“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”―Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride
Although the children might be looking forward to a few weeks without school, many parents – working or not – dread these long summer weeks. Bored kids underfoot are a recipe for disaster, and the only way to cope with this is planning.
Plan ahead as much as possible, from dinners and activities to outings and playdates. Team up with other parents in your area to take turns with outings or activities. Plan shopping ahead of time, so that you don’t have to spend hours in the supermarket or mall with kids in tow.
As it is the festive season, and we have already written about the art of giving, why not get a group of children together and get them going on a gift project? Older children can bake cookies, which the younger ones can decorate. Even small fingers can help with stickers and labels, or bows for the gift bags. Simple brown paper bags make great containers, are eco-friendly, and can be decorated individually. Look here for some creative ideas. If you and your family celebrate Christmas you can make some basic decorations with your children. Get them to cut and staple together strips of paper for colourful paper strings, or make simple snowflake bunting out of good old fashioned paper doilies and ribbon.
Throw out all your unused toys and games on the floor, and ask your children sort these out for a possible donation – they might even rediscover some old favourites and keep themselves busy in the process.
Many of us are lucky enough to be able to take a vacation as a family, or at least have some leisure time for a group outing. This Travelstart site is great, and can help you plan some activities that you can do with your kids as a family. It is organised into provinces, with some low-key and cost effective options in each area, so you are bound to find something that suits you.
Remember, kids also don’t have to be scheduled to death and always entertained…boredom is often the seedbed for originality and innovation. We might be a #tech company, but we do value old fashioned creativity and downtime, so we suggest that you take a morning to turn off all electronic gadgets, and leave your children to their own devices. “We have an activity bias,” according to a recent Time magazine article. “But creativity can happen in these quiet moments if you don’t panic because you are bored.”
We do hope that you and your children will have a wonderful holiday, whether you are making crafts together, or just taking the time to do nothing.