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Whether you are on spring break, preparing for summer break or in this instance, a pandemic break, entertaining your kids can be hard. I know that I really look forward to breaks with my kids because I have this image that it is going to be so perfect. I dream of all the wonderful things we will do and all the fun to be had. Then, reality sets in and a few hours into break, my kids are bored, looking for a snack and at each other’s throat. There is hope however! Here are some awesome tips on how to survive school breaks with your kids.
1. Follow a Routine for Everyone's Sake
Listen, routines are not overrated. I understand that we are all just trying to survive when we are on break and it’s really hard to keep everyone on a routine but I promise, promise, promise… ROUTINE MATTERS. There’s a lot of funny memes going around of moms just trying to hold it together during break, but in reality, routines are the best way to hold it together.
I am not saying you have to be completely rigid with your routine but having a system and time frame for lunch, snacks, TV time and bedtime will serve you well in the end.
Without a routine, my kids will literally eat the entire day and play on their I-pads or watch youtube. I am not saying I will not let them do these things obviously, but it will be part of the routine.
Kids need structure, period. I work in education, specifically with kids that struggle with behavior. One of the best ways to prevent poor behavior is to make the environment as predictable as possible. People think that kids like to have a parent or a teacher that is loose on their rules and expectations but that is just not true. Kids thrive when there are clear expectations and understand the routine. I know my son’s biggest meltdowns come from when he doesn’t have enough time to process change.
Hanging Door Routine Chart
You can find a lot of printable routines on Pinterest. I really like this hanging chart though. What I like about it is that you can change it up as needed, it is dry erase and you can add your own activities. We also use this so that the babysitter knows the routine. It’s visual and the kids can see what’s coming next.
2. Set Expectations for Chores
During school breaks with your kids is a great time to get caught up on chores. I know that I always look forward to the time that I can get some projects done around the house. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize I should be including my kids in the chores.
Give them a checklist to follow. My kids do best when they have a list to check off.
- Break large tasks up into smaller parts. For example, rather than “clean your room” ask kids to “put all of your laundry in the hamper”.
- Reward you kids as they go. I give my kids a popsicle stick for each completed task. Once they have ten popsicle sticks they can watch one show.