Keeping Children Busy over the Christmas School Holidays

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When Stagecoach Performing Arts contacted me with their list of suggestions to keep children busy over the festive period I thought it was great and was more than happy to share. I know when Ben was younger he often easily got bored of his new Christmas presents so was looking for things to do. Equally I know as a child I was often putting on “shows” with my brother and cousins during the school holidays and insisting our parents watched them. My younger sister took this a step further and tried to charge people for tickets to watch hers! If you have lively children who like to entertain and perform then these suggestions may be just what you need to keep them busy or encourage them to join in group activities during family get together meals rather than just putting on their own show!

Adding to this is the fact that Christmas, despite being ‘the season to be jolly,’ often magnifies mental health issues. This applies to children just as much as adults – after all, children aren’t immune to the pressures and expectations of the holidays.

To address these problems, Stagecoach Performing Arts, the leading provider of extra-curricular performing arts classes for children, has partnered with YoungMinds. Various activities in 2018 will raise money for the charity, which is championing the wellbeing and mental health of young people across the UK.

Stagecoach aims to instil ‘Creative Courage for Life’ in its students, giving them the tools to succeed in life. To help parents inspire creativity in young ones, Stagecoach has compiled a list of some of the best activities to keep the kids stimulated over the Christmas period – these activities are guaranteed to entertain:


The classic Christmas party game, with something for the whole family, Charades provides more than hilarity at the unfortunate victim’s inability to act out Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The game allows children to develop and hone their non-verbal self-expression, helping them become comfortable with their own body language, a key part of how people communicate with each other every day. Through Charades, children can not only build their self-confidence, but also exercise their natural creativity in a fun environment.


Readily available through all manner of different machines and console games, Karaoke is a highly accessible means of getting children to express themselves. Alongside inspiring future musical passions, Karaoke allows children to become comfortable performing in front of others, an invaluable life skill that helps develop confidence and is applicable from performing on stage to succeeding in a job interview.


There’s nothing more captivating than a pantomime at Christmas. “Oh yes there is!”

No, really, there is not! Get the kids out of the house and treat them to colourful costumes, magical melodies and comical characters that will ignite their imaginations. Perhaps it could be just the spark need to inspire them to explore a career on stage or screen.

Carol singing

What better way to bring the family together than decking the halls with boughs of holly … or at least singing about it? Enjoying Christmas carols is a joyful group activity for friends and family, which can also give children the opportunity to practice their singing. Any manner of performance of this nature is bound to develop their confidence and ability to perform in front of others. Of course it doesn’t have to be traditional carols it can be Christmas pop songs and more, anything that is fun for everyone!

Drawing / painting

Drawing and painting can be enjoyed at any age, from toddlers playing with crayons to teenagers sketching away. Not only does this help children fine tune their motor skills but also gives a great opportunity to express themselves creatively in a personal way. What they produce at this age could inspire a rewarding hobby or career as an artist that may lead to artwork hanging in a more prominent place than just the fridge.


One of the world’s most enduring games – and rightly so, given its ability to stimulate the mind – Chess is proven to enhance concentration and academic abilities. By promoting intellectual skills, such as problem solving, and social development through fair play and equality, Chess is an all-inclusive game that also teaches sportsmanship. A great way of challenging children to develop ambition to succeed, it can also create lasting memories as no child forgets the first time they beat their parents! My Uncle Eddie taught me how to play chess and I will never forget that! My brother always beat me though!

Bake some mince pies

Following a simple recipe is a perfect way of teaching children important disciplines such as time management and patience, with the added incentive of a delicious treat as a reward for their hard work. With the introduction of a myriad of apps and services that provide meals at the click of a button, cooking is increasingly overlooked as an important skill, which will remain with them for life. So, grease a cupcake tray and get your hands dirty mixing up some homemade pastry!


Whether reading out aloud to your children or letting them hone their literary skills by indulging in the written word for themselves, even if it’s the magical world of illustration, there is no replacement for letting the kids’ imaginations run wild with the joy of a good book. Dr Seuss’ story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Raymond Brigg’s beloved The Snowman are among the most classic tales that can open children’s minds to unforgettable and amazing stories which will stay with them for a lifetime. Most children will have had a book for Christmas, spend the holidays enjoying that.

These activities are a sure fire way of helping to beat the boredom once the Christmas excitement has subsided and can be a wonderful way of encouraging your child’s flair for the performing arts, supporting the three key disciplines that Stagecoach teaches; singing, dancing and acting.

For more information on Stagecoach Performing Arts, please visit or phone: 0800 915 0199.

About Stagecoach

Stagecoach Performing Arts was founded in 1988 and continues to grow as the UK’s largest network of extra-curricular performing arts schools for children.

One of the first extra-curricular children’s performing arts schools in the country, we aim to inspire our students, making a difference in their lives by teaching Creative Courage For Life®.

With 300 Principals and 3,000 teachers worldwide, Stagecoach operates over 650 schools and has a presence in 9 countries including Canada, Germany, Malta, Spain, Gibraltar, Australia, South Africa and China.

Notable alumni are Emma Watson, Jamie Bell, Eleanor Tomlinson, Tuppence Middleton, Tom Fletcher, Dani Harmer, Josh Cuthbert, Danny Mac and Charlotte Jaconelli.

Find Stagecoach on Facebook at and on Twitter at

For more information visit the website

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