By Sophie Bogdis
It feels as if we are just getting back into the school swing of things after the summer break and here we are again with another break. It's almost Half Term. One more week of the children being home from school. Another week of spending for entertainment, planning for childcare and homes upside down. But it doesn’t need to be torture, and it most definitely doesn’t need to cost a fortune.
Here are some savvy, simple survival tips to make this week go as smoothly as possible.
As simple as it sounds, organizing the chaos with the besties will actually have the kid entertained and occupied with you being able to breathe and do what you need a little easier. Who doesn’t love seeing their friends out of school and playing with new toys in someone else’s home? Plan for half a day in a friend's house and then on another day, half a day in your house. Petrol may be the only cost with this one and you’ll be saving on the daily school runs anyway. Voila!
Cinema at Home
Doesn’t sound that exciting? Well, Disney+ and Netflix have hundreds of children’s movies and there is no way the kids have seen all of them. Make it an event. Go through and select a movie they have seen the night before. Tell them it’s a ‘camping movie afternoon’ the next morning and that you will make popcorn (or even Careem order from VOX for that extra treat), pull apart the sofa cushions and setup on the floor, grab some blankets and get cozy. Hey, they can even invite their toy figurines and barbies to join.
Best part is you can be using this as a ‘good behaviour threat’ ALL DAY. ‘’Movie afternoon will be canceled if you don’t tidy up this morning’’. ‘’I’ll cancel movie afternoon if you keep hitting your brother!’’.
Does your compound or apartment block have its own swimming pool? If yes, use it! No need to spend money going to a hotel pool. Make it a fun, interactive, and educational (free) morning with some good old family Olympic Games. Use your usual swimming toys or even throw in some safe kitchen utensils into the mix. Easy peasy games to get them excited like: How many spoons can you get into your bucket within a time limit’ or ‘who can fill up their bucket full of water using a cup’. So many possibilities.
An oldie but a goodie. You may be going to parks more regularly again now that the weather is getting better, but try going to parks you have never been to before. We do actually have a lot in Dubai, some bigger than others, some with lots of play equipment, and others that even have boats and animals. Do a little research and plan a morning or afternoon. You really don’t need to do much more than let them run free when you arrive. It’s new and they will explore on their own. If you are working or even just need some time to yourself and have some home help, drop them off and they will have a blast.
You don’t need to plan to have full jammed packed days every day. Aim for half a day of each day and your week is fully covered with all the above. Not only have you hardly spent any money, but you will be the coolest mama in their eyes with all these new daily adventures.