The school holidays seem to be upon us before the school term really even started – how it flies by so quickly!
Now you have to find something to entertain the kids for the weeks they are not at school.
We’ve come up with a list of ideas to engage your children in the Global Goals this school holidays to make it a little easier on you!
1. Get assessing
A great way to understand the 17 Global Goals is to understand how they apply to the household. Why not do an assessment of your home with your child? Have a look at your family nutrition, exercise, sleep, water consumption, electricity consumption, disposal of household waste (including hazardous waste), etc.. Work with your child to come up with an assessment matrix. Give yourself a score for each category. You can even include some math in here by having your child add up the score and give you a percentage rating at the end.
2. Get volunteering
There are so many organisations looking for an extra set of hands to help out – even if they’re only little hands! Sit down with your little one to choose a cause they are most passionate about, research that cause in your area and find an organisation which will take you as volunteers for a day – or maybe even a few!
3. Get campaigning
A mini-campaign can be super fun for children and give them a sense of responsibility and ownership. A mini-campaign includes choosing one or two goals which are closest to your child’s heart and coming up with a creative idea or two to generate awareness (such as printing a flyer to distribute around the neighbourhood as to 5 easy ways people can work to achieve this goal). A mini-campaign makes for a great what-i-did-over-the-school-holidays story when school starts again!
4. Get cleaning
Is there a box of toys stashed away in a cupboard which will never be used again? Clothes that are now too small for anyone to wear? Have a spring clean-out any season of the year and find some materials your family can donate to people in need.
5. Get crafty
There are so many awesome ways to get crafty and achieve the Global Goals. From drawing and painting to writing a short story to filming a video for YouTube to trying your hand at some needlework, you can plan a few crafty activities to engage your children in the Global Goals – and help them spread the word too! By entering your Global Goals artwork in a local competition or donating your Global Goals-themed knitting to a local homeless shelter, you can be creating your impact by spreading the word and helping others.
6. Get cooking
Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being not only means that big companies and government need to promote health and well-being. We must make sure we are leading our own healthy lives. A great way to teach children about healthy eating is to have them try their hand at cooking their own healthy dishes. Of course, adult supervision is paramount for this activity, especially when knives and heat is involved. Take care!
7. Get reading
Take a trip to the local library to explore some inspirational novels for children to read and maybe a few non-fiction books about their favourite goal. For some inspiration, earlier this year, I came up with a list of alternatives to Disney princesses for parents to check out.
8. Get movies
Be mindful of some of the movies you pick when it comes to how they relate to sustainability! WALL-E, Happy Feet and Over the Hedge are just three awesome kids movies which relate to the Global Goals and really bring sustainability to life.
9. Get outdoors
Australia is a beautiful country with incredible landscapes. Get outdoors and explore the natural world. Go on a hiking adventure and see if you can name all the plants and animals you come across. By having the chance to experience nature first hand, children will develop a greater appreciation for the need to protect our planet in years to come. Getting outdoors is also a great way to embed a healthy mindset into your child from a young age.
10. Get gardening
There is no better way to teach children how food is grown and where it comes from than to have children grow their own food! A veggie patch is a fun project to start over the school holidays and to maintain in months and years to come. If a veggie patch is too much to start with, try a herb garden! It’s easy to maintain and provides a sense of responsibility for children. You can also try your hand at a worm farm!
11. Get sciency
Innovation is a key part of achieving the goals. We must think creatively to find solutions to some of the challenges facing our future. There are a tonne of home science projects available to view on the internet which do not cost much – sometimes nothing at all – and are easy and safe to do at home.
12. Get building
Lego is a staple of many a childhood. Instead of just stacking Lego one on top of another, why not set your child a task to build a sustainable city? This means building a water station, renewable power stations, a community garden, a shopping centre, schools, public transport, etc.. This is a great way to put that Lego to a super educational use and also have your child understand the scale of what it means to build a sustainable city.
13. Get shopping
Visiting a farmer’s market is a fun activity for children, especially if you are going to prepare a meal together (see #6) or if you’re looking at starting a herb or veggie garden at home (see #10). Make sure you take time to chat to the farmers about the Global Goals and how they might impact their goods.
14. Get cultured
Most cities and towns across Australia have free cultural events or free entry to some museums and galleries. Museums are a great way to learn about economic, social and environmental sustainability, our past, our present day and our future and how these all combine to make up the foundation of the Global Goals. Understanding culture is also a key part of creating Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
15. Get enterprising
Has your cooking (see #6) or crafting (see #5) taken off? Starting a small business is becoming increasingly simple with modern technology. Profits of your child’s business can be donated to a charity, or even a few charities, of their choice. This is definitely a skill for life and recommended for older children as it is a bit of financial responsibility!
If you and your family have taken part in one or more of the ideas above this school holidays, share your stories with us today! We love to hear how children are engaging with the goals!