7 school holiday survival tips
There’s a lot to be said for school holidays: no last-minute sandwiches to make, no matching socks to find, no screeching out of the driveway in a desperate bid to beat the siren. School holidays have a lot going for them!
Let me clarify that: two-week school holidays have a lot going for them. Three weeks even. But six weeks? Six weeks is something else altogether. Six weeks is a long, long time to spend in confinement with your kids. Or rather, my kids. I have enough of my own, without taking on yours, too.
This year, I’m determined to be better organised; to not find myself at 11am shouting at everyone to switch off the television and get out of their pyjamas. This year, we’re going to be super-summer-holiday family! When the kids go back to school in February, and the teacher asks them to draw a picture of their holidays, they won’t produce an illustration of mummy drinking and crying. This year, they’ll draw pictures of nature rambles and backyard dens! Of fun, laughter and frivolity! (Hey, I can dream, can’t I?)
Summer holiday survival guide
Which brings me to my summer holiday survival guide. I’m writing this more for me than you, to be honest, but if you can find something useful in the below, then that’s a win-win, as far as I’m concerned.
- Get out of the house! This is important. If you spend more than a couple of hours each day inside, the walls will start closing in on you. On that, you have my word. As arduous as it is to load children into the car, you should load children into the car, and get out. Go to the park, go to the beach, go to a park and the beach. Just get out!
- If you don’t want to leave the house, at least go outside. It’s summer! Turn the TV off and kick the kids out. Make them play on the trampoline, in the pool, set up a game of backyard cricket. Ban them from coming back inside until they’ve spent at least an hour outside.
- Arrange playdates. If your kids are old enough to go out on their own, make arrangements on their behalf, and send them on their way. Yes, you’ll have to return the favour, but at least it will mix things up a bit. If you have little kids, arrange to meet other mums and kids at the park or a playground. Your kids will love you for it.
- If you’re stuck at home because of the weather, have fun with boxes. Yes, it’s a thing. Decorate them, cut them up, make robots out of them, create cubbies, dens and tunnels. You could even go the whole hog and create an obstacle course in the living room.
- Go for a nature walk. This is more fun than it sounds. Give your kids a list of what to look for, and award prizes to the kid that spots the most things. You could encourage them to collect shells and feathers and pebbles – that sort of thing. Time will fly, and they’ll have so much fun.
- Put on a play. I used to love doing this when I was a kid. Get the dress-up box out – or even visit an Op Shop for cheap and cheerful clothes – and put on a show. An older kid could even film it, for added value.
- Get your cook on. Yes, it will be messy, but it will be fun, and you’ll have food at the end of it. Get the kids to pretend they’re on Masterchef. Encourage them to get creative, and try out new ideas. They’ll love it!