Establishing a Well-Balanced Routine for a Healthy School Holiday

healthy-school-holiday

School days bring about a structure and routine to both the parents’ and kids’ daily activities. And holidays bring about a respite from the same. However, it is important to maintain some structure in the school holiday routine to help your child make the most of these relaxed yet fruitful days.

Going further, we shall be helping you with a few pointers to keep in mind and some seasonal school holiday activities, to help you keep the calm in the happy holiday chaos!

Keep It Simple

When kids break free of the daily school schedule monotony, holidays might seem an endless free zone filled with possibilities. But more often than not, it would end up getting wasted unless you have a basic plan to anchor these days through. Simply sticking to a few regular timings and habits, helps keep the kids stay alert and active throughout the day.

  1. Maintain the bedtime
  2. With the beginning of the holidays, kids want to break free of their regular sleep and wake-up cycles. They would urge you to stay awake till late at night and get up later in the morning eventually. However, sleep is one important factor that should remain consistent throughout the holidays. This would help maintain that basic timeline of the day and night, so you can plan out activities accordingly.

  3. Have a family morning routine
  4. Just like sleep time, maintaining a common holiday morning routine for the whole family would encourage the kids to sleep and get up on time every day. Brushing teeth immediately after waking up, making their beds, and then having breakfast together can enforce a healthy holiday routine to begin each day with.

  5. Maintain regular meal times
  6. Irrespective of how the days are planned or unplanned, the meal times should always remain in order. That provides a basic skeleton to the framework of the day and helps maintain the sleep-wake cycle as well. For parents and caretakers, it helps to plan the meals and do the meal prep in advance to avoid any last-minute lapses. You can include your kids in this planning and prepping and together you can look forward to relishing some of your favourite dishes together!

Keep It Fun

Now with the basic set of timings in place, you must ensure that your kids have a fun and memorable holiday! Now if both parents are working, going out for activities may not be feasible every day. That’s when indoor games and play dates can come to the rescue.

  1. Board games
  2. You can have some age-appropriate board games readily available for your kids to engage in. These could be something as simple as Scrabble or Monopoly to enhance their linguistic and number skills, or be something more advanced as per their age. This would encourage them to challenge themselves to learn more while playing.

  3. Playdates
  4. School holidays are a great time to have your kids’ friends come over for playdates or even sleepovers. This not only helps them bond better but also gives them the scope to learn interpersonal skills and appropriate behaviours. You can further add movie nights or yard sales to make these even more exciting!

  5. Free play
  6. Even on days, when you have nothing planned, make sure your kids move outdoors and have some free play time with their friends. This would not only boost their physical and mental health but also keep the boredom away.

Keep It Engaging

  1. Household chores
  2. While establishing a healthy holiday routine for your kids, you can also make use of this extra free time to get them to help you with your daily household chores. It could be as simple as baking cookies, making a pizza or ice cream, or something helpful in the long run like gardening, composting, and meal prep. You can also engage your kids in grocery shopping so they get hands-on experience in money- management as well.

  3. Learning something new
  4. Establishing a healthy holiday routine for students must include some amount of regular learning. While it doesn’t have to be every day, kids should be encouraged to utilise this time to learn a new sport, a musical instrument, or even advance on their previously practised hobbies and skills. Anything from skating, yoga, and gymnastics, to chess, badminton, or painting, there are several opportunities available to learn and explore!

  5. Summer camp
  6. Now if you aren’t sure or aware of any such hobby or skill-development classes in or around your society, your best bet could be enrolling your kids for a summer/winter camp. These could be planned and scheduled for only part of the holidays and include themes based on the child’s interests. Robotics, arts and crafts, STEM-based learning, science, and astronomy are a few of the many themes one can opt for.

Regulate Screentime

You may plan out their whole day hour by hour or the whole week based on activities, but you won’t be able to avoid some amount of screen time. But, what you can do instead is regulate it to their advantage.

  1. Vouchers/books
  2. You can make your kids “earn” screentime vouchers when they complete a certain assignment or a few pages of a new book. This way you would not only be able to keep track of their studies but also, give them that onus to negotiate and plan. However, make sure you keep an upper limit to the redeemable vouchers per day.

  3. New shows/movies/games
  4. You can encourage your kids to watch some new shows or movies. Or they can make use of their screen time for PlayStation gaming competitions.

  5. Documentaries
  6. This is a great option for older kids. If you find them curious about certain historical events or personalities, you can guide them to relevant series and documentaries so they can gain further insight. It could also be something about new scientific and AI developments, or how social media is programmed to affect our responses and thinking. It would then be a win-win either way!

Make Memories

While you may add some basic plan and structure to your kids’ school holiday routine, make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunities to travel, connect, and make fond memories.

  1. Travel
  2. You can make sure to plan your leaves in accordance with your child’s school holidays, so you can tick off those travel destinations you have been wanting to explore. It could be a place or monument they have recently read about, or exploring a foreign terrain altogether.

  3. New experiences
  4. Even when you haven’t been able to plan an extensive trip, you can make the holidays memorable by indulging in new and unique activities in your city itself. It could be a Lion safari, fruit picking, a farm stay, fishing, or even an afternoon of rafting or paragliding, as per your city’s convenience and accessibility.

  5. Reinforce connections
  6. School holidays are also a great time to visit grandparents, cousins, and relatives. While everyone tends to get busy in their hectic lifestyle, holidays provide that opportunity for everyone to come together and make memories as a big happy family! Make sure you don’t miss out on the precious pictures!

Encourage Social Interaction

  1. Participating in festivals
  2. Holidays are also a time to celebrate and participate in the rituals, fun, and frolic associated with festivals. Encourage your children to prepare, participate, and celebrate the various festivities with utmost fervour!

  3. Volunteering
  4. When the kids have so much free time in their school holidays, you can take them along to child care and old-age homes, puppy shelters and animal farms, and provide them with that opportunity to learn, help, and contribute with various volunteering activities.

  5. Community library/classes
  6. Older kids can also be encouraged to utilise their school holidays in teaching younger kids. They can teach subjects based on their interest, or even run storytelling classes or a weekly library in their community.

Apart from the above, you can indulge your kids in seasonal activities. For example, summer holidays are a great time to venture outdoors and explore fishing, swimming, hiking, cycling or just some casual Sunday picnics. Similarly, in winter, you can expect your kids to explore skiing and snow-based adventures. For days you choose to stay in, you can arrange for pretend play blanket forts, painting sessions, or family puzzle time to keep the fun going!

No matter what and how you want to structure your kids’ holiday routine, make sure it is comfortable for your whole family. There is no peer pressure, or less or more here. After all, holidays are all about having fun, growing, and reaching new milestones of memories together!

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