It isn’t always easy to keep the kids occupied while on vacation, especially for free! Here are six free activities to do with kids while on holiday in Jamaica. Sure, you could let them build sandcastles while you read your favourite novel, but wouldn’t it be great to have your kids return home with memories of some really unique Jamaican experiences?
1. Have a Crab Race
Simple fun for the whole family, a crab race is sure to make you the centre of attention wherever you decide to play.
Step 1: get your kids to look under rocks, trees, near coral stone on the sea for these thumb sized harmless hermit crabs.
Step 2: Ask each family member to choose one they like best – each of their shells are unique.
Step 3: Draw a two to three foot circle on the ground.
Step 4: Place the crabs in the middle – using a bucket or cup to hold them still until the race begins.
Step 5: Countdown – ready, set, GO!!
The first crab to cross the circle’s line wins!
2. Visit a Market
Without advance warning a visit to a Jamaican fruit and vegetable market can feel like an assault on all your senses. But if you’re up for the challenge, it can also be an interesting look at the local way of life and a good lesson in showing your kids where food comes from. Browse the many stalls, tune into the colourful banter and reggae on the radio, ask about the different items for sale, purchase a few to try at home – vendors like to talk and will often offer your child something for free.
3. Map the Constellations
For city dwellers seeing the moon, much less the stars, can be a new and wonderful experience. Amaze yourself and your children with the beauty of our typically clear skies by downloading one of the several free apps available online, taking a seat outdoors, gazing at the stars and naming the constellations. Overall, a great bonding experience and learning activity to do with your kids.
4. Fly a Kite
Visit Jamaica around Easter and you will often see homemade kites dotting the skyline. At this windy time of year there are often numerous kite festivals in rural areas. Bring your own kite to participate or better yet make your own on the ground in Jamaica and watch them take flight in the bluest of blue skies.
5. Go Snorkeling!
With as much to see underwater as there is above, snorkeling can provide hours of (cool!) entertainment for kids of all ages. For extra fun, make a scavenger list of sealife and see how many you can spot. Remember though to be careful, look but not touch and leave everything you see in the water!
6. Visit a School
Although visiting a school on holiday might not be at the top of your kids’ to do list, it’s a great way to give your children some perspective on their own educational experience. Doing their very best to use what few resources they do have, local schools make magic happen every day. With a little advance notice, you can drop in, take a tour and often find out ways in which you and your kids can help. Ideas could include: starting a book or sports gear drive at your own hometown school, filling an extra bag with useful items from a dollar store, having your kids participate in a show and tell and then playing with their new found friends.