The Easter Holidays are a bit of a weird affair. It marks the end of Spring term and the start of Summer term. It is invariable at different fortnightly intervals across the UK, making the planning of meeting up with family near and far a pigging nightmare!
Here is how we survive the Easter Holidays with a teen & a pre-schooler:
1. Let Them Pick
Every week we do a meal plan and shopping list. It is a total pain in the backside sometimes to decide on 7 meals that everyone will enjoy. So to make life easier I let them all pick one dinner they want. That leaves me with my own choice plus 3 more random dinners. Time saver, headache preventer and all round winner so far!
We also have a jar with ‘Days Out’ lollipop sticks in. They each got to pick a few treat days out that they wanted. That way they each get to pull a stick out, one for each week, and those become our ‘treat days’. The best thing is, the majority of their choices are cheap and cheerful, so win all-round!
2. Lowered Expectations
Weather is the least of my worries during the school holidays. Brooding teenagers and four-nagers are greater cause for concern. There will absolutely be a day when one or the other, or even both, will be brooding, moody and uncooperative. On those days it is best to just take a deep breath and let your expectations for a ‘lovely day’ go – there is always tomorrow and if they still play up, I remind myself that they are the one’s missing out.
Keep It Simple Stupid – PJ’s, duvet, Netflix, hot tea, pancakes and chill. Maybe a picnic in the garden if the weather is nice, if not they can make a den and eat in there. The vac needed to come out anyway. Plus I get to have a chilled day and drink hot tea. It’s a win/win.
4. Keep It Local
We are so blessed to live in a town that has the benefits of being a short train ride to Birmingham City Centre, a 5 minute drive to the town centre shopping centre and a few minutes’ drive to some beautiful market towns in the Cotswolds.
This means plenty of budget friendly outings whether it is town for a Costa, Henley for ice cream, Alcester for loose leaf tea or further afield to Bourton on the Water for Birdland.
5. Coffee Dates
Sometimes it takes a village .. or just a really good brew and a friend to natter with. Either way the kids get to socialise and we get to preserve our sanity over a hot drink. There’s not much more to say on this other than for bad weather days nothing beats huddling on the sofa over a steamy mug with my friend and putting the world to rights whilst our kiddos play to their hearts content.
6. Run Wild
We are spoilt for choice on parks where we live. I send a couple of texts out, throw a blanket, picnic bag, beach tent and drinks into the back of the car and head to a park of our choosing. We pitch up, wait for others to arrive and send the kids off to run off all their pent-up energy for a few hours. We shove all the food into the beach tent, get comfy, take it in turns corralling the kids into the play area, and catch up with each other. I always try to make sure I have a few quid in pocket too, because you know the ice cream van will appear at some point, and ice lollies are ideal for my two on hot days.
7. Life Skills
Unfortunately for us Mamas, the house will not look after itself during the holidays! So I always try and fit a ‘Life Skills’ day in. The youngest will have a job like putting his trains away, wiping the kitchen table or other small jobs suitable for a heavy handed 4 year old. My eldest will help with the big stuff like putting the vac around, hanging washing on the line, making lunch. It helps them see the effort I put in every day for them, and hopefully learn a few skills that will help them in later life too!
My kids LOVE baking! Anything where they can throw ingredients into a bowl, mix it together, lick the spoon and eat the finished food is all good news for them. I love Whacky Cake/Depression Cake for this. It is low mess but still tastes good and they kids don’t need that much supervision. It is also very cheap on ingredients too. You can find hundreds of Pins on Pinterest for the recipe. Whatever flavour you go with will be good!
So these are just a few of the things we do to survive the Easter Holidays. However you make it through, I hope it’s done with plenty of laughter because they make the best memories.