Surviving the School Holidays – Exercise Hitlist Style.

As explained in a previous post I am not one of those awesome parents who get super excited by the school holidays.  I LOVE that I don’t have to make a gazillion lunchboxes and I love that I don’t have to rush around making breakfasts, finding socks and homework, and trying to get four kids out the door by 8am.  The downside is that they can drive me absolutely stir crazy!!  I have learnt through trial and error that the best way to survive the school holidays is to loosely stick to the following basic rules:

  • Have a plan and be a little organised.  Arrrggghhh, my 20 year old self would be horrified to hear me say that, meanwhile my super organised older sister is probably sitting there reading this and nodding smugly to herself.  OK I admit it, there is merit in planning ahead so jump on the band wagon and develop a super school holiday program for your family.  I often check out the local library, the local shire website, PCYC’s and leisure centres for their school holiday activities as they are often reasonably priced and sometimes even free.
  • Start with 1 or 2 big ticket items and plan your schedule around that.  For our family that usually involves a camping trip somewhere or a day trip and entry to a special Museum/Exhibition/Carnival or Show.
  • Plan to completely exhaust them every couple of days.  Trust me on this, you want them so tired that they don’t have the energy to talk back, whinge, or fight with each other and they are also more than happy to stay at home and vegetate the next day.  This is where I get them outside and make the most of local bike and walking trails, beaches, swimming holes and National Parks.
  • Even if you are only having a quiet day at home, spin it for all its worth.  For example if you want to hang out in your pyjamas til lunchtime and put a movie on hoping to keep the kids distracted so you can enjoy a coffee in peace, then this is what I would tell the kids when they ask what we are doing today: “Well you lucky kids,  we are going to have a Pyjama Party.  How bout we set up a theatre room in the twins room, you can choose two movies, I will get some awesome movie food ready (read usual morning tea put on fancy plates and add microwave popcorn) and we can enjoy a quiet day!!”  And that, people, is how it is done.
  • Invite others to get involved in your plans.  It turns a simple afternoon at the park into an awesome playdate, with minimal effort, no cost, and no fuss.  It may just save someone else’s sanity over the holiday period and with my hubby still doing FIFO a little bit of adult company goes a long way!!

With those tips in mind this is how my school holiday program turned out…..

School Holiday Program

So there you have it, a guide to surviving the holidays especially important when you have four kids, a husband that works away, and no family for 5000km.

I would love to hear any other great suggestions for surviving the holidays with kids.  Let me know in the comments below!

A Very Rio Christmas

At the start of this year my husband accepted a position with Rio Tinto, a leading global mining and metals company, which led to us moving to Perth and embarking on the Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) lifestyle and all the adventures that have ensued.  As a family, Rio Tinto, have looked after us very well and Christmas was no exception.  Not only did they host a small affair for my husband’s direct work area, which gave us a night out and a chance to meet some of the people hubby works with, they also hosted a family Christmas event for all the FIFO families in the Perth region at Adventure World Perth.

We had such an awesome night.  The event started at 6pm, after normal trading hours had finished, so we had the whole park to ourselves (well, along with 5000 other Rio families).  Here are just a few pictures of some of the fun we managed to fit in, I apologise for the photo quality in advance.

Having a very serious chat with Santa about how well behaved they have been and what they would like for Christmas....hmmm, likely story boys.

First up we met with Santa.  The boys are having a very serious chat with Santa about how well behaved they have been and what they would like for Christmas….hmmm, likely story boys.

Our Santa photo for this year!  I am very slack in doing Santa photos so this is a first in quite some time.

Our Santa photo for this year! I am very slack in doing Santa photos so this is a first in quite some time.

Next up, Bounty's Revenge.  Hubby elected to hold the bags on this one, thanks.

Next up, Bounty’s Revenge. Hubby elected to hold the bags on this one, thanks.

I admit that I had to drag my eldest boy on this ride kicking and screaming, seriously he did try to do the last minute dash under the fence before getting on.  As I knew he would, he loved it and was grinning ear to ear.  OK that was me....look Mum, no hands!!

I admit that I had to drag my eldest boy on this ride kicking and screaming, seriously he did try to do the last minute dash under the fence before getting on. As I knew he would, he loved it and was grinning ear to ear. OK that was me….look Mum, no hands!!

Next up was the Bumper Boats and this was very definitely hubby's turn.

Next up was the Bumper Boats and this was very definitely hubby’s turn.

This is the only photo of all the water fun we had tonight as Ipads, water, and me in swimmers don't really mix.  Just trust me when I say we conquered Water Mountain.  We went on  single tube rides, double tube full darkness slides, and sliding down on the single mats well into the night....awesome!

This is the only photo of all the water fun we had tonight as Ipads, water, and me in swimmers don’t really mix. Just trust me when I say we conquered Water Mountain. We went on single tube rides, double tube full darkness slides, and sliding down half pipes on the single mats well into the night….awesome!

Then time to get dry and enjoy our ice creams on Rio.

Then time to get dry and enjoy our ice creams on Rio.  Did I mention they also supplied us with dinner packs as well!  No one was going hungry or thirsty that’s for sure.

Final stop was Dinosaur Island.

Final stop was Dinosaur Island with some very realistic dinosaurs made even more so by the night time visit.  On second thoughts it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to do this one just before bed!

This is something we very rarely do, especially with four kids, and we are really grateful for such a wonderful family night out.  Thank you Rio Tinto.

Oh and I almost forgot….The boys were excited to check out their gifts the next morning, one Hot Wheels showbag for the little man and three Max Steele showbags for the big boys.

These are not my kids.... ;-)

These are not my kids…. 😉