It didn’t take me long as a school mum to work out that there are two types of people in this world – those who love school holidays and those who don’t.
I fall into the love category because I love having everyone home. Mornings are easy, we can stay in our PJs until later, there no school lunches to make and everyone is just happier and enjoying a break from school and activities.
Now it’s not perfect and we have our fair share of quarrels going on and there are times I need to read out the riot act! I’ve also learnt that it’s not the time to decide to go screen free or ban the TV.
Once I got so cranky that everyone was watching TV all day that I pulled it all apart in a great big huff and pulled out all of the cords and packed everything away. The next day I had to get one of the kids to put it all back together and get the cords in the right places just for a little bit of peace and quiet! So I won’t pretend that our holidays are spent with perfectly behaved children (and parents!).
Another tip is don’t decide to start your extreme family budget during school holidays, it will only end in tears. You do need to spend some money and we like to see at least one movie during the holidays, we always take our own snacks as it’s expensive enough just taking one adult and seven children to the cinemas.
And with so many people home all day and every day over school holidays we also need to stock up the fridge and pantry. It’s also a great time to get the kids into the kitchen to make snacks and learn how to cook (and clean up).
And if you have any budding sewers or have been promising to teach your kids a craft then its a great time to do it with all the extra time you have on your hands. These holidays my 13-year-old wants to make loose pants and wrap skirts and my 11-year-old daughter wants to finish off the scrunchies we started last holidays.
And with the time spent at home it’s a great time to clear out wardrobes, toy tubs and cupboards. This won’t be a popular holiday activity with your children but I sell it as an opportunity to clean out your wardrobe and see what new clothes you’ll need.
That’s a better way to look at it and goes down well with the older kids. We buy new clothes for the older ones and pass down everything else to the youngest four. If you need some inspiration for cleaning and decluttering you can now watch videos on youtube of cleaning routines and watch someone else cleaning their house top to bottom – it does work. Trust me.
If your kids are telling you that they are bored then make sure you look at your council and library websites for free activities as there are now coding and fun activities that will keep kids busy without costing too much money.
There are also lots of holiday activities that cost a lot of money but we tend to just stick to a week of swimming lessons when it comes to paid holiday activities as everyone makes a lot of progress that week. It does feel like groundhog day when you go to the pool every single day for a week but it’s always worth it.
And when all else fails and the kids are driving each other crazy you just open the back door and send everyone outside or go to a park and sit in the sun supervising. Everyone needs some fresh air and sunshine and to get their sillies out.
Happy school holidays!