It’s nearly holiday time! This means no more school runs, no more school lunches and no more long hours helping with homework or projects. But, this also means that your little ones will be spending a lot more time under your feet, with cries of “I’m bored” or “I’m hungry,” echoing around the house. So, what’s a mom or dad to do?
Here are some top tips on not only surviving the holidays intact, but enjoying this family time as much as possible:
1. Get crafty
You may not be a crafty parent, but that doesn’t mean your kids won’t enjoy getting their hands sticky and their shirts spattered with paint. Crafts are an inexpensive way to keep children busy, especially on rainy or windy days when the great outdoors is not a suitable option.
2. Be active
If your kids are older than two or three, you will probably find that there are many organised sport and outdoor activities planned for the holidays in your area. Whether these are cricket camps at school, soccer coaching for all ages or golf lessons for your future Rory McIlory – work out what sport your little one is excited about and then enquire about possible lessons. Not only will sport keep them entertained and provide a healthy dose of exercise, they’ll also grow in confidence as their skills develop.
3. Get out of the house
Children are less likely to get bored if you arrange just one outing a day where they leave the house and enjoy a change of scenery. This could be going to a show at a children’s theatre, attending a reading at your local bookshop or even riding their bikes along the beachfront or in the park. Some medical aids have wonderful benefits that get you out of the house too. Sanlam Reality gives you great discounts on movies and shows if you book through Computicket, so get to know your benefits and make full use of them. Plan one outing per day where you can enjoy new experiences together as a family.
4. Ask your community to get involved
They say it takes a village to raise a child and nowhere is this more apparent than during the long school holidays! Luckily, this time of year is also when many friends and family are around, so share the child-rearing load by arranging visits to relatives or asking grandparents to babysit so you can take some much needed time out. If you have no family around, consider spending more time with friends so your children can entertain each other and you can enjoy some adult company too.
5. Holiday camps
Suitable for slightly older children, holiday camps are growing in popularity in South Africa, although they’ve been successful in places like the US for years. At holiday camps your child stays away at a location for any period of time (from two nights up to a week or longer), learns new skills, enjoys new experiences and makes new friends along the way. Some popular holiday camps for kids in South Africa include Kidz Get Wild in the Western Cape, Sugar Bay in KwaZulu-Natal and Jumphouse in Gauteng.
With just a little bit of planning, the holidays can be a wonderful time for relaxing and reconnecting with each other, as long as you limit the stress and boredom. So follow our easy tips and you’ll not only survive the upcoming festive break – you’ll make family memories to treasure for a lifetime.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day.