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5 WAYS TO STAY SANE DURING THE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

January 02, 2018
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It’s that time of year when kids around the country rejoice, and their parents go a little grey in the face at the thought of having to entertain their offspring for three weeks straight. Parents of South Africa, we feel you. Ensuring that your kids are kept busy constructively can be a tall order. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you stay sane during the winter holidays. grey in the face at the thought of having to entertain their offspring for three weeks straight. Parents of South Africa, we feel you. 

GET OUT THERE 
First of all, it’s imperative that you get out of the house before your kids break it down. Organise regular outings so everything has some room to breathe. Not everything has to be expensive either. Your kids can join in on free holiday activities at shopping centres like Somerset Mall in the Western Cape or Clearwater Mall in Gauteng. 

Some of the scheduled activities, e.g. drone-flying lessons, Lego engineering challenges, etc. have to be pre-booked and costs a little something, so be sure to check the event calendars so you can plan ahead. Alternatively, bully everyone into their trainers and go for a walk in the park closest to your house. Better yet, a hike somewhere close-by where you can get out of the noise of the town/city you live in and reconnect with nature.Organise regular outings so everything has some room to breathe. Not everything has to be expensive either. 

Your kids can join in on free holiday activities at shopping centres like Somerset Mall in the Western Cape or Clearwater Mall in Gauteng. Some of the scheduled activities, e.g. drone-flying lessons, Lego engineering challenges, etc. have to be pre-booked and costs a little something, so be sure to check the event calendars so you can plan ahead. Alternatively, bully everyone into their trainers and go for a walk in the park closest to your house. Better yet, a hike somewhere close-by where you can get out of the noise of the town/city you live in and reconnect with nature.

BE A TOURIST IN YOUR OWN CITY
Speaking of reconnecting, this is the year you should be a tourist in your own city, town or area. If you live in Cape Town, go feed the seals at the V&A Waterfront; Durban, enjoy a picnic at the Botanic Gardens; Pretoria, visit the National Zoological Gardens; Nelspruit, take a drive to God’s Window; Johannesburg, head to Gold Reef City. You catch our drift – go do that thing that everyone comes to your region to do and you haven’t made the time to enjoy. 

FIND OUTINGS EVERYONE CAN ENJOY
Not everything in your life has to be 100% about the kids, so try to find an activity that you would actually enjoy doing as well. For instance, you could all go bouncing off the walls at Jump Around or Rush in Cape Town; or at Bounce venues throughout Gauteng. If you happen to find yourself in the Western Cape, you are also spoiled for choice in terms of kid-friendly wine farms with fun things for the youngsters to do while you enjoy a glass of South Africa’s finest. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of some of the best wine farms and restaurants in the Stellenbosch/Helderberg area with the children in tow.

GO OLD SCHOOL & UNPLUG
It may be pushing it, but try to get the kids to unplug a little over the holidays. Have designated tech-free slots when you spend time together as a family. You could play board games, listen to (or make) music, have a backyard camping session with stokbrood and s’mores or make a big Christmas bed in the living room and have a silly slumber party with scary stories and popcorn. 

REMEMBER TO TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF!
Finally, don’t forget to take some time out for yourself over the holidays. Get a babysitter, bribe your sister or guilt your mom into watching the kids, but make some time for a date night with your partner. Just because you are parents doesn’t mean you stopped being a couple. Cherish that and go paint the town red (or at least a shade of mauve). 

These are just five ideas to keep your kids entertained over the winter school holidays. Keep an eye on the blog for more helpful advice on keeping the peace and staying sane when the heat is on in your family and/or relationship.

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