We’ve only experienced the extended ‘Summer Holidays’ once before, but then, Mini was calmer, quieter, more easily entertained, and a 4 year old pre-schooler. He finished nursery, and then came six weeks of seaside fun, garden playtime, painting, drawing, crafts and activities whilst he (and I!) looked forward to school starting. I did plan the 6 weeks to an extent as a loose guide for me, with lots of activities, and at least 1 ‘rest day’ each week (movie afternoon, quiet time).
Now, he’s an aggressive, easily bored yet easily over-stimulated 5 year old school boy, with an attitude. A new pack of crayons and a colouring book just ain’t gonna cut it.
This time I’m planning to the extreme. If I don’t plan, then I WILL lose the plot. This way I’m hoping to avoid those ‘I’m bored’ whines, and maybe I’ll even win some kind of in-house supermum award for providing varied and interesting play opportunities *grasps at the slim chance*. There is something for every day, but they are easily changed or cancelled if something else comes along. Visits to friends and family are still kept to a minimum, but a few are planned already, and I’m sure more will come up. And there are a few new DVDs and the Sky Store for quiet days.
I’ve been following ‘Lessons from an Infertile SocialWorker’ for some time, and recently I read that Becky had come up with a brilliant idea for keeping her son occupied through the school holidays – activity packets. Each pack contains all that is needed for science experiments, craft activities, make or bake sessions – all sorts.
pinched borrowed her idea, and come up with
my own activity packs - some are my own
ideas, some are activities I’ve found online (mostly on Pinterest), and some
are from some great science books that the NC had as a child, which we now have
for our children.
Each pack is in a bag or box of its own, with instructions and ingredients, materials and equipment. Some have photos (because I’m testing some of the experiments first) which will hopefully encourage Mini and get him excited about doing them. Quite a few of the activities are complicated which will require help from me (good to get us working together!), but there are many that Mini can do by himself with close supervision. And there’s a good mixture of quick activities that only take 10minutes, some that are upto an hour, and a couple over the holidays that take a short time to prepare, but need a few days to work. Oh, and we’ve done some of these things before, and I know Mini enjoyed them, so I’m including them again. I’ve tried to plan stuff that I know Mini will be able to do, to save frustration on his part.
Do I sound like a control freak? Yes, probably. Am I going to attempt to stay sane? Yes, absolutely!
I’m sure that rain will stop play on occasion, I’m sure that Mini will still have meltdowns and tantrums. But I will be more chilled if I feel vaguely like I’m in control. And if I’m chilled, then perhaps some of that will rub off on Mini and Dollop. Here’s hoping…