Not everyone can live the dream of a family holiday in the sun. For many of us, that idealised notion of packing the car with kids, suitcases and gallons of sunscreen, and then driving off to a favoured holiday spot on the coast remains out of reach. The reality for many working families is that there’s still work to be done, even while the kids are on holiday, and so home-based vacations are the norm. Your children still need to be entertained, however, and by being prepared you can ensure their holiday is full of fun, even if you’re busy with less pleasurable activities.
Being super-organised is the key. In other words, have a Plan A, a Plan B, a Plan C…and a few more plans besides! Trying to entertain your bored children on the spur of the moment is a difficult task at best. Having a plan on hand will minimise the amount of grizzling and unhappiness associated with the ‘holiday blues’, which will free up the time you need to get on with your work. With this in mind, NOW is the time to make a few holiday plans to make school holidays fun.
Many community organisations and local councils run school holiday programs for very little cost, or even free. These programs are becoming more and more popular, due to the great entertainment and value they represent, and they’re often over-subscribed. You know what to do, right? Look for programs happening in your area, and book now! That’s what being organised is all about.
If you have friends who are also working during the holidays, now is a good time to contact them and see if you can arrange a roster where you share supervision of your children, depending on the days you work. This gives everyone plenty of advance notice and, hopefully, a little kids-free time for yourself if you have a rostered day off on the same day that another parent is in charge of the youngsters. Of course, they might also enjoy some downtime when its your turn to look after them, so it works both ways. Obviously, such an undertaking requires time and planning to put into place, but as you’re now the organised type this roster should be completed in plenty of time for the holidays!
As you make plans for holiday entertainment, you should make preparations for a rainy day. It’s relatively easy for kids to look after themselves in the back yard on a sunny day, but when they’re cooped up in the house on a wet day, it becomes more of a challenge for you to keep them happy. They don’t have open spaces to run around and enjoy, and four walls and a ceiling can become a gloomy space for a young mind with little to occupy it. Blow the dust off board games, make sure there are plenty of books and activity sets on hand, and check your subscription to the video library is current. Look for recipes that the children can help with in the kitchen. Anything that helps to amuse them when the rain has set in for the day.
However you entertain your children, it all boils down to that one word. Organisation. Know what you’re going to do well before the holidays hot. Make this the last holiday where a lack of inspiration makes it a miserable experience for everyone. Plan this holiday like you would plan a family reunion, or a milestone birthday. Involve the kids as much as possible, and ask for their input on what they’d like to do. It is their holiday, after all!
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