Monday, July 9, 2007

School Holidays

Well today is the first day of our mid year School Holidays and the kids are fighting like cat and dog. *sigh* I know they'll settle down once they get used to being home (and once the 3 year old adjusts to having his "turf" invaded). At least I *hope* things settle down.

I'm trying really hard to be proactive rather than reactive but it's not always easy. I remember in the past people talking about all the things they planned to do with their kids in the holidays and wondering when their kids got to have a break. I think though, as kids get older, they get more and more *used* to being entertained and the holidays can tend to drag on.

One thing I do want is for my kids to look back on their school holidays as a positive time.

So in an effort to be "proactive" I have posted a list of reminders for the school holidays on the fridge. Here's a copy of it:

JULY SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

Everyone would like to have an enjoyable school holiday, so here are some things to remember:

• Speak nicely to one another. Think about how your voice may sound.

• Be tolerant

• Respect one another’s need for space

• Get one activity out at a time. When you move onto something else, pack away what you’ve gotten out so that we don’t have a BIG job to do at the end of the day.

• It’s cold and wet a lot at the moment so keep your eyes open for opportunities to go outside (when it’s sunny and not too cold) as there may not be many – and it’s good to get some fresh air when you can.

• You can watch TV until 10am and after 4pm but everything MUST be packed up before the TV goes on in the afternoons. Other times will be by negotiation and dependent on the weather.

• Remember to eat breakfast!

I've also posted a list of ideas for snacks. I just hate it when the kids are constantly asking what they can have to eat. Here's the list I came up with so far:

JULY SCHOOL HOLIDAYS – FOOD

If you’re hungry and would like a snack, the best thing to do is decide on what you’d like to eat before asking mum or dad if you can have it. So instead of coming and saying “can I have something to eat”, you come and ask “can I please have a biscuit” (this is just an example).

Snack Ideas:

• Fruit (need to have piece of fruit in between other snacks)
• Toast
• Biscuits
• Popcorn
• Baked goods (eg bun, cake or whatever we have made)
• Sultanas
• Yoghurt
• Cheese


I've also posted a list of *special* activities for each day. I have a few things in the cupboard that are only gotten out during times like school holidays. The kids have access to all their toys plus some writing/drawing things - but these are little extras that they don't have regular access to.

So far we have:

* Hama Beads - these are a great low mess craft activity. Small plastic beads are put onto a peg type board and when the design is complete - you iron them so that the beads fuse together.

* Special Craft Box - with pipe cleaners, pom poms, googly eyes, popsticks and all kinds of things for making.

* Special Textas - magic markers, erasable textas, blendy pens, stampers. Over time we've collected some different kinds of textas that are great for rainy days or a school holiday treat.

* Card making - if we have a birthday or special occasion coming up.

* Craft Kits from Cheap as Chips. I have some that you make up little creatures with and some that are a sewing activity to make a puppet.

* Bubbles - for outside play. We seem to have collected all kinds of different bubble blowers. Straws make great bubble blowers too.

* Cooking - a great one for entertainment and also to provide those much needed snacks that the kids are constantly looking for during the holidays.

* DVD day - where the kids are allowed to watch DVD's all day (instead of being restricted to certain times of TV watching).

For each of our home days, I've allocated just 1 special activity for the day. Most of the day the kids fill in their own time. But by having 1 special activity to look forward to each day, I'm hoping that my children will look back on their school holidays with good memories.

Tomorrow we're having an outing to town to do the grocery shopping. While we're there we'll visit the library and have a special lunch at the bakery. I don't find it possible (or even necessary) to go out each and every day but an outing every now and then helps break things up a bit.

What ways do you tackle the school holidays and what types of things do your kids enjoy doing? I always enjoy hearing new ideas and what other people are doing.

2 comments:

emma said...

Hi Jodi,

That all sounds brilliant and I might borrow some ideas, I think - although school starts back next week for us.

I usually do a table and get the kids to pick something to do that day - bit like your idea, except ours are mostly outings, eg go to the park, library story reading but we haven't really done that this hols. One idea that I had (and haven't done) was that it would be pretty cool to make a scrapbook of the holidays...

Boys have been at vacation care three days this holidays and C has his 5th birthday tomorrow (my baby! sob sob lol) so they've been busyish this hols anyway.

lightening said...

I haven't quite reached the baby hitting 5 yet but I can imagine how hard it must be. :-( It's sort of a mixed feelings thing isn't it - it's great watching them grow up and celebrating new milestones and yet hard at the same time.