I know a lot of parents feel a little panicked when it comes to the several weeks of holidays that are ahead of us. It can be an anxious time as our routine has turned on its head and it seems we have to come up with new and exciting ways to entertain the kids – every day!
With my eldest starting Prep next year, these holidays, I am going to try a new thing – instead of feeling angst about all this time with the kids and feeling the pressure to keep them constantly occupied, I am going to embrace these moments with them and have FUN! Will you join me?
Here are 6 ways I am going to make the most of these summer holidays and have quality family time. Because, after all it’s about creating memories you will all share with them forever. And whilst you’re at it, establishing connection with your kids that keeps the positive relationships with them going.
- Plan ahead #1 – you might like to research fun things to do in your area and pick a few for the week ahead. Research says that getting the kids out of the house in the morning sets them up for a positive day ahead. I suggest planning activities for the beginning of the day so that when you get home afterwards, the kids are more receptive to playing without you as well as having the down time they need.
- Plan ahead #2 – I highly recommend batch cooking over the school holidays. Having dinner prepared means you don’t have to hurry home from an activity and worry about cooking. Prepare a lunch box each day so that your kids aren’t constantly asking you to make them snacks throughout the day. Also, when you are out, you will find that you won’t spend as much money buying food because you have prepared their lunchbox before you go.
- Find as many free activities as possible – Afterall, you have roughly 6 weeks of the holidays to plan for and it isn’t sustainable to spend a lot of money every day. My suggestions are to make the most of the summer weather and head to the beach, pack a picnic and head to parks, go for bike rides etc. If you have a Zoo membership then visit all the Zoos. Go to the library for story time, or to simply sit and read books etc. Some shopping centres offer free school holiday activities which are great, too. There are many little activities that are free or low cost.
- Board Games and Card Games! So underrated. We have just started playing a variety of these. Uno is a firm favourite (so is Snap!). Monopoly for Kids, Charades, Guess Who, Hungry Hippo… the list is endless.
- Craft – I am quite strategic before Christmas when people ask me what to get my kids as gifts. My answer is ALWAYS craft items! Playdoh, paints, stamps, kinetic sand, colouring in books, crayons etc. After Christmas, my kids sit for ages playing with all of these and I get some moments peace when they do! Win/Win!
- Don’t underestimate the occasional movie. You need some down time, too and a good movie can give you the chop out you need. I put a movie on every second day or so and I find this helps give me the time I need to clean up, cook or simply have a coffee in silence!
Remember, it’s totally ok for your kids to get bored. In fact, research suggests they need to in order to foster their creativity and imagination. Some kids may need some direction and that’s ok, but please don’t feel the pressure to entertain them most of the day.
Are you home for the holidays? I’d love to know if you have an activity that isn’t on this list? I’d love to add to it!