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In school holidays do you organise 'educational'; activities or just 'look after' your kids?

(64 Posts)
Legacy Fri 20-Feb-09 11:52:37

OK - I sense this has the potential to be controversial (what isn't on MN these days?) but I'm genuinely interested...

When I look around my children's friends, it seems as if their parents fall into one style or the other i.e.

The 'Looking afters' - where parents seem to dread school holidays and muddle through, with kids left to own devices or trips shopping etc

The 'educationalists' - where the time is mapped out with a variety of nature trails; museum visits; craft activities etc.

I will admit that I'm more of the latter, as I simply can't stand having us all cooped up at home, arguing about the Wii etc.But then I have two boys, and it seems we NEED to leave the house to stay sane...

Which are you?

If you do the 'education' style thing, how do you find enough things to do? It seems to get harder with every holiday, as we seem to have exhausted all the local things now!

PuppyMonkey Fri 20-Feb-09 11:55:50

Go to work and stick em in Out of School Club. Much less hassle grin.

Legacy Fri 20-Feb-09 11:57:07

Oh yes - I forgot the 'Opter-Outers' category!! grin

shinyshoes Fri 20-Feb-09 11:59:07

I take them out to cinema, London Aquarium, eldest does activity days, swimming, nothing there really educational. I suppose I come into the first category, although I don't dread the holiday, I work 2 x 12 hour shifts to get my contractual hours knocked out so I have the rest of the week at home.

There are loads of local things going on, none of them hugely advertised angry have since found out there are 2 free activities that the children could have gone on and they were on EVERY DAY shock.

I try to go out most day, but everything is so expensive. But for the Easter holidays I'm planning on getting the children on one of these free activities for a few days of the Easter.

I tend not to focus on educational too much, energetic activties are more important to me. Getting them exercising.

RubyRioja Fri 20-Feb-09 12:00:11

All mine hav ebeen poorly in run up to half term (and me during) so have viewed it as a convalescent week with a brief reveiew of lit and numeracy. They hate me smile

BonsoirAnna Fri 20-Feb-09 12:01:48

We try to get a balance over the year of "educational opportunities"; pure relaxation on holiday; and chilling out at home with a few low-key structured activities every day.

Right now the DSSs are ski-ing in Val d'Isere, where they do 3 hours of ski class per day and ski with DP the rest of the time; DD and I are in England staying with my parents and my sister and niece have been here too and we have let the girls play together for much of the time, but have also read a lot of stories, played dominoes and pelmanism, done masses of cutting/sticking/gluing and been to the playground and gone shopping. The DSSs will go to England for an English course for part of the summer but will also go on holiday with us where we will combine chilling at the beach and pool with sightseeing and cultural exploration. DD is going to do a week's gym course and will have swimming lessons for a couple of weeks.

School does not suffice and I do think that lots of learning opportunities (in both structured and less structured formats) need to be woven into out of school time and holidays.

PuppyMonkey Fri 20-Feb-09 12:03:16

Seriously though, I only work p/t really - on my days off I am a big believer in having them hang around doing nothing much at all. It does them good to be bored occasionally.

Rubyrubyruby Fri 20-Feb-09 12:03:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BonsoirAnna Fri 20-Feb-09 12:06:21

We've shopped for DD's belated birthday party - that's fun and educational for her (learning about choices and designing a look and theme for the party).

dilemma456 Fri 20-Feb-09 12:09:24

Message withdrawn

RubyRioja Fri 20-Feb-09 12:14:38

We have a great local holiday club - but would cost me £75 per day, so that means I had better think of some fun stuff for Easter!

Cramming for SATS really!wink

BitOfFun Fri 20-Feb-09 12:19:46

PER DAY? are you sure?

BitOfFun Fri 20-Feb-09 12:20:42

Or do they go skiing for that with BonsoirAnna's DP?

RubyRioja Fri 20-Feb-09 12:49:35

3 dds - £25 per day.
Great facilities and activities, but just too £££ for me atm.

mrsmaidamess Fri 20-Feb-09 12:54:59

We do as little as poss in the half term holidays...I think the kids need to chill out and play with their toys. Plus my 3 have such diffferent ideas about what they want to do, pleasing them all is just not achievable.

Also it costs a small fortune.

Madmentalbint Fri 20-Feb-09 12:56:09

I don't fall into either group. I love the holidays and love having my children around but I don't arrange educational activities, as such. I do arrange days out, picnics, having friends over, cinema, swimming, country parks, hire DVD's etc.

I focus on the fun stuff rather than the educational stuff - but if it happens to be educational too then great.

EllieG Fri 20-Feb-09 12:59:28

A mixture - have a 10 year old and a baby, so is hard finding activities that suit both and fit with baby's routine. Tend to have the morning chilling at home, then out in afternoon. I try to organise a sporty course thing for ten year old as is good for her to burn off some energy. Is hard though sometimes as now have the baby, everything is too expensive. We do lots of going for nice free walks when the weather is OK though.

I am in a 'dreading the hols' catagory though, defo grin

GossipMonger Fri 20-Feb-09 13:04:14

ooh we love the hols and do a mixture of things

this week DH took both boys to Holland to see his Mum from Sat-Thurs.

Today we are gardening as the weather is so nice. Am MNetting atm and they are playing but we will get into the garden later!!

We go to the Kids Club cinema which is v cheap and then use vouchers of the internet to go for lunch somewhere.

We do Museums, aquariums, parks and swimming.

We do English and Maths workbooks too and lots of reading but we make it fun!

Hulababy Fri 20-Feb-09 13:04:29

I love school holidays with DD, but forthis shor one week holdidays I don't organise anything education wise at all.

DD loves reading and writing so she gets to do plenty of that in her normal day to day stuff, esp when playing with friends as they play cafes or schools, write menus, work out prices, etc.

This week we have been to Rufford Park and she climbed trees and ran about, been to cinema with a friend, run around a soft play centre and yesterday had 5 friends round to play. She has played on the computer with and without me; ditto the Wii. We got the craft stuff out and made a menu for her cafe role playing. And later today she wants us to craft together to make a card.

And right now she is watching some TV for a bit whilst I think about sorting lunch!

scienceteacher Fri 20-Feb-09 13:04:41

I generally let them do their own thing within certain constraints - eg screen time limited (a priviledge rather than a right), house generally ship shape etc.

I might do one roughly educational activity every couple of weeks. This week, two of the children have had craft projects to do, so we planned what was needed, shopped for the bits, and supervised operation of the hot glue gun, and kept critical brothers at bay.

Litchick Fri 20-Feb-09 13:28:04

We do a mixture of things - hanging out with friends, trips etc but they also have to just sort themselves if I have to work.
A balance I guess.

ChopsTheDuck Fri 20-Feb-09 13:33:01

can we have a 'whatever it takes to keep them from destroying the house or killing each other' category?

I tend to do musuems and educational things during the longer holidays so probably fall more into the educationalist category but not intentionally. Half terms are purely about survival.

cory Fri 20-Feb-09 13:39:11

It's a balance to try to meet different needs. I have to work for two days at halfterm, so then it's the childminder. Then ds, who is 8, ideally needs to get out of the house or have friends round, while dd needs to stay at home and work on her school project (and have my support). And I need to clean the house. Went out yesterday, staying in today. But ds is driving us both up the wall. And I can see an invasion of his little friends this afternoon.

Legacy Fri 20-Feb-09 13:40:16

"Half terms are purely about survival" - LOL at Chops smile

That's how I feel this week, as I have come down with a stinking cold sad.

We've done a few 'crafty' activities since I haven't like going out, and I've let them go on the computer (but only to an 'approved' list of sites !) rather more than I'd normally do.

pointydog Fri 20-Feb-09 13:49:14

Depends on the age of your dc.

Up to about age 7, I found it better to think of some trips and activities (although calling that 'educationaLIST' irks me).

After age 7, the dc want to amuse themselves a lot more and arange to meet their friends.

I distinctly remember when the dds turned down my offer of a day trip to the beach as they wanted to hang out around the house. I was disappointed but they were just growing up.

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