Children

School Holidays 2012: How to keep the kids entertained these holidays

Below is a list of all the school holidays this year for the States and Territories:

New South Wales

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Friday 6 April to Sunday 22 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 30 June to Sunday 15 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 22 September to Sunday 7 October

Summer Holidays – Begins Saturday 22 December 2012

Australian Capital Territory

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Saturday 14 April to Sunday 29 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 7 July to Sunday 22 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 29 September to 14 October

Summer Holidays – Begins Saturday 22 December 2012

Northern Territory

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Friday 6 April to Sunday 15 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 23 June to Sunday 22 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 29 September to Sunday 7 October

Summer Holidays – Begin Saturday 15 December 2012

Queensland

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holiday – Saturday 31 March to Monday 9 April

Winter Holiday – Saturday 23 June to Sunday 8 July

SpringHoliday– Saturday 22 September to Sunday 7 October

Summer Holiday – Begins Saturday 15 December 2012

South Australia

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Friday 6 April to Sunday 22 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 30 June to Sunday 15 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 22 September to Sunday 7 October

Summer Holidays – Begins Saturday 15 December 2012

Tasmania

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 2 June to Sunday 17 June

Spring Holidays – Saturday 8 September to Sunday 23 September

Summer Holidays – Begins Friday 21 December 2012

Victoria

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Saturday 31 March to Sunday 15 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 30 June to Sunday 15 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 22 September to Sunday 7 October

Summer Holidays – Begins Saturday 22 December 2012

Western Australia

Easter Break – Friday 6 April to Monday 9 April

Autumn Holidays – Friday 6 April to Sunday 22 April

Winter Holidays – Saturday 7 July to Sunday 22 July

Spring Holidays – Saturday 29 September to Sunday 14 October

Summer Holidays – Begins Wednesday 19 December 2012

Activities For Children of Different Age Groups

Age: 0-2

For children in this age group, simple games such as peek-a-boo, round and round the garden and farmyard animal noises are great for their development. Even if they’re too young to repeat noises back to you they still know what’s going on!

If it’s a nice day, take them out to the garden and point out different objects such as flower, bird, snail, tree etc. From ages 9 months and up you can try and get them to repeat the word back to you. These simple activities provide lots of fun for babies and toddlers and create a special bonding experience for babies and their carers.

A great educational game to play is Under the Sea Fun. For ages 9 months and up kids learn visual development and explorative play, while learning hand and eye co-ordination. Simply add water and watch as they play for hours and hours.

Age: 3-5

Children in this age group can now use their words to explain to you what type of game they want to play. A great game for kids is a treasure hunt. This can be done indoors or outdoors. Hide different objects around the house and go on a treasure hunt with your child or children to find the different objects. When all treasure has been collected, count with them all the treasure they have found to see if they can match it up with the number of things you had hidden!

Another great idea is a teddy bears’ picnic. This encourages children to use their imagination. You can get your child to tell you about each guest at the picnic and what their story is. It’s amazing what intricate stories kids can come up with!

To help children get in touch with their creative side you can also get involved with fun craft activities such as the dinosaur painting kit. Another craft idea is the easy easel! Suitable for children 3 years and over you can hang it on the back of a door and allow the little ones to draw and paint whatever they like! The sheet of plastic behind the paper protects the door so you’ll have less of a mess to clean up!

Nursey rhymes are great for kids in this age group; the lyrics of a few of them are posted below:

Old MacDonald Had a Farm

Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O.

And on that farm he had a cow, EE-I-EE-I-O.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there

Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo

Old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O.

Change animal name and sound for each verse. Other animal sounds include: sheep, dog and pig.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are.

Up above the world so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

How I wonder what you are!

Encourage children to make a diamond in the sky with their hands while singing this song. It helps with their hand eye coordination.

Incy Wincy Spider

Incy wincy spider

climbed up the water spout,

Down came the rain

and washed poor Incy out,

Out came the sun shine

and dried up all the rain,

And Incy Wincy spider

climbed up the spout again.

This one is great for hand eye coordination and motor skills. Children learn to mimic the spider going up the spout by connecting their thumb and forefinger and alternating the movement.

Age: 6-8

Most children in this age group are old enough for a bit of a challenge. Games that encourage children to think, learn and discover are greatly beneficial. For example a simple game such as ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’. This game is great for counting and when you’ve got a group of children in this particular age group (and above). The kids will love the suspense!

If it’s a rainy day there are still outside activities you can do. If it’s not too cold and they have gumboots and raincoat and an umbrella, you can go for a walk around your neighbourhood. Children will love splashing in puddles and they can identify how rain helps plants and other living things grow!

If it’s raining, cold and going outside is not an option. Something simple such as writing a story can keep children occupied for hours! Give them a premise for where the story should be set or just let them free to write about whatever they want. For kids who love drawing, encourage them to add illustrations to their story.

Sky swimmers are also a huge hit for kids in this age group. You can act out an under the sea adventure story using the sky swimmers as a moving prop. It’s a fun inexpensive way to let kids’ imagination run wild!

Age: 9-12

For kids this age the suggestion of playing a game might be met with the expression that they’re too old to play games or that games aren’t cool. Don’t’ give up!

If it’s raining, cold and dreary the Mini Console Computer Game System is a good option. Console games tend to be all the craze with children this age however these consoles and the individual games can get mighty expensive. This is a fraction of the price of others and comes with  games already installed such as  old favourites, Space Invaders and Hammer Hit. The games are ones that the whole family can enjoy and are gender neutral!

This is also a great age to encourage children to develop their musical talents! If you don’t mind the noise grab a recorder or two, maracas or an inexpensive keyboard and encourage them to compose a piece themselves or recreate their favourite tune. If you have a group of children, encourage them to put on a concert for the adults and other kids!

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