Many parents find school holidays long and draining, I LOVE them. I look forward to them with all my heart. Time to just be, catch up on life, slow down and re-connect.
I have found that over the last year or two we have created some Holiday Habits or rituals. It has meant that everyone still feels like life is full of goodness, while we slow to a calmer pace. These habits don't exclude other things happening, or are they essential elements, more thoughts that influence our weeks together.
I thought with this summer holiday being the longest of the bunch, I might share with you some of our habits and hope it helps you enjoy the last two weeks before the routines and timetables kick back in...
(I've just had the thought that maybe these habits are more my way of 'organising' my down time to feel comfortable.... I'll think more on that...)
Habits... Each holiday we...
- Organise Playdates - particularly with new budding friendships. Where a one-on-one day can really boost the momentum. Holidays also provide the opportunity for extended play, we live a decent drive away from school, so most of our play dates are at friends houses. The holidays are a great time to have people come to us.
- Cook delicious things - Both the kids scour the cookbooks and select their choice (free reign) of something delicious to bake, often something we wouldn't usually cook.
- Excursions - Canberra is FULL of great and often free places to go and visit. The kids put in their choice of the place they want included in their holiday happenings. Sometimes this is a full day journey, others as simple as a favourite park.
- Movies - We look at the up coming movies and treat ourselves to a family movie adventure (Dad usually takes a long lunch on this day)
- Art Projects - Although we do a lot of art exploration most days, in the holidays each of the kids picks a special art project to work on. One holiday it was a mosaic, this holiday it has been beading, others a canvas for their room.
- Gardening - Again something we do often, but this is often the time that we get into a garden project together. A new garden bed, the re-visioning of an old bed, a new playspace etc.
- Going Bush - My favourite :) We make a day a week (if not more) to spend in the bush, by the river, find a beach, go for a bush walk, anywhere as long as it is outside and there is space to explore and play.
These habits keep our holidays pretty full. They also give the kids a sense of ownership on their down time. Some control, but also provide many rich opportunities for me to be deeply engaged with the kids and give them my full attention. Which I believe is worth all the money in the world.
There is also the delicious long mornings and realising it is lunch and we are all still in our PJ's :)
What do you embrace in the holidays? Has your family formed any rituals? Please share!