School holidays are here!

Can you believe school holidays are almost upon us again? Didn’t we just start the year?

Having your kids at home for a few weeks might sound heavenly or maybe you find it a hard slog (it’s probably a bit of both). However you feel about it, school holidays go more smoothly for everyone with a little bit of preparation.

Here are some tips to help get you on the front foot these holidays.

Discover your family activity profile
The first step to planning your school holidays is to figure out your family activity profile. What I mean by that is, as a family, do you like to be busy exploring and attending events all the time, or do you prefer lots of down time to read and potter around the house?

Most families would have a combination of different preferences, but if you all enjoy the same thing, that makes planning much easier! For our family, we find it works well to go out and do an activity in the morning and then have a slower afternoon at home.

Loosely structured days
Go on, admit it – one of the best things about holidays is not having to make school lunches, right? Not having to do school drop-offs and pick-ups is one of the benefits of school holidays – it’s refreshing to have some unscheduled time! However, you might find that if you go completely the other way – no routine, whatsoever – the house will quickly descend into chaos.

Try sticking to roughly the same meal times every day, and make sure you have rest time scheduled in every day. Mandatory rest time.

When I was a kid, my parents mandated “Sunday siesta” after lunch every weekend. We didn’t have to sleep but the rules were that we had to be on our beds, with our feet off the floor and completely silent. It felt unfair as a kid, but as a mum, I totally get it!

Plan your groceries in advance
Do a big grocery shop before school breaks up or order your groceries online to be delivered. Going shopping with all the kids in tow can cause more stress than it’s worth, especially if they aren’t used to it.

Alternatively, taking the kids grocery shopping could become a fun outing for them. Give each kid a list of items they are responsible for finding and putting in the trolley. Make sure to buy lots of healthy snacks and fresh fruit, as well as meals that will be quick and easy to prepare.

Make a list
Together with the kids, make a list of all the activities and events you want to do (both at home and out).

Include things like:
– Playgrounds you want to visit
– Museums and indoor activity centres
– Special events in your area
– Shops you’ve been meaning to check out
– Cafes to try
– Friends to invite for a playdate
– Food you want to cook (and eat)

Put all these things on the list, and then you won’t run out of ideas for what to do!

School holidays don’t have to be a trial to be endured. With a little planning and forethought, they can be a wonderful time to bond and make memories with your children.

And remember that while holidays might be hard work for you, the break from routine and daily focus is so important for their little minds!

Jessica Harvey
Coordinator, Tuggeranong MOPS


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