If you are a mum, this sort of thing just creeps up on you every time. I know some mothers are super ogranised and have booked several things for their kids half way through the term in anticipation for the holidays, but unfortunately I am not one of them.

Actually this is more me:

“Mum what are we doing in the holidays?”

“ohh.. its not for another week? right?”

“NOPE, today is the last day!”

Dragging myself to the school drop off, and I start to notice their teachers with unusual big smiles, extra bounce in their step and there it is….On the other side of the gates, behold, mothers and fathers in a world of sadness, confusion, disappointment, carefully looking at their phones and counting down their last minutes of freedom. That’s when I knew. It was true. Today IS the last day…

My saving grace was the museum, libraries and beaches around Sydney, but with COVID limiting all the above in our shutdown, I had to become creative!

My 11 years old was fascinated with online learning so he started his own slides trying to teach his 4 year old sister through powepoint. He quickly lost interest when he discovered she can’t actually read yet. It’s become a habit, since we chose a lifestyle without a TV to try and use the holidays as an opportunity to further educate our children about the world around them. Sometimes it is through learning a new skill, or even planting a vegetable garden. Anything but the dreaded screens! I think I developed a phobia named ‘Screens’. Whenever I see my child in front of one for extended period of time, I get this uneasy feeling and I would often condemn myself. I had to balance the act. I think there is healthy use for screens and it can even develop a child’s brain, but it needs to have its place, as we are human beings that have all sorts of needs and can become easily excessive users of one substance if left to our own devices. Just like water, we need water but we can’t JUST survive on water. And keep in mind, just like you would never let your child cross the road alone, nor would you let them navigate this World Wide Web alone.

Here are a few ideas for kids age 8-12.


Although I am a math trained teacher, if you ask my students they will tell you that I encourage reading. Lots of research suggests reading is precedes good numeracy skills. Simply if you don’t understand the question, you can’t answer it!


We live in Australia, one the most beautiful countries in the world with lots of flora and fauna to discover. We went last holidays to a local national park and found fish eating from our hands in a small lake. what fun! Not to mention the Iguana we saw on our way down!


Mathematics can be fun. Specially problem solving. I believe when a child first smiled it was because they learnt something new! Do not be discouraged about their apprehension, as a parent you have the power to make things fun! Try my website http://www.allthingsmaths.net for ideas and worksheets and video explanations.

And keep in mind, just like you would never let your child cross the road alone, nor would you let them navigate this World Wide Web alone.


Not computer literate? There are so many free website, some even designed by MIT and reputable universities to engage young minds, from beginners to advance!


Arts and crafts were my favorite activities. Have an cardboard box? some sticky tape and markers, HOURS OF FUN! Paint plastic plate a few paint brushes. There are so many you tube videos online that engage young artists.

Dress up

Go to the nearest opp shop and go crazy with plays and dress up ideas. Get them to make a play and go buy props!


We have a few budget garden warehouse near our house and we started a vegetable garden. There are no limites to enjoying time in the sun.

If you are in Summer, why not grab the garden hose for a bit of splash in the backyard. Getting mum and dad wet is super fun!

If you are interested in more ideas, feel free to message me here or write to me in allthingsmaths.net@gmail.com

Hope it is a wonderful beak everyone.