School and preschool holidays can be the best of times or the worst of times - when they go well it's so good to spend lots of time with my small people without the intrusions of school drop offs and activities. When they don't, we all feel fractious and cranky and look forward to the start of term. In the break between terms one and two I thought Ali would need plenty of quiet to recover from a busy first term, and didn't organise very much - and I was completely wrong, he'd got used to lots of time with friends and stimulation at school, and was bouncing off the walls after about two days.
So this time I've planned a mixture of excursions, activities and playdates and so far it's been lots of fun. It feels like we've hit a really nice stage where both children are old enough to do activities together (not all of them, obviously, but there's enough overlap to find things they can both enjoy), and Milla doesn't nap anymore which is actually a relief because it makes bedtime easier and means we can head into the city for all-day adventures. Inspired by some of the some of the posts I've been reading from North American bloggers like Meg about their (much longer) summer break, I even drew up a little schedule with a calendar of the activities we had planned, and lists of fun things we could do at home and must-do things for each day. I know this would be too much scheduling for some families, but both my children wake up and say "Where are we going today?" and I find the days run much more happily with a bit of structure. Luckily, after a week and a half of really heavy rain at the end of term which had me fearing mildew and cabin fever, the sun came out just in time for the holidays and the weather has been beautiful.
So far there's been a trip to the Opera House to see Horrible Histories and lunch in the city, a mission to the Observatory, a holiday workshop, bike riding & duck feeding at Centennial Park, a trip to the Southern Highlands to catch up with friends, a Tanabata craft workshop at Object Gallery and a potter in Surry Hills. The florist under Object Gallery has a seriously adorable kitten, and the kids enjoyed playing with him almost more than the crafting. And some more low-key but equally nice things like a trip to Ikea (my children are definitely my children, they love Ikea), playdates in parks, visits to the library, and some cooking, gardening and crafting at home. I picked up a Sunprint kit at the FInders Keepers a few weeks ago and saved it for the holidays - I've seen these around ever since I was little but had never used one before. We had fun choosing flatish things with interesting shapes and then putting them in the sun to make a print.
I love the result, especially the weeds and fly screen.
So - there's a week to go, but so far it's been a very good holiday. And we still have some nice things planned, so I'm looking forward to the rest of it.
How are your holidays going? Any tips for excursions or how to use up a huge quantity of egg boxes and toilet paper rolls?