Currently viewing the tag: "school holidays"

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Several years ago, we had the fantastic idea to take the kids on a bushwalk.

Not a huge trek, just a short walk along the coastline to see a lighthouse and take in the view.

Not a huge deal. Right?

Wrong!  Within 20 metres the whinging started. I’m hot, I’m tired, my shoes aren’t working (shoes were fine, toddler logic was at work on that one)… On and on it went. To our credit we persevered and after what seemed like 14 hours we completed the ‘trek’.  Arriving back at the car, both of us declared that bushwalking had been a fizzer.

No time to take in the view, the glorious coastline. Just one enormous whinge-fest!

Fast forward a few years, and we have taken a quantum leap forward.

Over the weekend we visited the glorious Springbrook National  Park. Tucked up in the hinterland behind the Gold Coast, this spectacular park looks like it is straight out of Jurassic Park. Waterfalls, rainforest, sheer cliffs and brilliant tracks to explore, Springbrook promised a lot.

I was less that sure we were up to it.  Sure we had no toddlers in tow, but we did have four kids (now 6 through to 11) to keep motivated and enthusiastic.

Short story…it was brilliant!

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All of us were blown away by the majesty of this place.

All of us loved it, even with two kids tripping over, a grazed knee and some steep tricky tracks to contend with.

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As we triumphantly finished the 2 hour (yep, 2 hours!) trek, I was brimming with pride at my little gangs efforts.

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We are now a family that bushwalks again!

Have you been bushwalking lately?  Share your favourite track!

Enjoy xx

coloured pencils of different colors and text school holidays writtten in a green chalkboard

I cannot believe that it is almost time for school to go back.  Summer holidays are so long, weeks and weeks of no school, trying to think of things to do, and sometimes (a lot of the time?) dealing with ‘bored’ kids.

To help out a little, here are a couple of winners I have discovered over the years with my gang.

  1. Visit the Libraries in Brisbane. Don’t worry if you aren’t a member, it’s super easy to join!  Check out the library in person or online for holiday activities, our local library has craft, lego, author (last holidays it was Roald Dahl) celebrations.  Best of all it’s free!  Most libraries nowadays also lend DVDs, comics, and magazines as well, something for everyone!
  2. Check out your local National Parks, botanic gardens, bush reserves.  Nothing burns off excess energy and curbs cabin fever like a good run around, and some bushwalking.  Pack a backpack, water and first aid kit and you are good to go.  It’s also worthwhile checking online first, as a lot of parks have special programs just for kids. Try National Parks Association and Find a National Park in Queensland for information/ ideas.
  3. Have a bake-off.  Split up into teams and have a baking competition, keep it fun though as things can get pretty competitive once the kids start to get into it!  Here are some recipe sites to try… Food to Love, Delicious
  4. Hold a crafter-noon with some friends, take turns with other parents and have a few of the kids friends over for a craft session. Lego/ brick making also works well.  This one works best outside/ on the verandah, and use recyclable material if you can, super cheap and easy to clean up.  Take a look here and My Poppet for ideas!
  5. Have a movie afternoon, make popcorn and snacks. Steer away from new releases and break out a classic like Back to the Future, Goonies, The Labyrinth.  Kids and grownups will love it!

Hopefully that will give you a little inspiration!  Feel free to post any great ideas that work for your gang too!

Enjoy xx

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The tribe hitting the sweet spot…aka relaxing...

The tribe hitting the sweet spot…aka relaxing…

We are now squarely in the midst of the school holidays, which from what I remember as a kid is the best part of the whole shebang.

At the beginning of the holidays you are still thinking of school.

Maybe you had a big end of the year.

Maybe super stressful exams.

Whatever it was, school was likely to have been still on your mind.

Then come the end of the holidays you are starting to think about school again.

Who will your new teacher be?

Will your mates be in your class?

Maybe it’s a big change – primary school to high school?

Middle of the holidays though, is the sweet spot.

End of school is a distant memory, and the next year is still ages away.

There are just days, and days, of well, doing your own thing.

As much or as little as you like.

In our house it’s a time to recharge everyones batteries, and do your own thing.

Want to go swimming every day? No problem.

Want to lay around and read all day – go for your life.

Welcome to the sweet spot!

How are your school holidays going?

Enjoy xx

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Hello school holidays!  Hello beach!

Hello school holidays! Hello beach!

December and the end of the school year is always a tinderbox of emotions in our neck of the woods. Exhausted kids, mixed with tired parents, a hint of ‘I’m going to miss my teacher’, and a whopping great dose of ‘where did the year go?’ makes for testing times. Not to mention the odd explosion or two!

In the race towards Christmas, it’s easy to get caught up counting down the days.

Until holidays.

Until Christmas.

Until the New Year.

Which means you may miss out on some of the good stuff that comes with the journey to the end of the year. This year I decided to make time to pause and take pleasure in the countdown:

  •  watching the Mini Fashionista perform in her school concert (a cracker of a job as a sixties starlet), play the violin in her first string ensemble performance (where of course I got teary, because no matter what the content I seem to get teary at school concerts) and morph into a tall willowy little lady with a snappy send of humour
  • Seeing Captain Jack master tying his shoelaces and hand-writing. In fact I am pretty sure this will go down as one of my highlights (for anyone else who has watched their child suffer through occupational therapy (OT), frustration, anger and every other emotion that comes with struggling to master a new skill, you’ll know what a BIG deal this was). Noticing that no matter how tall and strong he becomes, his heart is still made of ice-cream and melts at the sight of a wounded bird or when someone is hurt. 
  • Watching Flashdance emerge from his shell, and even have the courage to speak at assembly (seriously unthinkable at the start of the year) not to mention to produce some of the most wonderful pieces of art, and continue to march to the beat of his own drum (to his credit, he did successfully pull off the ‘cool Scottish man’ for International Day – complete with hat, tartan skinny jeans and tuxe jacket).
  • Saying goodbye to nappies for Little L, and hello to Kindergarten orientation!  Where did that time go? My baby is all of a sudden a little person, with an opinion about everything, everyone and attitude to spare.

How about you? How are you enjoying the ride until the end of the year?

Enjoy xx

A good time for boredom?

A good time for boredom?

We have just had school holidays here in (not so) Sunny Perth.

Depending on what you do and where you go on school holidays, that can mean anything from blissed out relaxation (ok that has NEVER happened in our house) right through sheer bloody chaos and mayhem (a little closer to the mark).

In our broader circle of friends, school holidays can also mean a flurry of play-dates, activities, holidays, kids club…WHEW!  Sounds exhausting right?

Things are a little more ‘old school in our house. The kids have access to a whole bunch of toys, games, books, craft gear, not to mention scooters, skate boards, swords (timber of course!) and light sabers.  Oh, and then there is our fabulous dress-up collection. Add to this that the lovely Big A and I do not see ourselves as Entertainment Directors on a cruise ship.

This lack of parental intervention means on a semi-regular basis, there are whiny moans of ‘I’m bored’…

Which for the most part I ignore.

Why?

Well,  because as a very smart lady I know once said (thanks Mum), how will kids ever learn to use their imagination unless you let them become bored?

You know what? It works a charm, over the weekend, the tribe got restless, and very BORED. I resisted the urge to come up with a fun activity, or take them out and about.

This is what they came up with… meet ‘Gary’, built over an afternoon by four little kidlets, with sand, weeds, quartz, bougainvillea and leaves.

Meet Gary! Street art born out of boredom...

Meet Gary! Street art born out of boredom…

Enjoy xx

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