As a work from home mum, I often dread the school holidays. Unless we have a family holiday planned, it means two to three weeks of juggling work, deadlines and a child who doesn’t want to sit on the couch watching television all day and every day of their school holidays. Throw in a bit of mummy guilt and it’s one of those things that working mums know too well.
With Master E in year one, I have a few school holidays up my sleeve now but I’ve also found that as he gets older, he’s harder to please. As each school holiday approaches, I find myself having to become more creative.
As I prepare myself for the upcoming school holidays (I can’t believe they’re here again), I thought I’d put together a list of ideas for when you have to work from home with kids.
10 Ideas to keep your child entertained on the school holidays when you’re a work from home mum
Play dates can work really well when it comes to primary school-aged kids. They can usually keep pretty well entertained amongst themselves. If it’s pre-school aged kids, I usually just stay a little bit closer. Setting the ground rules is important but you’d be surprised what you can get done when they’re happy and occupied!
This is one of Master E’s favourite things to do. I found this printable LEGO Challenge sheet which sets different challenges from making a robot with LEGO, a money box or spelling out your name using LEGO. I find anything that has the word ‘challenge’ in it, works well with my six year old!
There are so many great science experiment kits out there these days that are quite reasonable to purchase. Master E also loves dinosaur-themed science packs where you have to great science experiment kits and put them together. The great thing about these is that they’re not only fun, they’re educational.
>> Click here for kids science experiments
>> Click here for dinosaur excavation kits
Working outside not only benefits the kids but you as well. I find changing up my place of work amps up my productivity and while you work outside, the kids can have fun doing what they want in the backyard or at the park.
Art & craft
Nothing beats a little bit of art and craft at home. We have an art and craft box which I keep stocked with things from Kmart and Spotlight. Everything from glue, glitter, feathers, popsicle sticks, pens and beads. When the box is opened, it’s up to the kids to imagine up what they’re going to make. In the past, we’ve made toilet roll owls, cardboard box trains, a car wash and DIY Sun Catchers.
Although Master E isn’t much of a reader, I still always have mountains of books that are easily accessible to both children. I’ll never forget the number of holidays I had as a kid, hiding away in my room or up a tree reading my Babysitters Club books!
This is a great option for kids who perhaps don’t like reading or aren’t strong readers. We are still working on determining if Master E has dyslexia or not, he isn’t the strongest of readers and so audiobooks is a great option. They usually have a good range at your local library.
Why not grab some old formula tins, old gumboots or flower pots, some potting mix and seeds or seedlings from Bunnings and get the kids making their own little gardens. They can even bring their little gardens to life with painted rocks. Find out more great gardening ideas for kids here.
A failsafe school holiday option has got to be movies. Netflix has a great range of kids movies and is worth it for under $10 a month. Local libraries always have a great selection of movies to loan too.
We love putting together photo albums in our house using our Canon Selphy photo printer. This activity will keep your kids well and truly entertained. Grab a scrapbook, a glue stick, some coloured pens and scissors, print out some photos (on paper is fine) and let them create their own album of memories.
I think the important thing to remember is the idea of quality versus quantity, too. Instead of trying to be there, doing things with your kids all the time and stressing yourself out in the process, try to focus on organising a few activities with your kids where you can spend quality time, focusing on them and putting work aside for the moment. If you find it hard to stop thinking about work when you’re not working, read this post.
Being a work from home mum has so many benefits but ask many mums who work from home and they’ll agree that school holidays are a challenge for them too. Just do your best, banish the mummy guilt and embrace the flexibility that being a work from home mum affords.
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