Half Term holidays and the Easter break are my favourites, they don’t have the pressure that comes with Christmas and the Summer allowing you to enjoy (in theory!) your time with the kids.
The question does arise though; ‘What an earth am I going to keep my kiddos entertained?’ and I guess where possible off gadgets, screens and gaming.
Well, you are in luck, for your entertaining benefit I have pulled together some ideas.
Let your kids be bored
It is not your job to keep your child occupied 24-7. Boredom and how to get themselves out of it is a life skill, it requires problem solving, creativity and a fair bit of mindfulness. Perhaps, you can have a boredom basket, where you and your kids have put things in it at the start of the holidays that they can dip into it when they are at a loose end. I am not suggesting you go out and buy anything new, simply look around your home and pop in things that perhaps your kids have long forgotten or a puzzle or a game that you can play together.
Know your kids
If your kids need to be taken out for a run around before they can actually function, then do it.
If your kids are not morning people and you can gift them some quiet time in the mornings before they start their days, this might be welcomed and help your days run smoother.
If your kids are overwhelmed easily, can you have slower paced days?
If your kids are tired after a long term, can you gift them some pyjama days?
You get the idea, tune into where your kids and your family are at and make allowances for this to help your holiday run smoother.
How can you find ways this holiday to connect with your kids before you have to correct them?
Spending just 10 minutes a day focusing on your child can make a world of difference. The 10 minutes is better if it is led by them rather than your agenda and if you can put your phone to one side to chat, laugh and have some fun, even better. Ideas to make this happen:
- A nurturing bedtime routine
- Join in with something they are already doing
- Get outside, kick a ball, throw a Frisbee, visit a park, go for a walk
- Have a go playing one of their gaming games with them
- Driving along in the car with the radio off, ready to listen and to follow the conversation that they bring up
- Sharing a book together
- Mindful colouring
- Making a meal together
- Baking with your kids
- Playing a board game
Have you tried…
Crafting – who doesn’t love a crafting project? If mess isn’t your thing then there are options, colouring rather than painting, cutting and sticking over clay or play dough. You could set up a cupboard, a shelf or a box with craft supplies so your kids can delve in and help themselves.
Days out – it is great to have things to look forward to each day or perhaps a big something on one of the days and a routine on other days to keep them moving.
Holiday clubs – Let someone else entertain your kids!
Get outside – So many opportunities here, if they can climb or get a bit muddy even better. Could they try some bird spotting?
Scavenger hunts – helps keep your kids focused when you are out and about.
Theatre or cinema visits – what is on locally?
Train or a bus ride – can you take your kids on a bus or a train to the next town or village? To our kids this is a novelty, especially if you drive them everywhere.
Date morning or afternoon with each child – what would your son or daughter love to do with you during some quality 1 on 1 time?
Carpet picnics – do you always need to eat your meals at the table?
Take a dog for a walk – yours or someone else’s!
Get your kids ideas – Ask them, if there is a budgetary consideration let them know and then talk.
Write a family blog – start a family blog that you can share with family and friends of your adventures.
Remember you are filling your kids memory banks, what memories do you want them to take away? This is a good place to start. Here is to happy holidays for us all.
This article was originally written for Small Talk Magazine.