In my early school holiday experiences, my daughter would ask me each and every morning as soon as she woke up: “mum what are we doing today?” I felt most unprepared, and a need to have her amused every waking moment – rookie mistake. So of course the next holidays, I tried to plan something for each and every day but that just made me feel tired and stressed, and by the time term started again, I felt like we needed another holiday!
After that I decided not to overdo on the planning. It has taken me a few years, but I now feel like I have found a good balance between too much and not enough. I have discovered that doing nothing often results in being tested by the kids and a healthy dose of mummy guilt, and too much will only result in a child returning to school tired. Here I have listed some classics that my kids love, and some that have become regular events during our holiday time.
Think local, think free, check your local council website for one off school holiday events.
- A new park
- An old park
- Feeding the ducks
- Fishing for older kids
- A good bike track
- The perfect picnic spot
- Walking tracks or a nature hunt
- The local library – often providing the masses with story time and information talks
- Play dates – nice and easy way to get the kids playing and chance for a cuppa and chat
- Bus or train into town – museums and galleries are a great place to start
- City festivals – fun, educational and won’t cost you an arm and a leg
- Special exhibitions or kids’ workshops or live performances
- Visiting Dad/Mum at work
- Indoor play areas
- Local shopping centre visiting activities such as plaster painting, or simply go for an ice-cream and a browse
- Pyjama days – good for everyone!
- Go to the movies
- Second hand shop shopping – cheap, easy and so much to find!
- Catch a ferry
- Go bowling
- Summer Essentials – pools, sprinkler and hose, BEACH!
- Try to take time for yourself – the space gives the chance to miss the little ones and appreciate the time with them
As explained above, unless it’s for your own benefit, there is really no need to fill each day with dates, activities, outings and stimulation. It’s a holiday people, it’s an allotted time for you all to rest, relax and recoup. Yes I know not much relaxing to be done with children running circles around you, but running circles around them isn’t the answer either.
Emma Eastman 2015