School's out for summer! For most of us anyway. So listen. Parents, we hear you. The school holidays are hard work. You've got older kids off school- probably bored, wanting you to spend money and needing lots if your attention- and younger kids at home needing their routine to run as smoothly as it always does. So how do you juggle it all and keep everyone happy? Read on to discover our top tips for helping little ones to nap during school holidays.
Have a daily plan
The best thing you can do for all concerned is to have some kind of a plan for each day. Things quickly fall apart if you try to wing it, and especially if within that chaotic approach you still want your younger children to nap. It won't work. You need a plan, even just a flexible one that can change as the day progresses. You don't need to be military about it, but it really will help with everyone's expectations if you have some kind of an idea what you're going to do. Once you have the plan, you can make sure that nap time features and your little ones can get the sleep they need. Get the kids involved with the planing so not only will they have an input and hopefully choose mutually agreeable activities, but they'll know what's coming up next and you can use this as incentives during other activities too.
Get outdoors every day
Ok, so the weather hasn't been great. You may even have snow! But honestly you need to just button up and get on with it. Fresh air and exercise are your key weapons against school holiday boredom, and research shows it can help to not only improve your mood but to encourage better night time sleep too. You might not feel like it, but if you've planned in at least 30 minutes at the park each day then do it. You won't regret it.
Don't forget your SnoozeShade!
Your SnoozeShade is essential for nap time during the holidays! The darkened environment helps little ones to understand that it's time for sleep, and there will be less distractions too so you don't need to stop the older kids from playing. Use your SnoozeShade while you're out and about so that you can stick to your usual routine and you don't need to all head home when the little ones need to sleep.
You can also use your SnoozeShade at home too. Pop it over the pram wherever it is at nap time and your baby will know that it's time to sleep. No distractions, no disruptions.
Stick to your usual bedtimes
Over tired kids are no fun. The problem is that most families allow little ones to stay up later during the holidays as there's no school the next day, so this tip really is down to personal preference. Some families will find that sticking to the usual bedtime and wake up times makes for a better routine during the day. Other families will enjoy the more relaxed approach to no school run. Don't forget though that the Easter holidays are only two weeks long, and before you know it you'll need to get back into school hours. It might be easier to stick with your usual timetable- but that's up to you.