Are you all set for the winter school holidays? If reading that induced a groan, you’re certainly not alone. How will you keep the kids occupied, the house from turning into a disaster zone, and your sanity? Never fear, here are some ideas for school holiday cheer.

1. Create an activities calendar

What’s the number one thing you don’t want to hear over the holidays? “I’m bored!” One solution is to go into the holidays fully prepared with an activities calendar. Entertainment options don’t have to be over the top, as long as they provide a few hours of fun distraction. Mark each day with an activity, such as having a movie day, making something crafty, learning how to bake a cake, going for a family bike ride or having a tea party.

2. Give the kids a surprise to look forward to

Giving the kids a surprise to look forward to is great incentive for them to keep the house clean, finish chores or stop screaming as they run up and down the hallway. Plan a couple of outings you know they’ll love, like a trip to an amusement park or a ten pin bowling day. Don’t tell them where you’re going, just that it’s going to be an adventure. The anticipation alone should keep them occupied and well behaved...for a few hours at least!

3. Organise a holiday party

The good thing about the school holidays is that everyone’s in the same boat. Get your friends and family on board to throw a party for all the kids. In the days leading up to the party, allocate jobs to ensure they’re included in the organisation, like making decorations, crafting invites or choosing music playlists. To save yourself the trouble of catering, hire a hot dog cart. Hot dogs snuggled into pillowy fresh buns and smothered in a choice of relishes top the list of fun party foods, and best of all, there’s no clean up required at the end. 

4. Learn something new

Setting goals and offering small rewards is a great way to blend education with fun over the holidays. Depending on the interests and ages of your children, the sky’s the limit in terms of goals to meet. They could learn to play a new song on their favourite instrument, invent something, paint a picture, finish reading a book, perfect a few sentences of a foreign language, or make up a dance routine. Set a date towards the end of the holidays and celebrate the successes (or efforts) before school goes back.

5. Change up the scenery

One of the hardest things about school holidays is keeping the kids occupied inside, especially when it’s cold and rainy outside. After a day or two, they hate their toys, the food on the table and, most of all, each other. Providing you have friends or family with children, take turns in hosting everyone at each other’s homes. This way, the kids have new friends and toys to play with, and you get to indulge in some adult time.

In an ideal world, these tips should help to keep everyone happy. If not, just remind yourself that the school holidays don’t last forever – and have another hot dog!