As the spectre of Covid-19 still holds fast onto the world with no signs of abatement, many parents may be wondering what to do for the holidays.\r\n\r\nTravelling abroad seems to be out of the question due to the recent restrictions of movement which involve travel ban to overseas.\r\n\r\n\r\nDomestic travels are still possible. Many families may be looking forward to a short 'balik kampung' to meet up with family and friends and rekindle ties.\r\n\r\nHowever, if travel is off the menu for now, and you are staying put during the holidays, here are some suggestions to spend the time away well with your little ones.\r\nFun In The Sun\r\nThe Sandbox\r\n\r\n\r\nChildren love to play with sand and having your own sandbox is a pretty cool idea.\r\n\r\nWith a personal sandbox you can play anytime you like. Another plus is that you can also ensure the box is well maintained, clean and free from vermin or straying animals.\r\nChoices, Choices\r\nYour sandbox can be a permanent or temporary fixture. You can also decide how big you might want it to be, depending on available space.\r\n\r\nPermanent fixtures can be designed according to your taste. You can construct the sandbox to match the flow and design of your exterior landscape, perhaps in a shaded area of your garden.\r\n\r\nThe downside is that construction does require a bit of work and there is sunk cost as well. When the little ones lose interest, you may be stuck with a white elephant, unless you have contrived the box for a dual purpose, say a fish pond.\r\n\r\nThe other alternative is to have a temporary one.\r\n\r\nThere are quite a few options for you to choose. One cost effective way is to use a thick mat of linoleum, cut into the size you like,\u00a0 for the base of the sandbox. Compliment that with either bricks or river stones, whichever is easily obtained, as weights.\r\n\r\nSimply unroll the mat on your chosen spot, border it with the bricks or stones, pour sand in. Scatter a few beach toys on the mat and PLAY!\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nIf you do not have any beach toys on hand, some can be ordered here.\r\n\r\nOnce playtime is done, simply cover everything up with tarpaulin. Secure the edges with the stones as weights. This protects the sand from run off and creepy crawlies from burrowing inside.\r\n\r\nThe great thing about a temporary sandbox is its portability.\r\n\r\nOn sunny days, kids can have their fun under a shady tree. Rainy days? No problem. Just move the makeshift set under the porch.\r\n\r\nThe idea is simple, cheap and ecological. When the children tire of playing in their sandbox, just recycle everything by putting them to other uses at home.\r\nSlap It On\r\nSunscreen is encouraged whenever outside, even when playing in the shade. If you need a top up on sunscreen for the holidays, you can pick up a few tubes here.\r\n\r\nIt is a good idea to use some insect repellent as well. Contrary to popular opinion, mosquitoes are active all day long.\r\nSourcing For Sand\r\nYou can source sand from a number of places.\r\n\r\nIf you know a good contractor, you can ask him to supply you a bag or two, or more. Alternatively, you can google suppliers located where you live. Just be sure to explain to them that the sand is to be used for child's play. There are many types of sand in the market. The best sand for child's play is beach sand.\r\n\r\nI know of an industrious family who made a special trip to a nearby beach for a quick holiday. Returning home, they filled buckets with sea sand and set up a simple sandbox at home. The kids had days of fun after that.\r\nThe Inflatable Swimming Pool\r\nOther than sand, kids love the water. Surf and sand are all time favourites, after all.\r\n\r\nHow about investing in an inflatable pool?\r\n\r\nMotherhood.com.my has plenty on offer and the options are reasonably priced. Inflatable pools are easy to handle and easier to store when playtime is done.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nJust inflate, fill with water and PLAY!\r\n\r\nOnce done, simply recycle the water by watering your lawn, deflate the pool and store it until the next holiday.\r\n\r\nInflatable pools make play dates a hit too.\u00a0 Just make sure the children are always supervised when at play.\r\nBall Pit\r\n\r\n\r\nInflatables are versatile.\r\n\r\nNot using them for swimming? Not a problem.\r\n\r\nDump in plastic balls and you have your own personal ball pit! You can even double up the inflatable pool as a sandbox, if you like. Once done, just be sure to wash off all the sand before storing.\r\n\r\nColourful plastic balls can be purchased at Motherhood.com.my, along with the inflatable pool. Children have loads of fun in a ball pit and play dates in ball pits are always a hit.\r\n\r\nSince the inflatable pool is so versatile, you can keep switching its uses from pool to sandbox and on to ball pit.You can even put the balls into the pool or sandbox. Double the use, double the fun.\r\n\r\nSome families double up their inflatable pools as storage for all their little one's toys, depending on space constraints. It makes for easy access and movability when playtime comes around. Just drag and go.\r\nVenturing Further Afield\r\nParks And Such\r\n\r\n\r\nTired of just staying home?\r\n\r\nIf you like there are a number of parks and playgrounds for you to take the children around the Klang Valley. To ramp up the outing, bring along a picnic basket with family favourites. Some parks have ponds, full of fish and tortoises. Bring some dry bread to feed them, if you like.\r\n\r\nNotable mentions are the Kepong Metropolitan Park, the Bukit Jalil Park and even Taman Jaya located in the heart of Petaling Jaya, just to name a few.\r\n\r\nFor more information, this article may be a helpful read.\r\nA Little On The Wild Side\r\n\r\n\r\nTake a walk on the wild side by trekking on jungle trails also found within the Klang Valley. We have a few interesting places as this article proves.\r\n\r\nSome jungle trails, like the one in Bukit Gasing has a little picnic\/camping area, replete with public toilets and Surau. There is even a concrete suspension bridge nearby. In fact, Bukit Gasing has 2 suspension bridges, one concrete and the other, a rope bridge (see inset). There is also a little stream that meanders through this area.\r\n\r\nYou can spread your mat here for a picnic and take a breather in between your trekking.\r\n\r\nIn the day, jungle trails have plenty of insects, birds and animals out and about for you to spot. Have your smartphone ready for quick shots and selfies.\r\n\r\nNot keen to picnic, drop by any of the eateries located on Jalan Chantek or Jalan Gasing for brunch before heading home.\r\n\r\nBefore heading out for a trek, be sure to pick up necessary supplies at Motherhood.com.my.\r\n\r\nItems needed for a hike include caps, insect repellent, sunscreen, a baby carrier, towels, etc.\r\n1,2,3...Go\r\nHolidays are fun times, and being homeward bound can be fun too. There are plenty to see and do.\r\n\r\nWhether it is a sandbox, ball pit or inflatable pool, the kids are in for a roaring time. Couple that with outings to parks and trails, the holidays will be packed to the hilt and before you know it, the quick week-long break will swish by and it will be time for school again.\r\n\r\nHere's wishing you a well deserved break and a great holiday ahead. At the same time, make sure to always wash your hands with soap, sanitize, stay protected and stay safe!