Most parents dread school holidays with the same intensity that kids look forward to them. It’s not that we don’t love spending time with our little ones, but there’s no denying that without the variety and stimulation of the school day, kids become bored. And a bored child is a whiney child.
Follow these ideas for keeping your children entertained, and you might both survive – more than that, you may even enjoy your holiday!
You’ll feel a lot more in control if you have an idea of how you’re going to spend your time. Look up what museums and libraries are offering in your city, do a bit of online research to get ideas for science experiments and craft activities, and print out downloadables so that when the dreaded “I’m bored” makes an appearance, you have an answer.
Restock the art box
Set aside some budget for a stationery spree. Think glitter pens, kokis, craft paper, sequins, even crafting kits. Even children who ordinarily won’t sit still for longer than it takes to watch Shimmer and Shine quickly become immersed in creative activities.
Create a community
Trust us when we tell you that you are not the only mom wondering how to make the month pass without too many tantrums. There’s strength in unity, so create a Whatsapp group and use it to alert each other to cool events and arrange play dates – or even just vent a little.
Start a calendar
The good news is that shopping centres, theatres and the like are usually geared for the holidays. Make a list of all the events that sound good to you.
Use your networks
The truth is that it’s hard to be around anyone (even those you love most) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You’re forgiven for needing a timeout – and the grannies, aunts and friends you call on to help out occasionally will be only to happy to lend a hand.
Get that star chart going
If ever there was a time to pull out the tools encouraging and reinforcing good behaviour, this would be it.
Relax a little
This might seem contrary to what we’ve just said, but this is, after all, meant to be a holiday for you, too. If that means making bedtime a little later so that you can enjoy a family dinner out, go for it – routines will fall into place naturally when school starts again.
In her 16 years as journalist, Lisa Witepski’s work has appeared in most of South Africa’s leading publications, including the Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Entrepreneur and Financial Mail. She has written for a number of women’s magazines, including Living & Loving, Essentials and many others, across topics from lifestyle to travel, wellness, business and finance. She is a former acting Johannesburg Bureau Chief for Cosmopolitan, and former Features Editor at Travel News Weekly, but, above all, a besotted mom to Leya and Jessica. Lisa blogs at whydoialwayscravecake.blogspot.com and lisa.witepski.blogspot.com, and tweets at @LisaWitepski.