Can you believe it’s that time already? The July school holidays are upon us and I’m wondering where the heavens-to-betsy Term 2 went? WHERE DID IT GO?
My kids were SO ready for school holidays by the end of term but the thing is, school holidays are anything but relaxing for my two!
Well, they can relax if they choose to. Sometimes they’ll make themselves scarce and go off to do their own thing. But we have so much going on with extra school-aged visitors to the house for school holiday care as well as most of my regular pre-school children, that there are always things happening that they just can’t resist. You know, fun stuff! They rarely ever get to lounge around in their pyjamas, unless it’s a planned pyjama day which we’ve often done. That’s when we ALL wear our pyjamas – daycare kids, my own kids and me. We haven’t done that in a while though. I think it’s time we did! Other than that, LD and H are up and dressed ready to start their day by about 7.30-8.00 am when the daycare kids start to arrive. That’s just how it is around here.
So, how do we fill our days?
We keep busy.
I find that, given the opportunity to make their own fun, most kids usually will. Yes they will! Take their screens and gadgets away, steel yourself for ‘I’m bored’ for a while, and then see what happens. And even if they do struggle to find something to do, a suggestion or two from me sends them off using my idea together with their own imagination and they’ll make up their own games.
One of their favourites is to arrange animal figures on the floor and then one or two children have to leave the room. The children that remain in the room make changes, ever so subtle changes to the arrangement. Then they tell the others to come back in. The children who come back in have to work out or guess what changes were made while they were out. And then it’s their turn to do the changing. It’s a memory game I guess. So simple! But they love the challenge and it keeps them busy for ages!
Here’s some of the other things we like to get up to during school holidays.
Sometimes we just go for a stroll and collect random things. Other times I give the kids a list of things to find – a feather, an unusual rock, a flower, a leaf etc. They love the challenge of this too and it creates lots of discussion and sharing in the celebration when someone finds something really awesome. Like kangaroo poo. Woohoo! 😀
Our nature walks might be a walk along the road, down the back paddock or a visit to the nature reserve not far from where we live.
Sensory Guessing Game
Last time we nature walked we followed up with a game where each child was blindfolded and handed a ‘thing’ that had been picked up on our walk. The blindfolded child had to describe how the thing felt and try to name what it was. It was a lot of fun. Everyone had a turn.
A $16 roll of paper I bought from our local newspaper a few years ago is one of the best investments I ever made. It’s perfect for creating big art projects that all of the kids can get involved with.
Look, I know it might make the average Mama or Papa bear cringe at the thought but honestly, if you want to keep kids occupied and engaged in play the way it used to be, then giving them the freedom to get messy never fails.
Making play dough is popular here as well as outdoor sand and water play. Primary school aged kids are not too old for messy play, even though they might like to think they are. When I have seven children in care ranging in ages from one to eleven years, our makeshift outdoor sand and water kitchen is a winner, as long as there are no party poopers about saying that it’s not cool.
Why are some kids these days in such a hurry to grow up?
We also do lots of singing and dancing. There’s always music playing. And then when it’s time for the younger children to rest after lunch the big kids settle in to watch a movie or play the WiiU at the other end of the house. They love to have tennis and boxing tournaments or ‘dance offs’ on the WiiU.
So that’s what’ll be going on around here in the next two weeks.
What’s happening in your neck of the woods? I’d love to hear how your kids spend their holidays, daycare or otherwise. Have you got time off? Will you have children in your care?