Some parents look forward to the Easter holidays. What could be better than two weeks off with your lovely children, enjoying the warmer weather and longer days together? For others, it’s a mixed blessing. You know that you’re going to have to try and keep tiny people with tiny attention spans entertained for two long weeks out of school. If you’re not going away
1 Get away if you can
It’s not always possible to have a break, but even a couple of days away can work wonders, even just for the change of scenery. If you haven’t already booked a holiday, it’s still possible to find late breaks, but prices always rocket up at Easter and chances are if you haven’t found anything already, you’re going to be facing two weeks at home. If that’s the case, don’t panic, and…
2 Bribe them to help around the house – with chocolate, of course!
Well, it’s Easter, isn’t it? And what better excuse to get the little ones to help around the house than promising an enormous egg or chocolate bunny for their efforts. Sure, it might seem like a bit of a bribe, but you can make jobs enjoyable by doing them together and taking lots of breaks. Why not combine an Easter egg hunt with tidying up their bedroom?
3 Download an app to find local events
There are a few websites that list local events, but you could try downloading an app as well to keep you up to date with what’s on and where – and even to find last-minute things to do on the day. Hoop is a good one to try, and you can tailor what it shows depending on the age of your children, but there are others out there.
4 Avoid the crush
Everywhere is going to be busy. EVERYWHERE. I’m afraid that’s just a fact of life for the busy holiday times, but there are things you can do to avoid the crush as much as possible. Travelling days, when motorways and major roads are most likely to be busy, are Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. You can also avoid the queues and crowds by turning up as early as possible if you’re going out swimming or even to the mall, for example. You might not get a lie-in, but since when did parents ever get those anyway?
5 Make the most of the good weather (if and when it comes)
Going “outdoors outdoors” is as important as ever, to keep exercising, burn off those chocolate eggs and bathe yourselves in lovely vitamin D. The weather might not always be your friend when it comes to outdoors activities, but the sun should peep out from behind the clouds for a couple of days at least. Have something fun planned for when it does – an early visit to the beach, perhaps, even if it’s to stroll along the promenade and buy an ice-cream rather than go paddling in the freezing April sea. Pump up the tyres on the kids’ bikes – and yours – so you can all go for a ride when the weather finally is fine.
6 Get creative
It’s time to make Easter bonnets, chocolate nests, Easter biscuits and all sorts of goodies. You might find the prices for the basic kit rather eyewateringly high down at your local craft store, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be expensive to get creative. Sugar paper does the same job as card for a fraction of the price, while you can use newspaper, PVA glue, acrylic paint and balloons to make simple egg decorations. Why not get creative with the mountains of packaging you’ll find gets quickly demolished by children keen to get at the Easter eggs inside? Or if you want to keep your children’s literacy skills sharp and fancy making a memento, why not write a story?
7 Be spontaneous!
You don’t have to be a perfect parent and have everything planned, on a diary or in a schedule. Chances are something or someone (possibly one of those little people in your life) will throw a spanner in the works at some point, and you’re going to have to make it up as you go along. Don’t panic! All parents have been there. You can turn even a boring set of errands into an adventure if you stop for babycinos and cake along the way often enough.
8 Team up to share the workload
If you’re friends with other parents, chances are you can work out some way of divvying up the childcare (and giving yourselves some much-needed relaxation time). Some parents find the idea of coping with more than one or two children at a time quite daunting, but you’ll probably discover that children are wonderfully behaved at your house and you don’t have any worries at all. That said, make sure you know when they’re being collected so that you can count down the seconds, if it all gets a little bit too much for you.
How about you? Do you have any never-fail plans to keep the children amused during Easter? Is there anything we’ve missed off our list? Let us know in the comments…