- Make a list of activities before the holidays. Then when you are bored or not sure what to do with the day, you can refer to it. It also means that at the end of the break you have achieved your goals. My list includes: visit my mum for her birthday, visit a local museum, visit the Jam Factory (an art gallery), have one friend each over to play, make ‘soggy squares’, follow our local stream wearing wellies. Don’t feel constrained by your list or feel you have to achieve it all but treat it as a starting point.
- Give each child a holiday project or two. Not only do they learn a new skill and have a sense of achievement, but it gives the day a ‘start’ and after doing one activity they happily get on with their own play. James is doing mental maths (only 10 minutes a day) and learning the time on an analogue clock, Sophie is learning to tie shoe laces and sounding out words, Ella may just learn to ride a bike. The younger ones don’t need projects, but don’t like to be left out either. Of course there are stickers for projects completed and a small reward. As it is such a long holiday, I may change the daily projects as the weeks progress.
- Have a space on their holiday chart for them to fill in what they enjoyed best on each day.
- After the first few lazy days, get up at a normal time, get dressed and tidy rooms and have some semblance of a routine. Otherwise it can all go pear-shaped and everyone is grumpy and out of sorts.
- If you can, carve out some ‘mummy time’. Even if it is a peaceful cup of tea with a magazine. I am also setting myself a photographic ‘holiday project’ as I need to still fulfil my creative needs.
- Let siblings strengthen their friendships with each other. There is no need to lay on the entertainment every minute of the day. And have fun!