Today I’m sharing my tips for how to survive the school holidays.
With a term break just around the corner there is so much to look forward to. Lazy mornings with no plans to rush for. Long bike rides through nature reserves, cake baking afternoons and of course, a reprieve from lunch box packing.
But we mums know the reality all too well.
Being woken ridiculously early with requests for the television to be turned on, carrying your shopping, 2 backpacks, a scooter and a toddler home from your treasure hunt adventure to the park, constant, relentless, never ending snack dispensing and that tight pain you feel across your chest when you hear the lego box being dragged from the cupboard.
I know. I’ve been there too.
Having a house full of energetic (are they this energetic during the term?), cabin fevered, sometimes bored children to manage takes imagination and forward thinking. Let me tell you how to survive the school holidays and what works for me.
How to Survive the School Holidays
Make one room your own
Choose a room in your home, for me it’s my bedroom (but I have been known to make do with my walk in robe) and make it out of bounds to children. Clean and organise this space. Put a lovely candle in there with a good book and a few magazines. This is your bali, your SAFE space, the one room in the house that you can rely on to be clean, orderly and free of sticky fingerprints and puzzle pieces. When things get a little too hectic and you need a few moments peace, to retreat, refocus and simply breathe.
Make the most of nature
Spend as much time outdoors as possible allowing kids to run, ride, play and generally burn off steam. This could simply be a walk around the block to collect stones (giving kids a purpose helps distract them from their poor, tired legs) or a timer set to see who can make it fifteen minutes non stop jumping on the trampoline.
Tip: If you want to get together with other families so the kids can play, meet at the park. Bring your coffee and some fruit and let them go crazy on the swing set, not in your good living room.
Create a ritual
Enforcing quiet time is perfectly acceptable on the holidays, especially after all that running around at the park. Set a time each day and create a ritual around it. For us, it was always an hour after lunch where the kids would watch a movie or as they got older, read and I would have a cup of tea and sit down. Create an association around the ritual especially for the holidays like a special box of DVDs or meditation CDs or a tent or teepee they can snuggle inside for quiet time only.
Tip: Resist the urge to make grand declarations such as “I am banning the television for the holidays, we don’t need it!”. Above all else, do not make life hard for yourself.
For more ideas and inspiration about how to keep things running smoothly in your home, download my eGuide Simple Ways to Smoother Mornings which is free when you subscribe to the Mamacino newsletter.
Get Kids in the Kitchen
We all know kids are constantly hungry when they are home so encourage them to start cooking and preparing some of their own snacks. It doesn’t have to be hard or even messy. Start with a fruit platter, some home made dips and maybe some yummy muffins.
I have put all my tried and tested, simple healthy recipes in one book that kids absolutely LOVE. You’ll find green spaghetti, fruity muffins, eggy bread, smoothies and more. All totally healthy, delicious and kid approved.
Kids in the Kitchen has become a resource well used by over 500 families. You can pick up a copy here and make the most of a special holiday offer I have just for you.
Tip: Dedicate a low shelf in the pantry to storing breakfast foods and daily snacks you are happy for your children to help themselves to. A big bowl of fruit, some granola, a jar of cookies, maybe some pop corn or corn chips are all easy options. Restock each day and make sure your kids understand that once the day’s supplies are gone, they won’t be refilled until the next day.
Ask for help…employ someone!
When I was running my business making and selling fresh, whole food granola and treats at our local farmers market, the holidays became a nightmare for me. I felt guilty when I was working because I wasn’t playing with the kids and I felt guilty when I was playing, knowing I was falling behind in my work. Then one day, I had a brain wave…I asked for help! I found a beautiful young girl in our neighbourhood who I could pay $10 an hour to help me. Sometimes she took the kids to the park so I could work or looked after them while I went to the supermarket. Other times, I got her packaging granola so I could finish faster and then have more time to relax. It was absolutely the best investment I have ever made. Total game changer.
Tip: There is often responsible, young people looking for a few casual hours of work around your local area. Make the most of them! I find paying someone who is willing and able so much easier than relying on friends and family all of the time.
There are lots of great resources around that you can make the most of during the school holidays. Local libraries often run free programs and shopping centres have lots of kids entertainment. We love taking trips to the Victoria Market and have been known to go for a tram ride around the city just because.
Tip: Pack your own lunch and snacks for these excursions to save time, money and…your sanity!
I hope I have given you some ideas for how to survive the school holidays. If you have any inspiration you can share with us, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Until then, make sure you take me up on my special 2 for 1 kids cook book offer…more details below.
2 for 1 offer on Kids in the Kitchen.
Let’s get kids inspired in the kitchen! If you want your kids to love nourishing, healthy food AND learn how to make it, pick up a copy of my book, Kids in the Kitchen, and start getting inspired NOW!
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