WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite – Find out if there are camps for children in your area. This is useful especially if you are working and are unable to spend time with your children or take them on holiday.– Television, videos and computer games have their place, and function well as electronic babysitters, but these do not encourage much creativity or imagination and therefore have their limitations. Children should not spend more than two or three hours a day maximum staring at a screen.– Children are seldom bored if they have a friend with them. The presence of a friend turns even a mundane happening into an adventure.– Teach your older children how to bake a cake or prepare a meal. You never know when it might come in very handy that your 13-year-old son cooks good spaghetti bolognaise and your daughter knows all about cheese scones. Get them to clean up.– Board and card games travel well and can keep children occupied for hours. From Pictionary to Monopoly to Trivial Pursuit – the list is endless.– Get children reading. Take them to a book shop (give them a fixed amount to spend and let them choose their own books, as they are much more likely to read them) or the library. Encourage them to get involved in a series of books, such as the Harry Potter books or Tolkien’s hobbit epics.– Involve children in some ongoing project such as redecorating their room or making something to sell at a craft market.– Get children involved in some ecological project like helping to remove alien vegetation. Feeling useful and needed is a great antidote to boredom.– Older children might enjoy going on organised hikes or adventure camps of some sort. This is also a way of meeting new people. The July school holidays are upon us… The thought of weeks of children hanging around the house looking for something to do requires parents to be very resourceful in order to keep their children occupied and themselves sane. Merely dropping off children at the nearest shopping centre is a cop-out and frankly, rather irresponsible. Unless there is a supervised programme or a particular movie the children want to see, hanging around a shopping centre aimlessly is not a healthy way to pass the time for children. But there are alternatives that won’t necessarily cost you an arm and a leg. Some ideas for keeping your kids busy:– Club together with one or two other parents whose children get on well with yours. In this way, you can share some of the planning and entertainment responsibilities and also get some time off for yourself.– Libraries, museums, aquariums and churches often have special programmes during the holidays. The activities presented often include storytelling sessions, puppet shows, art classes, bookmaking, paper folding, face painting and supervised games.– Phone art centres, art galleries or local schools to find out if there are any special courses during the holiday. These are usually entertaining, presented by professionals and teach children useful skills while keeping them occupied.