How to keep your African kid creatively occupied this holiday

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Holiday is coming!

Holiday is coming!

No more clanging bells

No more teachers’ whip!

Goodbye teachers, goodbye scholars

We are going on a jolly holiday!

For most Nigerian kids, this song was equivalent to the Redemption song by Bob Marley because it spelled freedom from school, learning and more importantly teachers.

While most kids see the holidays as an opportunity to relax, enjoy, eat, sleep and see how quickly their brain can lose 3 months of learning, most parents struggle to find ways to keep them engaged, productive and relatively sane.

Fortunately we are in the era of the internet and self-help is a click away but the struggle most African parents face with that option is that there are not too many suggestions tailored for the African kids because truth be told, we don’t sell lemonade in tall pitchers while standing in the drive way of our houses, do bake sales and watch our neighbor’s mother try to beat our mother’s apple pie or even host a hot water balloon war.

There are still a ton of tips out there that can be used, adapted or improved on. We decided to knock up a short guide to keeping your African kids busy during the holidays.

It is important to keep in mind that whatever activity or activities you decide on should channel their creativity while they are having fun.

  1. Games: There are endless supply of games that can be played. From cards to tic-tac-to, I-call-again, street or compound football and skipping. This is a good way for them to burn calories, get exercise that ultimately improves the brain and also fresh air. The occasional video games are also an option but, encourage them to go out and get fresh air. The only downside might be the enormous amount of food they’ll need to make up for the energy they are using.
  2. Reading: Now will be a great time to get them started on books that are not related to school, improve their knowledge and introduce them other aspect of life. There are a lot of good books by African authors, about our rich culture and history.
  3. Mini excursions: It does not need to be planned by the school or an organization for it to happen. This will be a good time to introduce your kids to the world around them, take them to places that they’ll naturally not consider hip but can learn a lot from. Your workplace might be a good start and other local tourist attractions; it depends on what exists in your community.
  4. Volunteer: For generations, African parents have donated their children’s’ time and energy without consulting them and you can absolutely keep that tradition alive. This might be a good time to visit grandparents or help out elderly ones in the community by running simple errands for them but, it is important that whatever you decide or they do, they will be safe and not be exposed to danger or pedophiles.
  5. Holiday lesson: This is always an option especially if you have to work and have no help at home. Fortunately, there are more options available for parents choosing this option. They can also learn a skill.
  6. Business: The world is evolving and young people are starting businesses and building empires. No pressure on you or your kids but, you can get them to start a business or offer them a job with a salary and title; it’ll be a good way to teach them responsibility and good ethics.

There is no perfect option, you just have to find what works for you and your kids and watch them have a time of their lives and if you can’t find anything, you can always pack your bags, travel to somewhere with a beach and wifi.

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