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Parents Panel: Readers share tips for keeping kids entertained over the Christmas holidays

Playdates, “lazy days”, and getting everyone out for a family walk.


AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

After the buzz of Christmas and Stephen’s Day wears off, it’s a long and rainy road until the start of January. Free time is great, but when you’re faced with a house of crabby kids (and adults), the return to school and work can start seeming like an attractive prospect.

This week, we’re asking our panel…

What’s are your tips for keeping the kids entertained over the Christmas holidays?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy - Copy - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source: TheJournal.ie

New toys from Santa will buy us some time: We keep things relaxed and laid-back. My three-year-old Ellie Mae will be busy with her toys from Santa, and we will fill in the rest of the time with Lego, colouring, Play-Doh, jigsaws.

- Denise Cumiskey

If in doubt, plan a playdate: We plan on a couple of day trips to Dublin Zoo, Airfield Estate and one or two other places. Playdates are also great, especially if the weather is bad. There are also a couple of “lazy days” on the cards where we’ll take our time getting up, light the fire, put on some movies and just chill out watching movies and playing games together. This year we are very conscious that this is the last break we will all have together with just the three of us as my wife is due our second child in late February. 

- Olly Keegan 

shutterstock_670193398 Source: Shutterstock/Song_about_summer

Movie-watching is a great way to get quality family time in: Plenty of days out visiting family and friends are par for the course at Christmas so that will help break the cabin fever. On the days that we stay in, the kids usually spend a lot of time doing their own thing (usually a computer game), so we will try to build in some quality family time on those days with a movie.

- Ken Hyland

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We’ll team up with other parent friends: We will spend some time catching up with friends, and as they have kids too, there’s a chance for playtime together. We will also have our annual panto trip and some hiking, in the rain or shine.

- Ríona Flood

He’s older this year but hopefully the same plan still works: Tymek was not even two last year at Christmas so the holidays were simple, we were just playing and went for a few walks. We’re hoping to do the same this year, plus a visit to the in-laws at some stage.

- Marta Lisiecka

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