Ahh, the school holidays. What fun. A generous mix of pros and cons.
Pro:Time with the kids
Con:ALL that time with the kids
Pro:The kids are around the help more
Con:The kids help in their (not that helpful) own way
Pro:No need for rigid routines
Con:Late nights and the constant need for entertainment
Yep, the school holidays can be a mix of emotions. One minute you are loving the extra time you have together, the next you’re hearing words like “I’m bored” and “there’s nothing to do”. If only you could eliminate those words completely.
Guess what? You can!
The number one way to eliminate boredom in the school holidays is to make a list of things to do. Creating a long list of options means there’s no excuse for the kids to say the words you’ve come to despise. Display your list in an area where your kids like to play. Make it realistic and the activities simple. Overcomplicating the activities will mean you’ll need to step in, and this won’t always be possible. The key is to list activities they can do when you’re not at their beck and call.
Whether you’re embarking on a long weekend, a two-week term break, or the everlasting summer school holidays, set a goal right at the beginning. This could be to learn the lyrics of a song, master the drawing of a grumpy cat, or practice a play that can be acted out at the end of the holidays. Giving kids something to work on, where they can see purpose and improvement, is a great way to keep them occupied. The sense of achievement they get at the end of the holidays is a bonus, sending them back off to school with confidence in their abilities.
Give your kids the power of choosing their own books to read over the holidays. Leave them to it, and don’t make a judgement on what they choose. As long as it’s morally appropriate, reading is a good thing whatever form it takes. While you’re at the library, check out what organised activities they have. Many local libraries put on book readings, craft days and book signings in the holidays, so check out the calendar of events.
To keep your books safely stored, check out our range of bookshelves.
The school holidays are an ideal time to rearrange and clean the bedroom. Give your kids an incentive to get rid of the things they no longer use by letting them choose some new items. This could be a new bed, a sofa or bean bag, a rug or playmat, or some cute bunting. A new space for them to enjoy will make them excited to be at home rather than wishing they were off with friends.
We know as adults how enjoyable going to a cafe is, so why not offer the experience to your kids? The PIPER Cubby House is perfect for creating a cafe in your garden and the kids will love setting it up each day with daily specials. Make sure you give them somewhere to sit with our tables and chairs and some customers to get ready for, be it their friends, your friends, or grandma and granddad.
Scrapbooking your school holiday adventures makes for a great show and tell once school returns. Plus, your fun becomes memories that will last forever. To do this, you’ll need to be sure you capture photos of everything you want in the scrapbook and hold onto ticket stubs, leaflets, shells and anything else that might add to the memories. If you have family members taking the kids out, get them to do the same so that you have a complete holiday book. If you have pages left at the end of the holidays, get your kids to write a story to compliment the pages.
Here’s how you can make a memory book.
The beauty of today’s at-hand technology is that everyone’s a movie maker, anywhere, anytime. Hand over your phone or iPad and send them off to work their magic. It could be that they make a movie about fairies in the bottom of the garden. Or maybe they tap into their inner David Attenborough. Whatever they choose to do, we guarantee you’ll love watching it back.
School holidays are a time for sun-kissed days at the beach, so try to get the sand between your toes. Got work to do and fear you don’t have the time? Take your work with you and lay under an umbrella with one eye on the kids as they build sandcastles. Just be sure they don’t go near the water without you.
A fun activity you can repeat each summer holidays is to fill a time capsule and bury it. Get your kids to fill the time capsule with things they currently love. If they’re really into creating beaded pompons, get them to make one for the capsule. If they’ve been playing around with origami faces, add a face to the capsule too. Is there a particular trend making its way through the school, like slime, Ooshies or fidget spinners? Get them to cut out an ad and place that in the capsule too. Your kids will love unearthing the capsule when the next school holidays roll around and seeing how their tastes have changed.
A diary is an excellent way to document all the things happening during the school holidays. Use it as a way to bring repetition into your family fun, which is known to have great benefits. Each holidays, your kids can flick back through their diaries and pick out the favourite things they did. Then you can recreate them and document any differences or improvements that come with age and development.
There’s no denying that juggling everyday activities and the fun that kids expect in the holidays is challenging. It takes time, thought and planning to manage it well. But, the good news is that when you get it right, the school holidays can be a magic time in both your and your children’s lives. Involve other people, utilise community resources, stock up on arts and crafts and plan something special for your final day. This will serve as a symbol that the holidays have come to an end, will give you something to look forward to, and can be used as a reward for not using the words “I’m bored”.
Screen time for kids is a real hot button issue. Media commentators, bloggers, childhood experts and parents at school pick-up – they’re all talking about it! Most of us can agree that it’s bad – but did you know just how bad it can be?