Whether you love ‘em or hate ‘em school holidays are about to be upon us again. I am sure the last ones feel like about 5 minutes ago… but apparently not, at least according to some lovely teachers I know.
As a working parent, school holidays add a layer of complexity to our family life. I am lucky that my working hours are flexible and can be done at night if required. It is impossible to work when Master almost 5 is at home… particularly now he is starting to be interested in computers and if he sees me packing orders he has been known to try and wangle a quick story out of me when he spots something new.
I love the lazier holiday mornings devoid of lunch packing, but as the mother of a very active and social little fella, more than a couple of hours in a row pottering around at home feels like a challenge. ( Note: this is for me more than him, there are only so many games of “you be the mummy meerkat” I can handle)
It’s very easy to go a bit crazy during the school holidays, and over the last couple of years I have come up with a bit of a formula to keep Master almost 5 busy and entertained without going bankrupt in the process. School holidays are about creating special moments and memories together. I like there being a little bit of tradition in our holidays and fondly remember some of the below from my own childhood.
Here is what works for us in Winter. I try to keep the plan as flexible as I can so that we can take the weather into account:
- A live show. Ok, I am biased, but I particularly like the bookish ones. There is so much on offer for little ones that I really have to restrain myself and repeat regularly… “a 5 year old doesn’t have to see everything”
- A movie. Ok if it is particularly wet and miserable we may even see more than one. Sadly I was one of those people who had only seen the children’s movies in this year’s Oscar list.
- Something cultural / educational– a museum, a gallery, the zoo, an exhibition.
- The pool…. Otherwise someone forgets all he has learnt in the term before.
- Play-dates with little friends, preferably at a venue involving a good gossip and coffee for mummy.
- Lunch with Daddy at work which involves a ride on a train and a visit to a Chinatown.
- The Library – where stacks of books and DVDs will be borrowed. I love that Mr 5 often asks to go the library! If we can time our visit to take in a story time then even better.
- A day out with Nanna (where mummy works like a demon to catch up on her e-mails)
- We will also bust out the Lego, puzzles, paints, the magic sand, bake something, make inside cubby houses and I am just off to Google a recipe for slime…
Do you have a formula for managing school holidays at your place? Do you have any holiday traditions? Tell us about it in the comments below.