In-service activities at vacation care

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  Published on Wednesday, 15 September 2021

In-service activities at vacation care

Library Home  >  Before School, After School & Vacation Care
  Published on Wednesday, 15 September 2021
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The school holidays are almost upon us, and although vacation care programs differ from service to service, you can be sure that your school-aged child will be kept busy and entertained as you work the day away.

Quality outside school hours care (OSHC) services plan activities based on each child’s interests, needs and abilities, and although excursions and incursions are especially fun, there are plenty of in-service activities that guarantee good times as COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty in the outside world.

Here are five ways that vacation care services get kids moving, making and learning on-site:

1. Services offer a varied program

Variety is the spice of life, and vacation care programs are designed to pique the interests of kids, with different themes each day.

Sports fans, science buffs, arty types and animal lovers are all covered, and there might be the opportunity to dress on theme as well, with a colourful and creative costume.

If you have flexibility about the days you book care, then it’s a good idea to take your child through the program and let them choose the themes they like the look of.

2. Educators and children share interesting info

School-aged kids love fun facts, and although the holidays are a time for relaxation and socialisation, rather than hardcore study, there’s still lots to learn.

Groups might explore the animal kingdom, blast into outer space, learn about a different country or take part in a trivia game, and educators will encourage your child to build on their existing knowledge, share understandings, and branch out into new areas of expertise.

3. Services promote hands-on activities

Vacation care services offer lots of different resources and activity ideas to inspire hands-on action.

There are puzzles to do and games to play, toys for different interests and ages, and art and craft for everyone. Themed craft and art competitions make activities all the more interesting, and science experiments are always a blast (though, not literally!).

Engineering builds get brains working, some services offer cooking activities, and quality educators encourage each and every child to create, discover and actively follow their interests.

4. Services encourage physical play

It’s important for your child to burn off plenty of beans over the holidays, and  vacation care services are all about indoor and outdoor movement.

If it’s raining, educators work around the bad weather to ensure kids get as much action as they need (e.g. with active games inside), and on any given day, your child might take their pick of the sporting equipment, join a team game, participate in a friendly competition (e.g. a sports day or physical challenge), learn new skills (e.g. ball-dribbling or hula-hooping), or bust out their best moves for a disco party.

5. Educators make things fun!

Last, and most importantly, quality vacation care programs ensure that your child isn’t wishing the day away.

There are a lot of hours between drop-off and pick-up when you’re working nine to five, but good services fill in the time expertly and make sure your child is enjoying themselves.

Quality educators know how to have a laugh, hold children’s interest, and mix things up in fun ways. They care about how your child is feeling and what they’re doing, and strike a happy balance between wind-up and wind-down activities (e.g. a movie screening might follow a dance-a-thon).

From your child’s point of view, vacation care is especially fun with friends, so it’s worth asking fellow parents what days their children are attending (if you have flexibility with your bookings). Schoolmates will have a great time at holiday care, and if your child doesn’t have any close friends attending, it’s likely they’ll have some new pals by the end of the day. Happy holidays!

Further reading

5 vacation care strategies for working parents

What to look for in an outside school hours care service

Digital devices in outside school hours care

This child care article was last reviewed or updated on Monday, 13 September 2021

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