This post is sponsored by Nuffnang.
It is now getting towards the last couple of weeks of school holidays here in Victoria. I am often asked “how do you cope with school holidays?”. I know many mums who don’t love school school holidays and I think they think with 5 kids, school holidays must be a full on time at our house.
I do however actually really enjoy school holidays. I love the break from the school routine, particularly the running around that comes along with it. But I do find school holidays can become hard work, if I don’t have some general plan.
A School Holiday Plan
You can see more about how I plan for school holidays in this post, but the most important thing for me is to create a “home and away plan”:
At a family meeting in the lead up to the school holidays, I will ask the kids if there is anything special that they would like to do over the holidays. We will agree on a couple of activities and then I like to schedule them throughout the school holidays, so that we have a mix of days at home and then “away” being out at activities.
With 5 kids it works well to have changes of scenery to make sure that we are all still getting along harmoniously. When making this plan, I generally try to have a day or two at home at the beginning of the holidays, so everyone can get some rest after the long school term and then some days at home again towards the end of the holidays, so that they head back to school refreshed.
Ideas for school holiday activities at home
It is also helpful if you have a few activities up your sleeve that are simple and can be done at home without needing your help. Here are a couple of my favourites for summer holidays:
Great for a variety of ages and perfect for those super hot days when the kids will need to spend long spells inside.
LEGO and Literacy was a guest post on the blog and has fantastic inspiration for kids if they are looking for extending their LEGO play. It also has a list of great LEGO resources online as well.
Make their own fruit blocks
Making fruit juice ice blocks is fun for kids and also helps increase their independence skills at the same time. Cutting oranges (depending on their age), squeezing the juice, pouring etc are all great life skills that kids need to practice.
Like we did you can try setting up a table outside on a nice day, so any spills are easy to tidy up!
I have talked about this a few times on the blog, but it is always a favourite with my kids. Collect materials from the house over a week or so – cereal boxes, milk cartons, toilet rolls etc. Add some sticky tape, pipe cleaners and even a glue gun and pieces of wood if you have them and let the kids create!
A couple of years ago we participated in a mail swap. All the kids had someone to write to and another child from around the world had their name and address to write to them.
A mail swap doesn’t need to be that planned. You can simply arrange for them to write to a friend they haven’t seen yet over the holidays. Have them find some small treasures to share in the letter to surprise their friend and then have an outing to the post office to send it off.
If your kids are like mine, then they will stalk the letter box for the next few days waiting for their mail swap parcel to arrive!
Need to get out of the house?
And if it is too hot at your house for comfort and you want to head some where to cool and hang out with the kids that won’t cost you a fortune, I can highly recommend visiting the Melbourne Museum this school holidays.
We went back and saw the full production of Tiddalik the Frog and it was such fun. My 5 year old was thrilled to be one of the three children chosen to tell a joke to try and get Tiddalik to laugh. I did hold my breath as he said his joke, silently sending him a message not to say the jokes he hears his older brothers say!
Thankfully he told one of his own creation, which the cast and audience very kindly laughed at, although there was very little humour in it:
Q. Why did the snowman melt on a sunny morning?
A. Because it was hot!
We went to the 11.30am show (you can see more details about the show in my post Tiddalik the Thirsty Frog @ Melbourne Museum). Don’t be put off by the line up, once they opened the doors we moved quickly into the theatre. But I would recommend getting there 10 minutes before start time if you definitely want to see a particular time show, as the session we saw was full.
What is your strategy for enjoying school holidays?