A private villa in Thailand has more than enough space and facilities for kids to spread out and enjoy a few special games and activities to make their holiday a memorable one.
Large numbers of holiday makers head to the Kingdom of Thailand every year in search of the kind of serene tranquillity that can only be found by spending few hours on the beach.
However, for families with children brimming over with excitement at the prospect of their seaside playground, sand castles and splashing about in the waves may not be enough.
Bored kids can quickly take the relaxing edge of your sunbathing time with never-ending demands for new activities.
To avoid the problem entirely, smart parents leave for the holiday armed with a few creative ideas for games and activities to keep the kids entertained.
For families staying at a private villa, playing a few games can even offer opportunities for little ones to learn more about the unique and fascinating environment and culture that surrounds them.
For parents that have kids who enjoy using their hands, origami may be the perfect solution for an afternoon of peaceful sunbathing. The traditional Japanese art of paper folding offers hours of entertainment, while countries like Thailand, the craft is given a whole new twist using real leaves and reeds instead of paper. Many villa staff in Thailand know the art form their school days, which means the younger members of the party can learn to fashion birds, fish and dragonflies, which can then be used as decorations at the villa.
Find the Beach
Situated at the centre of many trade routes, the craggy shores of Thailand once offered an ideal hiding place for pirates. Why not draw on this intriguing history by creating your own treasure hunt for kids? You can even put a local twist on your treasure map by switching Davy Jones’ Locker and Skeleton’s Cove for popular destinations like Natai Beach and Phang Nga Bay. If you are having trouble motivating kids to take part in the treasure hunt, you can leave traditional Thai desserts with all of your clues and offer to take them on a trip to the final destination on their map as a reward.
Kids in the Kitchen
Older kids who may not be entertained by origami or hunting for treasure may prefer to spend the afternoon doing an activity where they can enjoy the fruits of their labour at the end. Many of the holiday properties spread across Thailand boast fantastic kitchens, and are the perfect place for kids to get creative with a little cooking. If traditional Thai dishes are a little too spicy for their taste, they can experiment with a few ingredients to whip up some Thai themed pizzas. With a handful of juicy shrimp, a scatter of coriander and a small spoonful of chilli in the tomato sauce, you soon have your very own Tom Yam pizza. You can even turn the pizza-making session into a competitive bake off to spice things up.
Despite the heat, many children still have boundless energy whilst they are on vacation. To tire them out a bit before bedtime, spend a couple of hours refereeing a Mini Olympics. Children that get bored easily probably won’t be happy with just swimming endless laps of the villa’s pool in different strokes or running up and down the beach, so this is the ideal chance to introduce a little local sporting culture. Takraw, for example, is a traditional Southeast Asian game in which a rattan ball is used for foot volleyball. You could even get creative with some coconut bowling.
The Gecko and the Elephant
Thailand is home to a fascinating array of wildlife, and many of its animals also make rather incredible noises. That's why a game of “Gecko and Elephant” is perfect for a bunch of noisy kids who want to blow off some steam. First divide your kids into two teams – the geckos and the elephants. Next, select a team captain for each. As an organised game maker, you will have already hidden a vast number of shells or pebbles from the local beach all around the villa and its grounds. It is then the responsibility of the geckos and elephants to find them all. On finding a shell, the little animals cannot merely pocket it. They must first shriek the noise of their respective animal (the Tokay gecko takes its name from its distinctive “Tookay!” mating call) until their captain finds them to collect the prize. The team with the most shells at the end of the time allotted is the winner.
by Wayne Hue