boys playingSo the children break up from school, and all of a sudden parents and carers are faced with children who need entertaining to ensure a calm but stimulating environment. We all know that when children break from their usual routine, they feel free and are ready to enjoy their holidays to the maximum! This can sometimes be chaotic and difficult at first but with a little planning beforehand, it should hopefully run as smoothly as possible (even if you are a little exhausted by the end of it!).

Whether you stay at home during the holidays or have somebody care for your children, it’s wise to have some activities up your sleeve so you don’t need to arrange trips out everyday. There are an array of things that you can get stuck into without even leaving the house that will keep children happy during the holidays, of course it isn’t always possible to entertain them all the time, and it’s okay for kids to spend some amounts of time alone and feeling a little bored as they learn during self play, and love exploring their own imaginations, which is also essential for their development.

Balancing work and life can be tough for working parents, so let’s look at some top tips to help this balance find harmony.

So the good part is that we all know when the holidays are going to be and for how long so that gives up the heads up with regards to planning and thinking about your family’s likes and dislikes. Thinking about what children like to do can help everyone to get involved. You can get a separate calendar so everyone knows where they need to be and what is going to be happening on a particular day.

Tips for having stress free school holidays

  • Don’t cram too much in! It can be just as detrimental to over-stimulate, as it is to under-stimulate. So just bare in mind that children need some quiet time throughout the day. This could be reading, some time to themselves or some self-play.
  • Have variety whilst having routine. When children attend school; they have a routine where they know what is happening next, so the same goes for the holidays. This could be having breakfast and then completing an activity and then having some quiet time before moving onto lunch and afternoon activities.
  • Arrange play dates. Children love playing with other children and will often pass many hours playing together without even realising, so this can help parents and carers to get tasks done or just have some downtime during the busy schools holidays. Sometimes having a new face around the house can help mix things up a bit and help children to keep entertained.
  • Look at activities in the home. This can be baking, arts and crafts, building Lego, making train tracks, role play, looking for bugs in the garden and finding out what they are, treasure hunts, the list is endless. There are some great resources across the web which can be found with a quick search.
  • Get children in the garden if there is one available or create an indoor play space with blankets etc to allow children some free time to explore their imaginations!
  • Ask children what they would like to do and try to incorporate this into the day. You could even make it into a theme when you do other things to help children make connections.
  • Plan a reward or treat system to keep children focused and hopefully assist with good behaviour. Of course there will be times when children will test their carers, but remember this is normal part of everyday life with children. When thinking of reward systems, you can tailor this to each child by using things they will respond to.
  • Plan meal times to ensure children are well fed. This can also act as a way of getting children involved. They can help by preparing food, which can help them feel involved and independent.

Overall the school holidays can be a testing time for any parent or carer, things can go wrong, children may fight or you may feel tired of thinking of things to do everyday, but remember the holidays can be a time where you get to spend lots more time together and can be an enjoyable experience if you prepare yourselves before hand! Enjoy them!