School Holiday Fun for Families
Do you look forward to the school holidays or dread them?
Do you end up spending more money than you planned?
Does your house end up a huge big mess?
Do you tire of being the argument referee?
Are you concerned about the amount of screen time you r children have each day?
Well, let’s make these holidays different!
Let’s have more fun, spend less money, keep the house a bit tidy,
work towards promoting sibling friendship and reduce screen time.
Have a pattern for the week.
Try the pattern of having a day at home followed by a day out.
Aim for one cost event per week, with the other outing days focused on visiting parks, beaches, rivers or a friend’s house.
Have a pattern for the day.
Include outside play (2 hours in the morning and then two hours again in the afternoon). Let them use their imaginations and make up their own games to play. Have bats and balls and bikes and skates to encourage physical exercise. Maybe once a week have messy outside craft or painting or ‘building’ with nails and scrap wood.
Include independent play (1 hour in the morning and again in the afternoon). This gives each child a chance to play without interacting with another child. Make this non-screen time. Find a quiet place in the house for each child. Set some boundaries. Books and blocks and quiet toys are best for this. Your creative child may prefer to draw or write in this time. Leering to play independently is a great skill for life. It also gives you a break from negotiating sibling issues.
Include table play (30 – 60 mins twice a day). Have a set seat for each child at the table and have a small selection of activities to choose from according to their age. Playdoh, sewing cards, sticker books, activity books, board games, peg boards, threading beads, water painting, sorting activities and so on.
Chores time (15 – 30 mins twice a day). Holidays are a great time to train your children in new chores. Having a set time for this will ensure it is done and the house is kept tidy (well, tidier J). Having some loud, up-beat music playing during this time can help it get done in a set time and makes it fun too.
Family time after dinner each night is a lovely way to end each day. Sock Wars, board games an outside walk, a picnic supper in the back yard, charades, karaoke, acting out Bible stories, family concerts where everyone does an item and so on. Finishing it with a reading time can be a nice way to quiet everyone down for bed.
Have a plan for dealing with sibling conflicts. Have clear consequences that are meaningful for the age of your child. Isolation can be a helpful starting point and restitution is also important. If they have spoken an unkind word to a sibling, they can then make a card that contains five nice things about that sibling. Early bedtime was the most effective strategy for my kids, they enjoyed reading just before bed and were most reluctant to lose that special time.
Plan ahead, have a few surprises and enjoy these precious weeks J