed to be a time for family and loved ones to come together and celebrate their relationship with each other. The name of the season itself conjures up pictures of joy and unbridled optimism. However it can also be a time of frustration and stress.

Parents who have to entertain their children while schools are closed may feel as though they are unable to cope with the immense pressure of having the kids at home.

The stress and anxiety can also affect children whose daily routine has been disrupted.

READ MORE: How to raise smart children

“Sleep schedules can be disrupted with holiday travel or house guests. Even happy activities like opening gifts can lead to sibling quarrels or disappointment,” says the Washburn Centre for children. 

Finding your children activities to do and keeping them occupied is one way you can ensure that they are kept busy and your sanity is intact.

Some research also encourages keeping your children engaged in educational activities during this time in order for them to continue learning. This will ensure that they do not return to school having lost valuable knowledge, says Top Marks UK.

Here are a number of activities that you can do with your children to keep them from tearing the house down from boredom while keeping them stimulated.

Johannesburg

Art, Crafts and Storytelling at the Maboneng Precinct 

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Image: What’s On Johannesburg 

On weekends (since 10 December until 18 December) your children can enjoy art, crafts and storytelling activities. The children will be able to draw, make bracelets and listen to a variety of stories. Storytelling will be from 11am to noon.

Entry is free. Contact Khosi on (011) 334 1208 or at khosi@davidkrut.com for more information.

AeroBuddies Summer Camp, Diepkloof 

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Image Source: Facebook 

The camp is run by a professional pilot who teaches children. It is taking place at Diepkloof multi-purpose hall in Soweto throughout December until 10 January, except on Sundays and public holidays. Camp fees are R50 for a two-hour session, R100 for half a day, and R180 for full day. For more information, call: 079 263 3621.

Floating Obstacle Course, Midrand 

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Image: What’s On Johannesburg

If you don’t have money to head down to the coast for some fun in the sun, then head over to the WakePark in Midrand. This is the first floating aqua park in South Africa. This floating adventure playground promises plenty of fun.

It is a requirement that your child must be able to swim unaided, however life jackets will be provided if needed.

The floating aqua park is open from 10am to 5pm from Tuesday to Sunday. Park entry is R40 and free for children under the age of eight. You’ll pay R150 for a 50-minute session.

Contact Chantal for more information at chantal@stokecity.co.za

Cape Town

Noordhoek Farm Village 

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Image Source: Noordhoek Farm Village 

Noordhoek Farm Village promises fun activities for children. The village has child-friendly restaurants and shops and a play area for children to enjoy playing on lawns and jungle gyms. Parents can enjoy some food at the restaurant close to the play area.

There are tile-making classes every Sunday and the village shops are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm in summer and from 9am to 5pm in winter.

For more information, call (021) 789 2812  or email info@noordhoektourism.co.za

Clay Café, Hout Bay 

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Image Source: Cape Town Magazine 

This venue is perfect for children who want to do some arts and crafts. Young ones can unleash their creativity by painting unfired bisques to take home. Children can also have fun on playgrounds and enjoy snacks which are available at a restaurant on the grounds. It costs R30 per person for three colours of paint, firing and glazing, and the individual bisques to be painted range in price from R15 to R220 per item. The Clay Café is open every day from 9am to 5pm.

For more information, call (021) 790 3318.

Durban

A trip on the Umgeni Steam Railway

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 Image Source: Getaway

Take your young ones on an adventure on a fun train. On the last Sunday of every month, the vintage train meanders through the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

The train leaves from Kloof Station early in the morning at 8.30am, and another leaves after midday at 12.30pm, to Inchanga Station. There, children can have fun at a craft market, frolic at the picnic area and even enjoy rides on ponies. Parents will also be able to enjoy a drink at the Stokers Pub.

At Inchanga Station, you’ll find a craft market, picnic area and ponies.

Tickets cost R200 per adult and R140 per child (ages 2 to 12).

For more information, call 087 808 7715 or 082 353 6003, or alternatively email robbie@umgenisteamrailway.co.za

Learn to surf, Addington Beach 

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If you want to do something different with your children this festive season, you can take them for lessons at the surf school in Addington Beach.

For more information, visit: www.learn2sruf.co.za