These low, or no cost ideas will keep children creative and busy as they make use of materials readily available around the home.

The Nal’ibali supplement, which is created and produced by The Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (PRAESA) and Times Media Education as part of a national reading-for enjoyment campaign, supports bilingual literacy development and encourages parents and children to engage and relax with each other. Below are five top activities from those that will be appearing in the supplement.

Five Fun Nal’ibali Holiday Activities:

1. Create holiday memory boxes. Using old shoeboxes, let your children cover and decorate their boxes and write their names on them. When their boxes are ready, they can collect anything that represents a holiday memory for them, for example: train tickets, photographs, drawings, letters and cards from friends as well as the names and authors of books they have read.

2. Going on a journey? Create a travel map for your children. Draw a simple map and put the names of towns or landmarks on it. Your children can use the map to keep track of where you are in your journey without having to ask: Are we nearly there yet? Encourage them to add new and interesting places to the map.

3. Make Reconciliation Day words. On 16 December, look up the word ‘reconciliation’ in a dictionary, find out what it means and see how many new words you and your children can make from it.

4. Try some tongue twisters! Get your children to write down tongue twisters and share them with their friends. Here are some to get them started – say them over and over again, as quickly as you can: She sells seashells on the seashore; A proper copper coffee pot; I saw Esau sitting on a seesaw. Esau, he saw me; Toy boat, toy boat; Six thick thistle sticks; Good blood, bad blood.

5. Make up silly stories. Take turns to pull out of a hat a collection of words you’ve all written on pieces of paper (E.g. blue, fox, umbrella, bag, moon, girl, flew, jumped, shone, sang, coat, grabbed). Use the words to help create and tell a silly story, either all together or separately.

Since its inception in 2012, the Nal’ibali supplements have become a valuable resource for parents, care-givers and older readers. Beside weekly features, the supplements contain stories to read aloud and to read alone, related activities as well as further information and tips on reading clubs and sharing and enjoying books with children.

The supplements will resume publication from the fourth week of January 2013 in the following newspapers:

KwaZulu-Natal: The Times (English and isiZulu) on Wednesdays
Gauteng: The Times (English and isiZulu) on Wednesdays
Western Cape: The Times (English and isiXhosa) on Wednesdays
Eastern Cape: The Herald (English and isiXhosa) on Thursdays and Daily Dispatch (English and isiXhosa) on Tuesdays

Other Nal’ibali platforms where further information can be found include the Nal’ibali website; the Nal’ibali Facebook page; and the Nal’ibali Twitter feed.