4 Best Holiday Activities for Kids to Sharpen Their Mind

How does one keep their kids busy in a meaningful way, during holidays? Most parents worry that their kids will be glued to their PlayStations or become far less active than they were during the school term.

Well, here are some activity ideas that can turn holidays into fun, productive times for kids, especially those older than eight years.

1. Play games that sharpen their mind

There is virtually no shortage of games that can lay the foundation of building skills such as spatial thinking, logical reasoning, and problem-solving, among others. Puzzles are the first thing that come to mind, maybe because they were my childhood favourite. But they are popular amongst kids even today as well. Puzzles are a great way to combine fun and learning for kids in their formative years. And you have virtually unlimited options too - from jigsaws to Sudokus to word puzzles and more!

If you want to keep up the fun and learning, try playing brain teaser board games like Mastermind with your children. This code-breaking game is considered a classic for a reason. It encourages players to use logic and reasoning, both vital life skills.

Another classic board game is Cluedo. It can help instil logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in kids. Heck, maybe they can even learn to develop their power of deduction, like Sherlock Holmes!

And if your kids love building things, Meccano would be great too. The choices are plenty!

2. Engage in productive debates and conversations

I know starting a deep, meaningful conversation with your kids can be easier said than done. Yet, you can make dinner-table or post-dinner conversations more interactive and fun by engaging them in productive discussions.

I’m not saying your kids have to talk about serious topics like the ongoing pandemic. You can simply bring up an everyday issue and ask them to share their take on it. It can mean talking about your child’s best friend and what makes their friendship special.

The conversation can also revolve around something new that your children learned at school. History of Rome or a new science experiment could make for wonderful topics too. The point is to encourage children to express their interests, feelings, or passions logically.

A productive debate or conversation can help older kids express themselves without turning a discussion into an argument. It can also help them learn leadership and communication skills. Even better, it is a brilliant way for you to bond with your children on a more personal level.

3. Make a trip to the library or a museum

A fun day trip to the nearest library or museum can work as a clean break for youngsters from their mostly online routine. You can find plenty of free and paid activities for kids at these venues.

Kids in Museum, a charity working to make museums more accessible to kids, has a list of the best museums for kids all over the UK.

If you are a Londoner like me, the British Library or the Science Museum would be the obvious choice. The British Library hosts many events for kids and families. These events can help kids learn how to process information and develop skills like problem-solving. Besides, your children can always explore their vast collection of books on different topics.

The Science Museum in London also takes self-led, school group, and family visit requests regularly. They arrange plenty of fun activities and immersive experiences, like experiencing life on the international space station.

The fun and learning can continue even after your visit. On the way back home, you can get your kids to talk about the trip. Better still, you can ask them to write about it. It’s a great way to teach your kids to put their thoughts into words. And, you can make sure they were indeed paying attention during the visit!

4. Learn how to code

Learning how to code can be fun and helps develop cognitive skills such as logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving. As their coding skills develop, kids can also learn to organise their thoughts and collaborate with others meaningfully.

As people and businesses become increasingly reliant on technology, coding and an understanding of tech might become one of the most important skills they pick up, whatever field they choose to pursue. In fact, according to the WEF, it is one of the top 10 skills for 2025 and beyond. Research also suggests that nearly two-thirds of jobs will require advanced digital skills by 2030.

Unlike other activities, coding can keep your kids engaged for days, weeks or even months without it getting repetitive or boring. But most importantly, it can help kids understand the technology around them, arming them to navigate an increasingly tech-driven world.

Coding is a highly creative process - which is great for our happy hormones. It teaches kids to stretch the limits of their imagination. And when they succeed, it gives them a sense of self-accomplishment, filling them with joy. As an educator with years of teaching experience, I have seen kids enjoy coding as much as any other holiday activity, while picking up an essential 21st century skill.

If you have other activity ideas, we’d love to hear and share further. Simply write to us @ learn@rivalearning.com.

We can help with coding. Call us or write to us on learn@rivalearning.com or explore our holiday camps online. We are fortunate to have received consistently outstanding reviews from both parents and students, thanks to our exceptional teachers and a solid curriculum based on years of research on how children learn and engage.