How to recharge your kids over the school holidays (without losing your sanity!)

mental health mindfulness for kids resilience Sep 26, 2022
Suzy Astin sitting at a laptop presenting a virtual workshop

School holidays is that time that always comes around too quickly. You can love your kids but dread school holidays. Not only does it disrupt your routine, it also comes with creating and keeping up with kids’ calendars 24/7. It can be overwhelming to even the most organised parents.

So, how do you make sure your kids recharge without sitting them in front of a screen all day? 

1. Don't Over Schedule 

It can be tempting to keep the kids busy and wear them out, however, this is not how we want to spend our holidays, so why would they? Just like us, they need time to physically and mentally rest their brains and bodies. 

Many parents will frantically jam-pack the holidays to fend off boredom for their kids. Whilst doing new and exciting activities is a good thing, there is something to be said for allowing your child to experience ‘boredom’ and be left to their own devices. 

“Boredom is the space in which creativity and imagination happen” - Dr. Michael Rich 

Children need time to themselves. To switch off from the constant stimulus, to be on their own without distraction and to discover their own interests and gifts. Boredom builds resilience within your child, it helps them to develop problem-solving skills and fosters creativity. Letting the mind wander from time to time is important for everyone’s mental well-being and function. 

2. Practice mindfulness for kids 

You may think there is no way I am getting my child to sit down and meditate, and that is completely fine. There are so many ways that you can encourage your child to practice mindfulness and recharge themselves over the break. 

Art station: Encouraging your child to express themselves through art has been shown to reduce stress levels and relax the nervous system. For children, creating art is a great way to communicate their ideas, immersing themselves in the process and getting into a state of flow. 

Yoga: Yoga is a fun way for your child to learn breathing exercises and relaxation techniques that will help in times of stress and anxiety. By turning inward and focusing on the breath, your child will practice letting go of fear and worry. Yoga also promotes gratitude for one’s body and higher sense of self-esteem. 

You can access free Yoga for kids on Youtube, a great channel I like to use is called Cosmic Kids. 

3. Encourage your kids to plan activities on their own 

By letting your child plan a few activities, they will feel a greater sense of control and satisfaction with the task. If your child needs help, offer some suggestions then let them use their problem-solving skills to plan the activity. 

Some ideas include: 

  • A picnic in the park 
  • Cooking a new recipe 
  • Theatre performance 
  • Playdates 
  • Amazing races 
  • Board games/puzzles. 

Kids are more resilient than we think. By embracing boredom, promoting mindful activities and encouraging your child to plan their own activities, it will allow them the time and space to fully recharge over the break, returning to school energised and ready to learn! 

an graph showing how time and space helps encourage mindful activities

Suzy Astin is a Provisional Psychologist who equips parents with the tools to support their children’s mental health. As a mother of three, Suzy understands the juggle between work and managing kids. Suzy will give you the skills to reduce your child’s stress and build a growth mindset. 

Enquire about Suzy’s ‘Raising Resilient Kids’ workshop here.