School Holidays. Do the two words strike terror or joy in your heart? Do you relish the chance to take your foot off the pedal and enjoy the time with your kids, or is it a mad panic of how you are going to keep them supervised when you are meant to be working?
Like them or loathe them, school holidays are actually a really important time for children of all ages. Let’s look a the reasons why...
A Break From The Schedule
During term time you probably follow a strict schedule of school or kindy, after school activities, homework, dinner, and bedtime. Then you get up and do it all again the next day. While the kids probably love school and their activities, it can be draining to have every moment of the week scheduled out.
When it is school holiday time school obviously takes a break, and so do most of the extracurricular activities. It is a great excuse to have more freedom in your days and not have every minute accounted for.
A Time To Slow Down
We live our modern lives at a crazy pace. With full schedules and so much to do, there isn’t much chance for down time. The school holidays are the perfect chance for going slow. And you can go slow with everything to recharge those batteries.
Take the scenic route if you go anywhere, stay in your PJs until lunchtime, have brunch instead of early morning breakfasts. Take the opportunity to slow down and take your foot off the accelerator for a short while.
A Time For Imagination
As I have said already, there isn’t much chance for down time during the school term. So your kid’s imaginations can get a bit dusty and unused. The school holidays is the perfect time to dust them off for imaginative play, story writing, reading, putting on a performance, dancing or arts and crafts.
A Time To Reconnect
The school holidays are the best opportunity for family time. Reconnect with each other after a hectic term of playing taxi, nagging about homework, policing sibling fights and cajoling them into doing things. You don’t have to do anything overly exciting or expensive, just take the time to have fun together. Go for a walk to the park, ride bikes, play board games, sing songs, or whatever you love to do together.
A Time To Be Themselves and Do What They Love
Sometimes hobbies can fall by the wayside when there is so much other stuff to do. So the school holidays can give your kids the time to reignite their passion for photography, art, science experiments, walking the dog, or anything else they enjoy.
They can also just be. There is no pressure of a schedule. If they want to read a book all day then let them do it.
A Time For Boredom
Kids hate being bored, but it is actually good for them. It teaches them to rely on their own ideas and resources. Don’t feel like you need to be a constant source of entertainment for them. Let them get bored and then let them solve their own boredom.
A Time For Rest
Lying in bed and knowing that you don't have to get up to be anywhere is the best feeling in the world. It truly makes you feel rested. The school holidays are the chance to recharge depleted batteries, to sleep in and to not feel guilty about doing it!
A Time For Adventures
You don't get many opportunities for family adventures during the term, so take advantage of the school holidays to get away for a couple of days, or to head out to somewhere you wouldn't normally go. Discover new places, see new things and even meet new people. Open your kids eyes to new experiences and joy.
The reality is that sometimes the school holidays can be a juggle, especially if you are a working parent. But take your opportunities where you can. If you work from home, allocate time that is specifically family play time and then time that is dedicated for work. If you are employed full time, try and take a day off, or even finish early one day to reconnect with the kids.
School holidays really are vital for young brains to relax, recharge and to just be a kid.