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Don’t be scared of school holidays!

Published: Thu 25 Sep 2014 12:32 PM
Don’t be scared of school holidays!
Survival tips from The Parenting Place
Some families love the holiday breaks and their children love the change from the routine and busyness that school and after-school activities bring. They anticipate what they are going to do and parents get to see more of their kids and do some fun things together. Not everyone loves the holidays though. For some it signals extra costs, kids at war, messy houses and lots of “I’m bored and I don’t know what to do”. Holidays can be awesome and they can also be awful. Here are some ideas that can ease families into holiday time and make them fun for all.
· Set your family up for success with a pre-holiday pep talk. Introduce the concept that no one can have their own way all the time. Discuss the sort of attitude required. You will need patience and an open mind. There will be times when you will do things that would not be your first choice. There will be times to help and pitch in. Get in first with talking about the holidays with your kids.
· The Holiday list. Have a list of activities kids can do when they are at a loss. Be prepared to start them off as children often need five minutes help to get going before they are confident to go it alone
Some ideas for inspiration:
· Play shops
· Climb trees
· Build a hut in the lounge
· Take photos with a digital camera and prepare an art exhibit of the best shots
· Make homemade ice-blocks
· Bake a cake with an adult
· Send an email or skype a friend
· Work on models/kits
· Learn and perfect a magic trick
· Go for a bike ride
· Fly a kite
· Play cards
· Bake biscuits
· Make a smoothie
· Design a menu for a meal you could help make
· Have a water balloon fight outside
· Throw a bean bag into a bucket and count your score out of 20 throws
· Draw a mural with big chalk on a paved area
· Have a picnic morning or afternoon tea on a rug in the lounge
· Write a letter and post it to someone
· Recreate a fashion show using the hall as your runway
· Tear out magazine pictures and make collage art
· Design a treasure hunt with clues dotted around the house
· Before the holidays create a holiday box that the children put their ideas for what to do inside. A trip to the museum, zoo, science exhibition, art gallery, mall, $2 shop, movies, swings and slides, fishing, climbing a new mountain. Remember to have some that are low cost or no cost.
· Inspire them with ‘Free’ days where the only rule is we don’t spend any money. Teach your kids to be resourceful by considering the free fun on offer at the beach, park, museum, pet shops, or by doing crafts. (Set up a craft table to get them going).
· Swap kids and skills for a day. You send your kids to a friend who loves to cook. They get to do cooking with her. Her kids come to you for messy art play. It’s a good deal.
Have time out for yourself during this holiday. Your kids will appreciate that you have needs and put boundaries around your energy levels.
· Give your children a holiday budget to work with. Start with the first week. There is a certain amount of family money as well as a small increase in pocket money. A wonderful time to teach your kids about deferred gratification as well as choices and consequences. When it runs out, it runs out. No lecture – just the reality.
· Remember to use ‘Grandma’s rule’ – You can do what you want to when you have done what you have to. It is a great lever. If you want to get out of the house – use it this way; “As soon as everyone has tidied their rooms, the washing is out and the dishes are done – we will be off to the park!”
· Limit the technology time. Limit access to devices. Technology is great – but if it is too heavily relied on, you will pay for it! How? Less creative and resourceful children, more easily bored kids, and agitated kids, too.
· Add some crazy stuff to your holidays. Break the rules! Your kids almost manage the rules better when you allow the occasional break from them.
Ends

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