School holidays can often be a time of stress, but fear not, there are many great ideas to keep the kids occupied and help you maintain your sanity. To avoid the usual chants of ‘I’m bored’ and battles over screen time, check out our ‘Survival Guide’….
Find A Friend – Playdates. Get them set up in advance – this will let your kids keep in touch with their friends over the holidays, and if reciprocated, you may even find you have some free time to have a coffee on your own!
Check Out What’s On – there is usually lots to do in your city over the school holidays, so check out your local listings to see what is on – often there are many free activities so you don’t need to dent the bank balance. There are some great options here.
Get Away – if you are lucky enough to take some time off, then book a holiday – it’s a great way to spend some family time together and also breaks up the holidays, even if you just go away for a few days.
Get Creative – get the craft cupboard well stocked….minus the glitter and magic sand. Your local discount store will have lots of craft items at a reasonable price, and if all else fails, find some cardboard boxes for them to play in. Still works!
Do Some Baking – ok even if baking is not your thing and the thought of baking with children brings you out in a cold sweat, then keep it simple – get the kids to help you make some scones and use playdoh cutters to make them into shapes, or get them to make their own creations out of the dough – even if they turn out like bricks, the making shapes with dough will keep them entertained for hours, and if by some miracle, they turn out ok, you might even get a chance to sit down and enjoy one with a cup of coffee.
Get Outside – if the weather is good, then take any opportunity to get outside and get them to burn off some energy – whether it’s running around in the garden, jumping on the trampoline, or going for a bush walk.
Board Games – get Monopoly going. Seriously – it can last for days.
Find A Balance – remember kids do actually need to be bored sometimes, so don’t overdo it and cram in activities to pass every hour of the day, otherwise you will all end up exhausted. Enjoy some quiet time together and make the most of the downtime with no homework or pack lunches!
Get Them To Do Chores – Ok so this might not be met with such enthusiasm as taking them to the movies, however, it can still be fun. You will be surprised how excited young children can get about cleaning the windows! Perhaps for older children, they can be rewarded with a special treat for completing chores around the house or garden.
Keep Focused – Remember the end is in sight and it’s only 2 weeks!
Remember, it’s a good idea to talk to your Au Pair about changing their weekly schedule over school holidays so they can help entertain the children as well. If you are limited in the amount of time you can take off work, the Au Pair can do these activities with your children, reducing the amount of time or requirement for your children to go into school vacation care. You can either pay the Au Pair for any additional hours, or give them extra time off.
Good luck! See you on the other side.