As of today, my three kids have one week left before their spring holiday break. And I’m in planning and preparation mode.
There is nothing worse than bored children, or children who have overdosed on DVDs and computers and Xbox games. So #1 priority for me is to provide enticing ACTIVE-ities to get those young bodies out doors and moving.
My kids range in age from 7 to 15, so there are very few ‘one size fits all’ solutions to my quandry of what to do with them for two whole weeks. Especially while I try to continue to get some work done.
So I have been doing some research and planning, and lots of discussion with G about how we handle things these holidays. We arent going to go away – we did that last holidays… but here are some of our ideas and plans:
1. Go Outside! Will be the #1 catch cry in our home. The weather is perfect at the moment. Beautiful sunny days without it being too hot (unlike the Christmas holidays), just perfect for riding bikes and shooting hoops and jumping on trampolines, and going on adventures down the back gully…
2. day trips to the Sunshine Coast, with body surfing for the younger two, a chair and mag for Mum and Dad, and another surfing lesson for teenboy. With a nice lunch thrown in for good measure. Will probably do one or two of these, spaced out over the two weeks (avoiding weekends).
3. Designated ‘movie’ days – the kids have been making their list of the new movies they want to see. They need to be in agreement on these. Willy Wonka is a definite starting favourite. I will pay and taxi for two such movie days (although odds on teenboy will want to go with his mates a couple of times also – but those trips HE pays for).
4. G will be taking teenboy out to his cousin’s property a couple of hours west of here. They both love it, it’s great father-son time, and it gets them out into a totally different environment for a few days.
5. My daughter has already signed up for day camp at her second home – the riding school. And there will also be ‘helper’ days, where she goes for the day to assist with the younger riders and mucks out stables, and cleans horses, and does whatever needs to be done. This is great life lessons for her – and she does it out of love for the horses.
6. Which leaves a few days with master-7. And I know that if he is left to his own devices, he would play xbox games all day. With only minimal breaks for food and drink. So, my research for today is into activities for him, and discussions with the Mum’s of his friends to see what trades we can do to keep our boys occupied.
7. And – because it’s spring – there will be an obligatory clean out of each of their rooms. I will give them the choice, spend the better part of a day going through all the stuff in their room (outgrown clothes, old school books, broken and outgrown toys, mouldy socks under the bed and goodness knows what else….) to get it done in one swoop, or else do one hour each day until it is done. Their choice.
I am a firm believer in letting kids be kids, and encouraging them to use their imaginations and be outdoors as much as possible and not filling their lives to the brim with activities. So all the above will not detract from that philosophy. I will be encouraging chilling out, letting them just be kids and relax. After all – isnt that what holidays are for?