At the beginning of the school holidays, the summer stretches out for several weeks. Remember that feeling when school finishes and you don’t have to go back until September? But if you’re not careful, you can take for granted the time available. The kids become irritable and bored and before you know it it’s September again. Make the most of the holidays with these simple ideas.
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- Make Sure The Kids Get Enough Sleep
When there’s no school to go to the next day, it’s tempting to let the kids stay up late. While this is fine on occasion, it shouldn’t become the norm. Tired kids are grumpy and irritable during the day. And it’s much harder for them to get into a routine again when term begins. Be clear on bedtimes and stick to your guns.
One problem during the summer months is that it stays light until late at night. This makes it harder to get to sleep. One way around this is to install blackout shades. They are available in a range of colors and styles and will block out the light. So, when your kids go to bed the room is dark. This creates the illusion of night and makes it much easier to sleep.
- Early To Bed And Early To Rise
Wake the kids up early each day. Don’t waste the mornings in bed. Make a healthy breakfast and talk about the day ahead. This extends the holiday and provides more time for fun activities. It will also make them tired at night and help them to sleep. I know you may be saying to yourself, “What parent wakes a sleeping child?” But keep in mind that by maintaining this routine you will also ensure the transition back to school is much smoother.
- Plan Some Activities
Don’t just leave everything to chance. Plan some activities in advance. On warm, sunny days get out of the house as much as possible. Go for walks or trips to the beach, if that’s an option. Or, spend some time in the garden. There’s lots you can do without having to leave your home.
A little structure is good and prevents boredom setting it. Though, allow a little flexibility too for spontaneous days out and activities.
- Plan Journeys Ahead Of Time
If you have a long journey ahead of you, plan this carefully. This will prevent kids from getting bored and help you to keep your sanity. Take some snacks for them to enjoy along the way. Provide them with some entertainment, whether it’s a CD or something to watch on a tablet, etc.
- If You Have To Work
Not everyone has the luxury of being at home with their kids during the summer break. Many of us have to work. If this is the case, plan your childcare carefully in advance. Look for clubs and activities your children can attend. Or, arrange for family or friends to look after them. Plan something special for when you have some time off too. And remember, you can still join the evenings with them. Do something a little bit different like a water fight in the garden. Or go to the cinema or for a walk.