Glad for the school holidays?


How to get started on planning activities during the school holidays?


It is June, when schools in Singapore have their mid-year one-month break. For some parents, the thought is: great, there is now time to do some things together. But for other parents, the thought may be: oh no, the kids are at home, how do I keep them occupied and out of mischief?

In order to use the school holiday period well, it is helpful to reflect on some basic questions.

(a) What do you consider holidays to be for? Is it a time to do nothing and grow lazy? Or a time to rest and recover, to refresh and renew? A time to do different things? A time for the family to come together in shared activities and bond further?

(b) In line with your answer to (a), what would you as a parent like to have accomplished by the end of the holiday period? Some family activities to foster relationship building or bonding? Something new the kids have learnt? Some good habit you made them practise? A new hobby or skill, or some task completed?

(c) Do you have a plan to achieve (b)? What to do, when to start? What changes do you need to make to your own routine? If you are pre-occupied with your work, you may not really be present to them.

Complete the following:

Come July when my child begins school anew, I would like him/her to have ____________. (for example: learnt to cook a dish / helped with household chores / read 2 library books / gone for thrice weekly exercise / picked up a new hobby etc)


To start him/her off, I will _________ (for example: show her how to fry an egg / get him to sweep the floor daily / take her to the library this weekend / go for walks in the park with him / sign him up for a music course etc)

John Ooi is a father of six children. He writes regularly at It takes a Village to Raise a Child e-newsletter. Article is reproduced with permission.

The Family Enrichment Society (FES) was founded in 1998 by a group of concerned parents who share the common goal of enhancing the state of society by educating the society’s core unit which is the family. FES is a non-profit, private initiative that has been officially registered with the Registry of Societies on 3 April 1998 (with Registration No. ROS309/97 WEL).


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