School holidays are those times of year when any normally sane parent has the capacity to go stark raving bonkers. I mean, it’s hard enough coming up with things to do to entertain the kids after school and on the weekends during a regular week that 2 weeks seems like forever. And don’t get me started on the end of year holidays! Whose grand idea was that?
Anyway, for me, I’ve found the way that I can make it out of these crazy times of year alive is just by doing a little bit of planning.
For a start, it is always good for at least one parent to be able to take some time off work during the holidays. Kids love spending time with their folks, so if it’s possible, then do it. If you don’t have the luxury of doing so, then you can try asking their grandparents if they could mind the kids for a week or even just a few days: every bit helps.
If you’re fresh out of childcare options that are free, and the kids need to go somewhere, then there are always plenty of holiday programs about to keep them interested. These are daily, where you drop your kids off and pick them up at the end of the day. Check out local after school cares, rec centres, libraries, and more to see what’s on. For older children, there may be full camps they can attend, with organisations like the Scouts.
Alright! Over to what you can do with the kids to keep them entertained and to keep yourself sane. One idea I quite like that a friend of mine does with her kids is do the cooking with them – however, they film it and pretend they’re on a cooking show. You can even post the videos on YouTube if you want to go that extra mile, maybe you’ll end up stars?
This one is something that’ll be great to have even when it’s not school holidays: a new multi play premium playground. If you have the space in the backyard, there’s nothing better than having your own playground. I remember my brother and I spent literally hours in our little “shopfront” making mud pies, only coming inside when the sun started to go down. Kids love playgrounds, so think about an awesome upgrade.
Splish, splash, get your kids water safe early by taking them along to the beach and the pool often. In Australia, there is plenty of aquatic fun to be had pretty much everywhere so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Make sure to take your kids to age appropriate pools, and most importantly don’t forget to slip slop slap. With the incidence of skin cancer at an all-time high, having appropriate sun protection is a must.
Or how about a video games day? Now, I know that we shouldn’t have too much screen time for the kids, but me, I love gaming. So I like to do a blow-out day every now and then where we play games on the PlayStation all day. We both love it, and I don’t feel so guilty since it’s not a very often occurrence – a bit of a treat really (and for me too!).
There are plenty of things that you can do over the holidays to make them more manageable. If you are finding the holidays a particularly stressful time of year, then do things to help alleviate this: take a long bath, do some meditation, go for a run, or listen to your favourite music for a few hours. Your kids will thank you for it!