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October 29, 2018

Ah, the holidays. Such a lovely time to sleep in and catch up on your reading. Ha! Just kidding – if you’re a parent, the holidays can be infinitely more challenging than the rest of the year, when your kids are caught up in a healthy routine of school and extracurricular activities. However, with a bit of planning, there are ways to give your kids the tools to entertain themselves.  

Here are a few examples of interesting holiday projects that are both fun and educational: 

An Ecobrick is a useful tool that not will not only help your family to reduce your waste but will also teach your children a lot about recycling. There are certain materials that cannot be composted or easily recycled, such as barrier bags, heat-printed till slips and polystyrene. A simple way to put these materials to good use instead of chucking it in a bin, which will just end up in landfill, is to compact it into 2L plastic cooldrink bottles. Here’s a video that shows how the process works. Once your kids have a few Ecobricks assembled,  you can then donate it to a cause near you (see this website for drop-off points), or you can use it to construct an earth bench in your own garden! 

Top tip: If you feel like your children could do with a bit of incentive, challenge them to assemble as many Ecobricks as possible by offering a set amount (e.g. R15) per finished unit. Just remember to attach a given weight to it (ideally at least 500g), so they can’t fob you off with a half-full bottle. This way they can save up for something they want while doing a good deed! They might even become so motivated that they’ll go around the neighbourhood to rustle up brick materials from the neighbours. 

• Cook a meal from scratch – find the recipe, shop for the ingredients, cook it, set the table and enjoy a meal as a family. 
• Do your family tree! Use genealogical resources on the internet or (gasp!) make your way to the library to find sources. 
• Start composting! Even if you live in a flat or a house without a yard, you can make a DIY apartment composter

Enjoy the rest of the holidays and keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more helpful advice on parenting in the modern age. 

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