ACTIVITIES: University of the Sunshine Coast Doctor Ali Black with her children, Brodie (left) and Bella, up at Agnes Water back in 2012.
ACTIVITIES: University of the Sunshine Coast Doctor Ali Black with her children, Brodie (left) and Bella, up at Agnes Water back in 2012. Brenda Strong GLA120912FMLI

Expert's tips on how to combat school holiday cabin fever

THE shine of Christmas and New Year's is long-forgotten and for many Coast children cabin fever may be starting to set in.

With the best part of a month of holidays to go, many parents may be starting to wonder just how to battle the onset of boredom.

But University of the Sunshine Coast researcher and senior lecturer Dr Ali Black said boredom wasn't necessarily a negative.

She said there was nothing wrong with children getting a "bit bored" over the holiday break, as it was during these down times that creativity was often fostered.

"Kids today are leading pretty hectic lives," Dr Black said.

She suggested activities that didn't require screen time for the holiday break and said the Coast had an abundance of options for families.

"We actually need time to just be," Dr Black said.

"Kids are just not getting time to connect with themselves and the outside world."

Dr Black suggested simple escapes like one of the plethora of regional beaches, or nature walks through botanic gardens.

 

Dr Ali Black.
Dr Ali Black. Greg Miller

Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve was one she said offered children plenty to explore and become immersed in.

"They (children) love the opportunity to notice beautiful things," she said.

Dr Black said the amount of time spent in front of screens these days had diminished the use of the senses and meant children were losing touch with themselves.

"Lots of kids benefit from adventure and a bit of risk-taking," she said.

She said the holidays were also a vital time for children to relax and recharge, before the stress of the school year started up again.

She said often parents tried to jam-pack holidays full of excitement when periods of down time were also really important.

"Sometimes we think we've got to fill it up with everything," she said.

"Not doing is also good (as the brain becomes creative)."



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