The school holidays are here and the troops are out in full force \u2013 looking for ways to burn their energy. A break from school is often a great time to bond with your child and have fun together. However, every parent knows that it can also be a challenge to keep children happy and occupied during the long school holidays. This break could be the opportunity you've been looking for to start some good habits with your little ones. If you\u2019re looking for ideas to immerse your child into meaningful, wholesome activities that involve the mind and body, here are top 5 ways. 1. For the Artistic, Creative Child Let your child\u2019s imagination soar through reading and hone creativity by encouraging him or her to express themselves through art, craft, dance, drama, music, and singing. Creativity is an innate talent; a child is usually born with it. Creative children are able to generate things that are unique and that have practical or artistic value.\u00a0 They're able to look for new solutions to solve old as well as new problems and this is highly sought after in the workplace when your child grows up. He may be able to invent, write a book, compose music, and as an adult, solve problems at work by thinking \u201coutside the box\u201d. According to scientists, highly creative people are intelligent, non-conformist, unconventional, and open to experience. Famous creative people include Larry Page, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Coons, or Frank Gehry. You can tell your child is naturally creative if he's constantly finding new ways to use common things like turning an ordinary box into a play cave or vehicle, daydreaming a lot, using his imagination to recreate his own games, or interpreting his world with music, drawings, and stories. Activities that engage a child's imagination, include art, craft, dance, drama, puppetry, and music. You can invest in some tools like drawing blocks, sketch pads, or even plain old sticker books and let your child\u2019s imagination come to life. If your child has an inclination to music, perhaps surround your child with some maracas or a triangle or even drums that'll incite their curiosity for various musical instruments. 2. For the Energetic, Physically Active Child Balloons can be a lot of fun outdoors or indoors. An obstacle course race using household furniture through the house can easily be set up using these ideas (Image Credit: Pinterest and Sparkle Stories). Most of us have energetic and physically active children. They have oodles of energy to burn and the school holidays could have you wondering what to do to help manage their energy levels safely and constructively. Actually, physical activity is great as it takes the child off sedentary screen time like watching TV, playing video games, and using digital devices. For younger children aged below 5, you could encourage play at a park or in the house like using their hands to keep balloons off the ground or treasure hunting for toys you've hidden all over the house. For older kids who like more challenging activities, you could set up balance beams indoors or create an obstacle course with the kids\u2019 furniture and throw in some pillows from your sofas for cushioning their jumps. You could also take them to the park in the mornings and combine an arts & craft activity to make a kite, which you can bring to the park. Physical activities like these help a child develop their balance, agility, coordination, jumping, throwing, object manipulation, and other skills. Who knows, maybe your child might turn out to be a national athlete in the future winning medals for the country? 3. For the Sociable Child Get-togethers, playdates, and stay-overs can be a great form of interaction and socialisation for children \u2013 reinforcing social competency for better communications. Some kids are great at displaying effective social skills, such as playing together, sharing, fostering teamwork, or simply making friends and getting along with others. Families that create an environment, which reinforces social competency gives children greater opportunities to have positive short and long-term successes. When they learn effective social skills, they communicate better, develop a positive attitude about themselves, learn empathy, and manage conflicts better. This would then prepare him for the workforce in the future, where he'll have to manage relationships with his peers and bosses. EQ (Emotional Quotient) and not so much IQ, will then be the factor that'll determine his success. During the school break, arrange playdates with their cousins, your friends\u2019 children, or the neighbours\u2019 children. Boys will always enjoy a game of Beyblade Burst or dinosaurs, or even a round of football or other sports if you have a field nearby. Girls will love a play-doh date, tea party, or even pyjama party stay-over. 4. For the Visual-Spatial Thinking Child Puzzles help children develop problem-solving as well as fine motor skills. When children succeed in solving puzzles, they build confidence and self-esteem, too. (Image Source: Kumon Malaysia) If your child is a visual-spatial learner, she or he stands in good stead because Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, and Frank Lloyd Wright were all known to be visual-spatial thinkers. Puzzles are good visual learning strategies for children. They improve observations, analytical and problem-solving skills, and not to mention, hand-to-eye coordination. For younger children like toddlers, these puzzles can help in advancing gross and fine motor skills when they hold and try to maneuver puzzle objects to solve challenges. Puzzles further help with emotional skills as children need to learn patience to solve a puzzle. Begin teaching from young. Jigsaw puzzles are a great starting point. For very young children from the age of two, start with only 3 jumbo-sized pieces and gradually increase as your child develops. You can also use D-I-Y colour or shape sorters using items you can readily find at home, such as different-sized sponges, smooth stones from the garden, or even small furry stuffed animals and plastic cups and bowls from the kitchen. The older children may enjoy a puzzle app on your tablet or mobile phone. You could also check out the many book fairs around town this time of year. You may be able to find some word puzzles or Sudoku books at a bargain. 5. For the Child who Thrives on Self-Improvement Children who are set on the right path from young are more likely to excel in various aspects of life. If your child is like mine who appreciates individualised learning, always inquisitive, and strives to improve herself in everything that she does, she would need something more to stimulate her mind and continuously challenge herself to excel beyond her age and school grade. The school break could be the best time to start them on enrichment programmes that encourage independent learning, critical thinking, self-confidence, perseverance, and discipline. Through this approach at learning, children can learn critical life skills, which they can apply to just about any subject matter they wish to tackle. The best part is that it does not have to end when school begins again. This could be the start of a long-term investment into your child's learning development. One such programme can be found at Kumon. Fostering independence: Because every individual is different and possesses different capabilities, identifying what's \u201cjust right\u201d for a child to start learning is essential. This is at the heart of what Kumon does. Kumon\u2019s goal is to help children experience the joy of learning and advancing on their own. Every new student is required to undergo a Diagnostic Test, which enables instructors to plan the student's study plan and track progress accordingly. Why not take this time to further understand the programme and discuss the next steps with a Kumon instructor nearest to you and help your child achieve his or her fullest potential?! Your child may eventually be able to be one, two, or even many steps ahead of her peers in school. Children do stay with Kumon for years as they find their approach puts them on a springboard for life. About Kumon Kumon is the largest and most established self-learning enrichment centre in the world with over 4 million students currently enrolled across 56 countries and regions. Kumon has established a strong recognition in Malaysia by helping thousands of Malaysian children self-learn and self-develop their potential to the utmost. https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/watch?time_continue52&vuyvelfRRY9k&featureemb_logo 6 Characteristics of a Kumon Child \tThey have a strong academic foundation as they progress beyond their actual school grade. \tThey enjoy completing their school work and would not fear complex subjects, such as Mathematics and English \u2013 as Kumon would help them build a strong foundation in these 2 subjects. Thereon, students are also able to apply the same learning techniques in other subjects, such as Science. \tChildren at Kumon learn to think critically and further hone their problem-solving skills as the Kumon Method encourages students to self-learn, with minimal guidance. \tChildren at Kumon are disciplined and practise good study habits like completing their homework and worksheets, and have effective time management for other interests or hobbies, too. \tThe Kumon Method builds a child's ability not limited to his or her actual school grade or age. For example, a student may be 12 years old but she or he may be able to take on Form 3 syllabus. \tChildren develop resilience as they learn to overcome challenges and master new topics. Siti Sara Iman, 12, with all the medals she has won in academics, as well as extra-curriculum activities, math competitions, and so on, since joining Kumon. If you would like to enrol your child in Kumon, do visit their website here to find out more about them. You can also check out the centre nearest to you for more information, and have your child take the Diagnostic Test to find out which level suits him or her best.