25 things to do (and a few no dos) with your kids these holidays

When I was a working mom, the school vacations were a real fear, the moment April arrived the husband and I would lie awake at nights wondering how to handle the holidays – we had full time work, we had a nanny who needed a couple of weeks off. The boy was off for a full 2 months from school and we had no clue what to do with him. One vacation I had my mom come over for the entire time, another time we had him in summer camp(which he hated btw and cried most days I picked him up, to be fair he was not even 2). Working parents have it real hard, you want them to enjoy their vacations yet you have the guilt of not being able to spend it with them.

Now that I’m a stay at home mom, it’s even harder. Having two kids at home full time when every 5 minutes they erupt into fights that last half hours can be taxing. But then I’m a marketer and I’ve learnt that you have to be creative with messaging. On that note, its not how much time you spend with them but how they remember the time you spend with them that counts.

My 5 year old is starting his holidays early April and is going to be home for almost 60 days. That’s a lot, considering I also have a 2 yo who is quite looking forward to having his brother home, which means I’ll have mini heart attacks every few minutes. So a few days ago we sat down and wrote a list of 25 things we’d like to do over these holidays – V was very excited to make this list. He is still adding to it, gets an idea all the time and wants to include them to his list, and is also mostly writing it out himself. The 2 is just excited that his brother is excited.

The key is to keep it simple, doable and fun!

Here’s what we will be doing –

  1. Paint our faces
  2. Build a pillow fort (anything played on the bed is a hit in our house)
  3. Paint a shirt (or just any piece of cloth, its fun and you can wear it)
  4. Make a tree swing (my kids are really into rough rope tied simple tree swings, you can monkey around)
  5. Pick flowers everyday (I’m hoping to do some Ikebana or simple floral vase with those)
  6. Visit a nursery
  7. Plant a seed (to watch it grow)
  8. Go to the beach
  9. Head out on a trek or trail
  10. Have a picnic breakfast / lunch outdoors (we have done it in our balcony too, its just as fun)
  11. Feed some cows / crows (whichever you have around)
  12. Watch a sunrise (sunsets are doable, sunrises more difficult but thats the idea)
  13. Chase dragonflies / butterflies
  14. Visit the fish and turtles (we have a mini lake nearby but this can be an aquarium too)
  15. Climb a tree (ah the life!)
  16. Put up a puppet show
  17. Make a new friend
  18. Meet a policeman
  19. Lie on the ground and watch the stars
  20. Run on some grass barefoot
  21. Find new bird feathers
  22. Read one book everyday – my first job is going to find a local library.
  23. Learn something new – I think its going to be swimming for the boys
  24. Paint some rocks / pebbles
  25. Write a letter – I’m going to go get Inland letters this week for this

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My kids have a growing list which a includes making popsicles, going on a vacation, driving a backhoe etc. But this is going to be the list Im going to check against. Mainly because the no / minimal costs involved J and best memories made.

I promised you a list of things to do and ‘not-do’ right? So here is the second list.

  1. 1 Don’t tire myself out doing this that by 7 pm I’m screaming at my kids – which I do by the way.
  2. 2 Not to do anything on the list if there is no interest in it. My kids helped me make this list so these are all ok’ed for now.
  3. 3 Not to forget the goal is to have fun and make memories so everything else is flexible.
  4. 4 Not to forget our summer outdoor gear – comfortable clothes, full pants in the evening for mosquitoes, sunscreen, repellant, water, snacks and a bag to collect all our treasure.
  5. Not to forget I’m the mom and am supposed to take hard decisions for them, say no, and stop even if it makes me unpopular

It seems like our holiday plans are coming together quite nicely, what are you guys thinking of doing? Let us know in the comments below.

Edit – I am editing the first point on this list as its important to present cultural activities like that of Native Americans in the right light to children lest we promote cultural misappropriation. I will be editing this to speak of painting faces only.

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