I love the school holidays. I love spending time with my little darlings (are you getting the sarcasm here?), no really I do love spending time with Mini and Maxi, they are actually becoming great company and are fun to be with and I miss them once school starts again. So I try to make sure I spend quality time with them once the school term starts.
Do not overschedule kids
This is my biggest tip. The boys have two out of school activities a week, Cubs and Football and I am a huge believer in not filling up kids free time with activities. Children need to have freedom and time to unwind after the regimented school day.
Screen free time
We have a rule that screens are turned off at 6pm until the boys bedtimes (apart from movie night). This gives us quality time for reading, listening to music, gardening, walking, baking, playing games, jigsaws, arts and crafts or just chatting.
One of the times that I love most is when me and the boys or one of the boys spend time in the kitchen together. I cook at least one meal a week with each of them, more and more they are taking charge and I am just directed by them as to what to do. We menu plan together too.
This is one of the most important parts of parenting in my opinion. We eat together as a family as often as we can. At the moment that is five nights out of seven and we also have breakfast together too. There are so many benefits to sitting at the table together without interruptions (we have a no electronics at meal times rule). We have conversations, debates, chats and tell stories. Even one night a week makes a big difference. Make it special.
Insist on family time
This is easy for me as my boys are only eight and nine, but when I was growing up at least one day at the weekend was designated family time. We have continued this tradition and spend the weekend as a family. We try and go out and have an experience one of those day.
Family Game night
One night a week is designated as family game night. As soon as the dinner plates are tidied away the games come out and we have competitive fun until bedtime.
Family Movie Night
We also have family movie night one night a week, now this might not always be a movie, it could be a TV show that we all want to watch, but the thing is we watch it together. We turn off electronics and grab snacks and cuddle up together.
Family Dog Walks
Since getting Alvin we have walked together more as a family. We get outside together more, even if it is just for a ten minute walk. We aim for one short walk a day, this can either be all together or one adult with one child. It gives us one on one time with the children and enables us to have a good chat.
I have had this post in my drafts and then KC Edventures posted a fantastic post about how to spend more time with the kids during school and I have to share it too.