Check out the following ideas to have a fun and educational time with your family this holidays!

1. Visit a museum.
The National Museum of Singapore has put together a new creative platform for children this June holidays called the PlayDome. Enjoy fun play activities including rhythm song workshops, free open-air evening movieshands-on artworkdiscovery trails and much more! Alternatively, check out the new ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands. Current exhibitions include Dali: Mind of a Genius and Van Gogh Alive. Creative workshops include baking, ceramics, painting and much more!

To get in the mood for a visit to a museum, your child could read one of the following books: The Field Mouse and the Dinosaur Named Sue by Jan Wahl, or From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

2. Read aloud tales from around the world.
The holidays are a good opportunity for reading aloud together as a family. If you have younger children, then you’ll be doing most of the actual reading. If you have older children, then everyone in the family can take turns. What better way to experience new places than to choose a selection of folktales from around the world?

Read from your family’s favourite folktale collection or try one of these suggestions: Chinese Children’s Favorite Stories by Mingmei Yip ; and One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale by Demi.

3. Enjoy the great outdoors.
We’re sure many parents would agree that too many Singaporean children spend their leisure time watching television and playing computer games. The holidays are a good opportunity to go on a treetop canopy walk at MacRitchie Reservoir, go bird watching (or art sessions) at the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve or doing something more adventurous like exploring Sentosa or Pulau Ubin. Pack a picnic lunch, make sure to bring lots of hydrating cold drinks, and don’t forget your mat to sit on!

Some books to help get your family in the mood for an outdoor adventure are: Pet Bugs: A Kid’s Guide to Catching and Keeping Touchable Insects by Sally Kneidel; TarBeach by Faith Ringgold, and My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

4. Do something different – make a time capsule.
Leave your day-to-day routines behind by reading about time travel and then making a time capsule. Suggest your child read or listen to A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Magic School Bus, Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen, or another book about time and space travel.

To make the time capsule:
1. Select the container for the capsule.
2. Have your child pick the items to put in the time capsule (e.g., drawings; a newspaper; a toy; a list of favourite music, movies, or books; some photographs).
3. Talk about whom the time capsule is for. (It could be for your child to open in five years, or for a sibling or for an unknown person in the distant future.)
4. Your child could write a letter to his or her future self or to someone else in the future to include in the future. You could even write a letter for your child to be opened in the future (if the capsule is for your child).
5. Make a label for the outside of the capsule: “Not to be opened until 2016”.
6. When finished, put the time capsule someplace no one goes, like in a safe deposit box, or an out-of-the-way closet, or in the basement of a house (but don’t forget where it is, you will need to open it when the future arrives).

All books mentioned above are available at our public libraries.