Keeping the kids entertained over the holidays

If you’ve got kids, chances are you’ve risked the family holiday at least once before. When I was younger my parents rarely treated us to a family weekend break, mostly because my sisters and I were such terrors that they could hardly get us out the front door without one of us hitting the other. I do feel a bit bad for being such a nuisance when I was little, but I don’t think any amount of apologising to my mum will help!

No matter how good a parent you are, your kids are guaranteed to have a tizzy once in a while and you can trust that it’s going to be in public. I think that’s why so many parents shy away from the idea of a family holiday, where there are ample opportunities for raging toddler tantrums and teenage mood swings. Particularly if you are working hard, you could even treat yourself to a midweek breaks, so the only real answer is to go somewhere that everyone can relax and enjoy themselves.

The key to a good holiday is finding something for everyone to do, and this is even more important when you’re holidaying with kids. I recently went on holiday with my sister, her husband and their two kids (five and 11). It was more of a pity invite than anything else (I’d been bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t been on holiday for over three years) and I’d fully expected it to be a nightmare, but I was pleasantly surprised.

My sister’s a pro at keeping her kids busy. She says she can see it in their eyes when they’re about to lose interest, and she’s estimated that she’s got about five seconds to get them involved in the activity again before they start causing a ruckus. We stayed at a holiday park for the break and, I swear, I haven’t seen her that relaxed since before her 11 year old was born.

Holiday parks are the absolute ideal place for a family holiday – my sister arranged for her 11 year old to hang out at the teenage clubs for most of the break, and he also went and played some football at the sports courts, took some lessons in archery and ever made a couple of friends. Her 5 year old was enthralled with the arts and crafts sessions – we can home with about a hundred finger paintings. She also attended a good few puppet shows and my sister took her to some family friendly entertainment shows throughout the break.

We stayed for a full week and for around three whole days we were firmly planted in the water park, which had areas for all age groups. My sister, her husband and I mostly lounged by the side of the pool, but her kids went on all the rides, the log flumes, the rafts and everything else.

So, I’ve learnt first-hand that family holidays don’t have to be a drag, and I’m definitely inviting myself on my sister’s next holiday park break!

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