How to Survive Your Kid’s School Holidays

While everyone else is counting down to Santa’s arrival are you dreading 10 days of kids with a holiday hangover? Let PLN help you through this #holidayhotmess.

I love the holidays. No matter what you celebrate, there is a certain little something in the air. Maybe it’s all the holiday lights that make me feel warm and cozy. For this one time in the year, fresh falling snow seems sweet rather than a driving hazard, and I look forward to spoiling my children. After all, those kids have been angels all year. *cue calming holiday tunes*

I have decided to develop my own holiday survival guide and share it with all you lucky PLNers.

Fast forward to December 26th. I wake up with a Christmas hangover and all of a sudden there are three kids running rampant around my home on a gingerbread high. There are ten days of holiday to burn through and no plans in sight. Not this year though. I have decided to develop my own holiday survival guide and share it with all you lucky PLNers.

First things first, limit the sugar. While we all go a little nuts with our eating over the holidays, the last thing you want to deal with is over-sugared kids running around the house with nothing to do but fight and drive you insane. After all, this is supposed to be your vacation as well. Instead, take all the baked goods and either throw them in the depths of your freezer or start knocking on your neighbour’s doors to share. Is there anything sweeter than your little kiddos offering baked goods around the neighbourhood? Actually…

Put those kids to work. I love those nights where my kids fall asleep the minute their heads hit the pillow. Even though this is a rare phenomenon, every time it happens it’s like a small parenting miracle. I find simple hard labour does encourage this. I know any amount of snowfall, no matter how little, will have us strapping on the snow pants (an activity that will kill an hour on its own) and braving the cold in the name of some energy burning. Getting your kids to help you shovel your neighbour’s driveway is a great way to get some exercise, kill a random Wednesday morning, and get some feel-good holiday vibes back in the air.

Getting your kids to help you shovel your neighbour’s driveway is a great way to get some exercise, kill a random Wednesday morning, and get some feel-good holiday vibes back in the air.

Once you have done your neighbourly duty, hit the tobogganing hills. Even if your babies are little, you can give them a little thrill with a slight slope and burn off some of those holiday treats with your efforts.

No snow? No problem! One of my favourite ways to tucker my kids out is to hit the community pool. I strap on the life jackets and let them paddle around until their eyelids are getting droopy (or some random kid poops in the pool). The best time to take my team is the 6-8 p.m. time slot. I bring their pajamas along to change them into and cross my fingers they fall asleep on the way home. For the younger ones, do a 10 a.m. swim and then get ready for the best nap of their life. #winning. Just keep in mind most pools require a parent-to-child ratio of one parent to up to two kids.

Hate the cold and unwilling to put on a bathing suit? Don’t worry, there is always a play place. If you are going to a play place you need to time it right. You have two options for arrival: opening or 2 p.m. By hitting the play place when it opens, you will secure one of the best tables, fresh coffee and be able to let your kids run around for a few hours while avoiding purchasing an overpriced lunch. If you can’t get it together to arrive early, your next best option is about 2 p.m. You are still avoiding the overpriced lunch, but now you are arriving as the crowd is thinning out for nap time, and you still have a shot at a half decent table.

Stuck at home? Make the most of your time by being both productive and lazy. Get the kids to help you get the house back into shape by giving them their own spray bottle filled with water and vinegar and a cloth to help wash cabinets and baseboards. Get them to make room for new toys by donating ones they no longer play with. Try the same exercise with their clothes. Put away holiday decor and get your house back to normal so you can relax at night when everyone is in bed.

Cooking with the kids is a great way to teach them valuable life skills as well as encourage them to try new foods.

Find a recipe online with the kids and shop for the ingredients to make it. Cooking with the kids is a great way to teach them valuable life skills as well as encourage them to try new foods. You are also killing two birds with one stone—time together and a good meal.

Motivate the kids to help by promising a jammie day. Spend the next day in your comfies watching movies and snuggling. Have a pizza picnic and enjoy some family bonding time. After all, that is what the holidays are for.

So PLNers, what are your plans for your kid’s school holidays? Let us know in the comments if you plan to try any of these suggestions or if there are any other activities you enjoy as a family.

Melissa Robertson

Melissa Robertson

Melissa Robertson divides her time between writing her for the Parent Life Network and wrangling her three children that have lovingly helped her earn the title 'hot mess mom'.