How will parents keep children occupied indoors during the mid-year break?

Schools around the country sounded the last bell of the second term a week ago, signalling the start of the winter holiday for kids, but how will parents keep children occupied indoors during the mid-year break?

A parenting expert, Nikki Bush, says the answer is simple and “quite old school” – haul-out the board games, a deck of cards, puzzles and science experiments for some “indoor fun” and kids will stay busy for hours.

“Kids love a sense of togetherness with family members. Find those board games and craft kits stashed in a cupboard somewhere and get playing. It’s guaranteed to keep the kids busy and entertained this holiday,” she says.

Bush says the time spent indoors engaging through play teaches children various skills, including how to be creative and also helps kids younger than six years old prepare for school. She describes it as a “brilliant way” to connect as a family.

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“We are all innately wired to play these games, we just don’t encourage it often enough. Play is a multi-sensory experience and is very stimulating for the whole family,” she says.

Indoor game ideas

There’s a “large selection” of games available that can be enjoyed indoors this holiday. Bush says it’s another “perfect” way for parents to limit time away from a laptop computer or mobile phone. She recommends the following options:

  • Puzzles
  • Board games
  • Cards
  • Arts and crafts

The learning benefits

According to Bush, each game is beneficial in multiple ways and teaches children a range of skills from cognitive development to concentration and creativity.

“The benefits attached to each game option are endless. It encourages an inquiring mind, which stimulates the brain,” she says. Here are just some of the skills, which can be learnt from these games:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Planning
  • Taking turns
  • Hand-eye coordination

Why it’s fun

It helps families connect and Bush says it builds bridges between adults and children.

“But above all, these types of games mean uninterrupted playtime. There’s no need to rush with a board game, a deck of cards or a puzzle,” she says. What makes these games fun:

  • It evokes laughter, like Speak Out
  • It creates an opportunity to praise and tease each other, like Don’t Be a Donkey 
  • Enables friendly competition, like BBQ Slam

What the toy experts say

David Tredinnick, Founder and Chairman of Toy Kingdom, says board games, puzzles and cards are just a few options his team has researched and selected to form part of the toy store’s indoor educational game offering.

“The ranges we have available, like Monopoly and Game of Life, are not only entertaining for the whole family, but it also teaches kids, in a fun way, how to obey rules and encourages social engagement as well,” says Tredinnick.

About Toy Kingdom

Toy Kingdom is Africa’s most loved toy store, with 16 retail stores in South Africa, offering the latest and most recognised toy brands to families. Toy Kingdom brings together unrivalled quality toys, beautifully designed stores and friendly, knowledgeable staff who encourage children and parents to interact and play with the toys. Each store is designed not as a retail space, but rather around the concept of play, creating a unique in-store experience of totally charming fun.

What started as a single store with eight employees in 2007, has grown into a multi-national operation with multiple stores and more than 250 employees. For more information, visit