One of the best parts about being a kid are the school holidays. Weeks on end with no school, no homework and days full of fun, friends and freedom.
Sometimes the routines you’ve created for your child can fall apart during the holidays and rebuilding them in time for the return to school can be a monumental task- but it doesn’t have to be that way this year.
By keeping a holiday routine, you can make this adjustment easier for you and your child so everyone can have happier, healthier holidays.
Kids thrive on routine. It can help them feel safe and secure as well as helping them build healthier habits.
Whether you’re spending the holidays at home or visiting somewhere new, these tips will help you keep on top of your families' healthy habits all while preparing to make the transition back to school go as smoothly as possible when the time comes.
Don't dismiss screentime rules
Just because school’s out it doesn’t mean screentime rules have to get thrown out the window.
Spending time on screens is all part of balanced play but should be limited to set times and durations each day, and if you haven’t come up with a screen routine for your family, now is a great time to start.
This will look different for each family depending on your needs, but some examples of a screen routine could be letting kids spend half an hour after dinner or an hour in the afternoon on their devices and keeping them in a cupboard or drawer for the rest of the day.
Make sure kids know the rules and your expectations. It helps to keep a screen time timetable on the fridge outlining the rules, so everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Keeping to a screen routine will also make it easier to get some control over your child’s device usage once the holidays are over, meaning hopefully no tantrums when they iPad gets switched off.
Keep up a holiday bedtime routine
We all know kids love staying up late!
We also know how much of a struggle it is getting them out of bed and ready for school once the holidays are over.
Keeping a holiday bedtime routine will make the transition back to school much easier for kids and parents, as well as making sure kids get enough sleep.
Sleep is vital for everyone, and a good sleep will mean your child has enough energy to go on adventures and enjoy their holidays.
A bedtime routine is a fantastic way to prepare kids for sleep and can be something as simple as turning off devices an hour before bed, reading a book or having a glass of warm milk.
Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is also helpful, and you can adjust this by putting the kids to bed and waking them up ten minutes earlier each day for a week or so in preparation for the school year.
Play around with a few different things and see what works the best for your child.
Try to have set mealtimes
Eating meals as a family has so many amazing benefits that we’ve already written a post about it.
Besides strengthening the bonds between family members and encouraging healthy eating habits, set mealtimes can act as anchor points throughout your day.
This can make it a bit easier for kids stick to a routine as mealtimes break the day into blocks so activities can be planned around meals.
Planning your child’s day around mealtimes can also help them adjust better when they return to school. If possible, try having lunch and snacks at the same time of day as your child’s school.
Holidays are a great opportunity to get kids involved in the kitchen as well as they learn about cooking, different fruits and vegetables and develop responsibility through helping with cleaning and setting the table.
Keeping on top of screentime, making sure kids have a sleep routine and eating meals at set times are three fantastic ways to keep to a routine these holidays.
This will make it easier for everyone to enjoy their holidays and make the return to school a little less stressful.