Friday, 20 April 2018

Entertaining children on holiday - then and now

Last weekend the children wanted to play a game together, and from the cupboard they pulled Boggle. This particular Boggle set has many many happy memories for me. When I was younger it was one of our 'go to' family games, and we played it over and over. Although most often on family holidays - all my memories are of playing it on the ferry and in tents across France.

Having recently returned from a family holiday, it set me to thinking about how differently children entertain themselves on holiday now. I'm not talking about our mad Disney or city break holidays where we are constantly out and about on the go, but the more relaxing holidays with plenty of downtime in a cottage, hotel room or by the pool.

Children on ipads in the car


When I was little, my Mum always prepared us a book box to take with us. In the months before the holiday she would scour charity shops and the sale shelf at the library. We travelled by car so there was no weight restriction. I remember sneaking quick peeks inside beforehand and making a note of the books that I had my eye on to read first. It was a very exciting moment when we were allowed access to the book box.

We do pack books for the children to take away with us, but only a couple, because they just don't spend as long reading as I used to. This is often of course because they usually have a much more convenient way of keeping themselves entertained - iPads.


Oh what we (and our parents!) would have done for this kind of entertainment on those long car journeys across France! They can individually watch movies and television shows, listen to music, play games...it's not a fail safe method of entertainment on the very long journeys, but it certainly makes things a lot easier.

Children by a hotel swimming pool reading

It's not all about the digital entertainment of course, I do pack puzzle books and magazines, and I also continue another tradition from my own childhood holidays which is making a holiday scrapbook, a great way to create a lasting memento of the holiday and somewhere to store all the little bits and pieces that they like to collect. Harry in particular can spend hours reading to himself, and Mia is starting to get to that stage too. But I must admit that although we do pack a few card games for the children it's very rare that we play them together as a family, we are definitely more about the individual pursuits.

How do your children keep themselves entertained during down time on holiday? Do you let them use digital entertainment, or is your holiday the time for a screen ban?

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