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If you’re anything like me, then School Holidays are stressful and a bit daunting if I’m honest. We can’t all have fabulous holidays to keep everyone occupied and I’m not a crafty Mum (in fact I actively avoid crafts at home as my youngest is a wrecking ball and the mess is incredible). But I have tried to implement some fun things with my kids, so they (and me) are able to enjoy this time together a little bit more.
So here are some of the things I am trying to do over the Christmas holidays.
This is a bloody expensive time of year and it’s not feasible for most of our budgets to have activities everyday that cost Money. It’s not sustainable and I don’t think it’s actually the best use of ours (and my) time. If you’re near the beach, then “slip, slap, slop” and get out there. Here’s another gem… the local Library. I was recommended this by a friend who is a teacher, and it was brilliant. So many books to choose from. Take your time to sit and read a few and pick some favourites to take home and enjoy!
We recently started bush walking and when we go for a trek, we try to look for 3 or 4 types of trees. Just research the area and pick a few that are relatively distinct and go for it. A real-life scavenger hunt and it’s outdoor, great exercise and they are also learning. The school holiday trifecta IMO!
It’s ok for them (and us) to have some “down-time”. It’s not possible, or healthy, to be on the go all the time. So, put away those devices and plan for chill-out time. Read a books, a cool movie with popcorn. Take an hour or two to just unplug. I don’t know about you, but my kids after a couple of activity packed days back-to-back turn into little monsters
Ok, this is really good one! We all have a cupboard (or 50) that are just messy and need some attention. My kids and I recently sorted out our Tupperware shelf and they actually enjoyed it a lot. I got them to find the right lid for a container and then we packed them back in an orderly fashion. My guess is that it will last about a week before it’s all over the place again. Another great idea is sorting the socks into pairs from the washing.
My eldest is on school holidays and we have found it really great to share the load with other school parents. Meet for a coffee at a park, the beach or even a play date at home. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, you can always repay the favour to even it out and the kids love catching up with their buddies out of school too.
Take some time for yourself to recharge even if it’s only a short time you will be reenergised and be able to put more into surviving the school holidays.
Just like us, our kids need to unplug from constant stimulus, and they need time to recharge themselves. It’s important to listen to our kids and check-in with them to see if they’re ok. Studies2 show that kids can also experience anxiety and stress at family functions or group outings, especially children with autism or ADHD. I know, myself, that functions can be overwhelming for me and I’m an adult with sophisticated coping mechanisms (my husband may say otherwise), so I can only imagine how daunting this could be for our little ones.
It’s not possible for everything to always go to plan, regardless of how organised you are. Use these opportunities to teach our kids flexibility and how to handle stress through modelling of our own behaviour. We all know our kids are like sponges, they absorb everything – good or bad – that we show them. So, in times of stress or crisis I try to take some time to help them see ways of dealing with and handling these situations.
Kids LOVE to cook or create things they can eat and if you’re selective with the activity it doesn’t have to be an activity that requires a professional cleaning services afterwards. My girls like to ice milk arrowroot biscuits and decorate them into monsters or animals. It’s fun, creative and a great way to spend an hour or two. TIP: If they’re a bit older get them to clean up (even if it’s only putting the dirty stuff in the sink, it’s still something).
The fact you’re even reading a blog like this means you’re trying to make their holidays and your time together something that is fun and memorable – so I’d say that means you’re a darn good parent! Go YOU!