How To Keep Sane These School Holidays
How To Keep Sane These School Holidays
School holidays can be hard on parents. Kids seem to be coursing with the kind of energy they just don’t have during the school term, and the choruses of ‘I’m bored’ are enough to drive any parent to insanity. Whether you’re looking down the barrel of a long holiday or a short holiday with your kids at home and no idea how to keep your brain level, we’ve got some tips.
Plan At Least One Outdoor Activity
Getting out of the house can be a massive chore when you’ve got the kids in tow, but the potential for tiring them out as well as providing them a really fun day in the sunshine is usually worth it for parents. Outdoors activities don’t have to be expensive. Take your kids to the local pool, park or playground, bring along a picnic lunch and a game or two and let them run wild. It’s a perfect excuse to bring a book, sit in the shade, and attempt to read.
Get Set Up For Inside Fun
There are always going to be days during the school holidays that you aren’t going to get out of the house. These might be full on pyjama days, or they might simply be rainy days, but do yourself a favour and have at least something on hand for inside play. A cardboard box, some lego/duplo or some arts and crafts activities are all great ideas. For true indoors fun, why not let everyone get messy in the kitchen cooking up some goodies? That’s something almost any age group can enjoy.
Embrace Creative Activities
One great thing about school holidays is that it’s a perfect time to embrace your child’s creative side with some cool family activities. You could write a simple scavenger hunt for your own backyard, or have one of your older children put one together for the younger kids. Alternatively, you could go to a few second-hand shops and pick up weird and wonderful clothes to play dress-ups. There’s no limit but your own imagination, and that of your kids!
Go To The Library
Your local library is an absolute lifesaver in the school holidays, and you’d be crazy not to be utilising this. Not only are libraries full of books, games, toys and entertainment, they also consistently run school holiday programs for kids of all ages. So get your kids down there to pick up some books, play some games, and learn from the knowledgeable librarians. Who says learning is just for school?
Let Them Choose
At a certain age (let’s face it, at any age) kids want their own autonomy and want to be able to make their own decisions. School holidays can be a good time to bow to that, by giving your kids a choice of activity. For older kids, set a clear budget and distance limit and see what they can come up with. For younger kids, write out a list for them and have them choose one. They’re more likely to own it and more likely to enjoy it.
Have Clear Screen Ground Rules
We aren’t making judgement on parents who love their screens (my kids and I certainly enjoy our fair share), but school holidays are a perfect time to get your kids spending less time on screens and more time with their family. Before the school holiday period rolls around, do yourself a favour and set clear expectations about the hourly limits on screen time. You might even consider a system where kids ‘earn’ screen time with outside or creative activities.
Know The Weather Forecast
There’s nothing that will put a rain on your parade like, well, rain on your parade, which is why during the school holidays the biggest mistake that parents make is not checking the forecast. If you’re planning outside activities, look in advance so you can decide what day is best for what activity, and you don’t get caught out!
Don’t Forget You!
It may seem that during the school holidays there isn’t much time for parents, and while we aren’t saying that school holidays should be a day spa of relaxation, it is important to make time for you. The school term can be stressful for everyone, so don’t beat yourself up if you want to hang out at home all day, just relaxing with your kids. There’s no need to be your child’s constant entertainer, so take care of yourself as well!
You’d think we’d be experts on school holidays by now, but we still pick up new tips and tricks from other parents whenever they roll around. Tell us, what’s your favourite school holiday survival tip? What activities never fail to entertain and impress? We want to hear them!