When people ask whether you're taking some time off for Christmas, it can be tempting to laugh in their face if you have small kids. Taking a holiday with kids can be anything but restful. And when you're at your wit's end, you'd be forgiven for putting them in front of Paw Patrol and drinking your coffee in peace.
So, today we're going to look at a few things you can do to make the school holidays go more smoothly and calmly for everyone.
We get it, you're tired and the little tykes wake up at an ungodly hour. But if you start your day off with Peppa, be sure you'll be bugged for it all day long. Blogger and mom of three boys, Beth from Days with Grey created the Breakfast Invitations.
The idea is that you set a 5-minute activity up the night before and when the kids get up they have at it while you look on with your coffee. They might not love every activity, but if you try it often enough, they get the idea. One activity often leads to more play and voila: you've set them up for imaginative play right from the get-go!
Activities don't have to be expensive! Getting outside is a great reset for everyone. Head to the park for a bike ride, to the beach to dig in the sand and swim, or to hike in the forest. Kids love to be outside and it should inspire them to play, run and generally not whine for the TV every two seconds.
It's one activity that's still mostly free! With a library card and a bit of time, kids can choose their own books and keep them out for as long as they like. Most libraries also run a holiday programme of sorts too, so keep an eye out for that, too.
Look, it doesn't have to be Friday, but it works. Designate one day per week for a fun, sometimes paid activity. Make a list of all the things your kids want to do and stick it up on the fridge. Then, your kids - if you have more than one - can take turns choosing what to do on the Fun-Day. Things like visiting the Science Centre, a waterpark, or a play zone.
When all else fails, add music. No matter your kids' ages, pump some music and dance! You can invite friends around or keep it in the family. A little dance party is like a reset button for everyone and it's fun!
There will be a sticking point in your day, it's almost inevitable. There's loads of research to say that excessive screen time isn't good for kids, but if you use it as a tool it can be helpful. Maybe it's getting breakfast ready or dinner on the table. Allow your kids to watch TV during the sticking point in your day to allow you to do something else. If you build it into your routine, then they'll know it's coming and (hopefully) not whine for it all day.
It's the holidays and it should be restful for you too. If you're exhausted and all out of imagination, cut yourself some slack. A PJ day, eating popcorn for dinner, watching a movie with the kids - it's all OK. You don't have to be the five-star Pinterest parent all day every day."
With the holidays fast approaching, we hope these ideas help to make your days more holiday and less torment. Here's hoping!"