RL Tips: Sembreak Activities for the Kids

Keep your kids away from the TV with these fun homebound ideas


If you are a parent (or babysitting aunt or kind cousin), you are probably wondering how to make the most of your kids' semestral break. But don’t be tempted to take them on an expensive out-of-town trip you can’t afford, or worse, lug them to the nearest mall!

You don’t need to look far and wide to keep them busy. Your own home can be an exciting, fun place that can entertain them, and teach them important things in life—plus help you with some household chores as well.  

Styling by Arlene Sanchez-Maslog. Photographed by Miguel Nacianceno.

Read the original article ("Home's Cool") in the April 2009 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.  

Do: Pick-a-chore sticks!

Make assigning chores a game. Write down different chores on ice-cream sticks—wash the breakfast dishes, sort the laundry into coloreds and whites, sweep the living room floor—and make the kids pick out their chore for the day. Even parents can join in and pick out a chore for themselves.

Arts and Crafts Day

Let your kids’ creativity come into play with exciting art projects they can look forward to doing.

Finger-painted table napkins

  1. Prepare your dining or kitchen table by lining it with a drop cloth, or old newspapers. Have a rag handy for spills and messy hands.
  2. Purchase affordable cloth napkins, or use plain ones you already own.
  3. Pour fabric paint into a watercolor or poster paint tray. Let your kids use their fingers to create fruity designs. Let dry.

Cleaning Fun

Kids will have an easier time learning to do new things if they use materials that are proportional to their little hands. Buy a small broom and dustpan from the market for them to use when they do a clean sweep of their room.

Dish in the fun!

Dishwashing is a chore kids enjoy, since it involves water and soap. Dishwashing time is also a perfect time to bond with your kids. Raise the fun up a notch by prettying up your kitchen sink with colored pebbles, playful sponges, and witty dishtowels.

Assign a gardening day.

You might unearth a green thumb from your young brood at home! Tend to your plants with your kids. Have them water the plants, repot grown ones into bigger pots, or plant new ones from seeds. Don’t forget the sunblock and mosquito repellant!

Baking and Cooking Day

Get busy in the kitchen with your kids. Fill your home with delicious aromas by trying out recipes that kids can do on their own, with a little supervision from a grown-up.  

Movie Night and Family Day

Celebrate the weekend with Saturday night at the movies—at home. Print out play movie tickets, dim the lights, turn on the aircon and make microwave popcorn. Assign one of the kids to be the “usher,” give him or her a flashlight, and ask him or her to lead the theater-goers to their seats. DVDs of old kiddie favorites are a hit with children, like Honey I Shrunk the Kids, Back to the Future, and the Disney Classics like Peter Pan, Cinderella, and The Jungle Book.

With everyone at home, Sundays are simply a day for spending time with family. Go to church together, visit lolo and lola, or stay home to just exhale.

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