School’s out! Yay! No more lunches or morning rush hour for a while. Also, I get to spend some nice quantity of time with my boys.
Six weeks to be exact.
Six. Long. Weeks.
Now, I am the sort of mum who doesn’t make plans on the weekend. I prefer to live in the moment and do what we feel like when we feel like it as a family. As such, I don’t have anything scheduled or organised for the holidays.
But six weeks is a long time. My hubs can’t take hols, so there is no vacay on the cards to break it up or to share the load. I also have to work a little, but I still need to juggle.
As I stare into the weeks ahead, and consequential “I’m bored” whines, I’m thinking I need a bit of a game plan. A plan for a non-planner if you will.
Here’s what I’ve come up with.
Workdays need to be planned for
Thankfully, my parents are on deck to help out during the two days a week that I work. But even they will need some ‘what to do’ inspo. I’m thinking picnics, days at the beach and nature walks are right up their alley. They are more the ‘best things in life are free’ types, which is great because so are my boys. I will lend them my car which has a national parks sticker so they can go exploring.
These days need to be planned for. I work from home and my little loves (aged six and four) need to be out of the house. I will also plan the below with some other working parents so it’s not all on the grandparents.
Book up reciprocal play dates
My boys are so much easier and happier when they have a friend over. I also know I’m not the only one thinking to myself, ‘will I survive these holidays?’ As such, I will touch base with the boys’ friends parents now, just to suss out what their school holidays plans are. Then I need to book in some reciprocal play dates, so we give each other a break or help each other out if we are working.
Time to send some texts.
I’m also going to plan some outings that are more about the journey than the destination.
My boys LOVE buses, trains and ferries (we are in Sydney), so I will make some days ‘transport adventures’ where we ride public transport just to get ice cream or play at a different playground.
Do a school holidays reward chart
One thing that I know is going to send me around the twist is if my boys get lazy and don’t clean up their toys or do what I’ve asked (inevitable!).
For this reason, I am going to create a school holidays sticker chart. This is just for the holidays and will act as a reward system. So, so many stars for good behaviour, doing chores or being responsible for themselves will earn them some holidays fun.
Which brings me to the next point.
Have some school holiday special days
A special day is something that we won’t do too often as it costs money. It might be a trip to the movies to see a film they are excited about (for my eldest this is Star Wars!), a visit to the zoo, the travelling circus which is in town or spending the day in the city to visit the museum and have lunch with dad.
And lots of free days
As well as the ‘special days’, I want these holidays to be about freedom and unwinding. So some days will be lazy beach days, others will be ‘veg out in front of a movie days because that’s what we feel like doing’ days.
So I guess I want to have a bit of a school hols game plan, so I don’t get stressy, but I also don’t want to over plan.
Have some at-home fun in mind
I’m also going to have a little think about some activities we can do at home on the days we don’t have an outing or a friend over. I am all for my kids thinking up their own fun, playing together or just being bored so they work out what to do themselves, but if I need to pull a rabbit out of my hat for some peace, we will:
- Make playdough
- Do a puzzle
- Build a forte
- Bake biscuits (and have the ingredients on hand)
- Paint some rocks to make pet rocks
- Have crafternoons with the googly eyes and pipe cleaners, that sort of thing.
Have screen rules
I know the holidays will be a huge temptation for my boys to sit in front of a screen. For this reason, I need to be clear with them about when it’s allowed and when it’s not. I’m thinking first thing in the morning so I am not up at the crack of dawn and while I am cooking dinner, is a good time for screens.
If I explain this to them (using pictures helps) as a school holidays rule now, rather than scream it at them in the moment, then hopefully I can keep reminding them of the rule, instead of losing it.
Stock the pantry
One of the things that bugs me the most when my kids are home is how much they snack. While I eat three bigger meals a day, they are grazers. As such, I will plan to stay on top of the shopping and make sure the fruit bowl is brimming and the pantry stocked.
Wish me luck, I hope this isn’t a case of best-laid plans …