Now don’t get me wrong- I love my kids and I enjoy school holidays for the most part, but eventually the kids and I need a break from each other that isn’t as easy to find in the summer holidays as it is during term time. So here are a few things I’ll be doing to make sure I stay sane, and my kids enjoy their school break.
Make a list of ‘things to do’
I have some ideas of what I want to get out of the school holidays, and even though my kids are young I guarantee they have things they want to do too. It might be as simple as not having to get out of their (or my) pj’s before 10am (or at all) on some days, or it could be going to a movie or a special event. After we have recovered from the end of term, the kids and I sit down and write out 3 things we would like to do over the holidays, plus a few expectations we each have. Often the kids ideas are movies, beach, play dates etc, and their expectations are being able to stay up later at night, not have to clean up as much (this one is’t often fulfilled), or being allowed to watch TV during the day. My expectations are that they do their jobs still and help out around the house etc. We talk about the things that are definitely going to be possible and things that might not- last holidays Max asked to go on a boat- I managed to arrange it just after the holidays and he was thrilled, but I did make it clear that though it was on his wish list it might not happen. Make sure you give your kids a limit of only a few ‘things to do’, firstly so you don’thave to much pressure, and secondly so you can keep things realistic and affordable.
Organise a kid swap, sleep over or play date
We all need a break right?! Well I know I do, so I organise for my mother in law, Mum, husband, or friend to have all my kids for a few hours once or twice over the holidays. If you don;t have a partner or family that you can do this with you still have a few options; you could organise a kid swap with a friend, they take your kids for a few hours one week, you do the same for them the next, or you could find a summer activity if your kids are old enough- your local library or the PCYC often have great programs for kids to take part in- this will hopefully at least give you some time to have a coffee in peace.
Make a busy box
Grab a box big enough to fit a few toys and crafty things in (depending on your child’s interests and age) and chuck in a heap of things that your kids can grab when they are board instead of nagging you about it. Here’s what I’ve got in mine:
- a few books, lego books and pokemon are the rage at my house at the moment
- some stickers, stamps and a notebook each
- a colouring in book or a paint with water book, along with a cup and a paintbrush
- textas, pencils or crayons
- a few toys they haven;t seen or played with in a while
The box sits out of reach of the baby, but in sight and reach of my oldest boys, they go to the box instead of to me.
Get out of the house
Just go somewhere- even for a walk or a bike ride every few days. A visit to a friends house, the park or even the shops (our closest shopping center has free kids activities most holidays). This will stop a bit of the cabin fever that comes with being around each other with no break, and will hopefully get everyone moving around and active for a little while, which is always a good thing!
So what are your top tips for not going crazy when school’s out? I’d love to hear what you get up to, I could use all the help I can get!