Yes, it’s OK – the rules can be holiday rules – for a few days!

Here on the Costa, the majority of the international schools are on holiday. Yesterday it was a the novelty of the first day, today it’s a fiesta day – but what about the rest of the week? Spending time with the children is great, however it can all too quickly descend into arguments, shouting, strops and slamming doors. Rather than planning how to make the most of the holiday, you’re counting down to the end of it when you can drop them back at school, have a coffee in peace and catch up on all the things you couldn’t get down when they were off.

There are 5 tips to help you – and them – get the most out of the half term holiday.

Yes, it's OK - the rules can be holiday rules - for a few days!

  1. Accept the fact that the usual routine is out and the holiday one is in. Talk to them about what that looks like, and agree some basic, lighter conditions. It could be simple things like:
    1. It’s OK to be in pj’s until lunchtime, but we have to have had a shower and brushed our teeth before lunch.
    2. It’s OK to spend longer on the ipad, but this is a holiday rule not a normal rule.
    3. We want to spend time together doing different things – but we all agree to help each other tidy up afterwards. There’s nothing more frustrating than making pizzas together and as soon as they’re in the oven, the kids have disappeared over the sofa to fight over the ipad and you’re left tidying up the carnage in the kitchen


  1. Go somewhere different – escaping the house can be a great way to enjoy time together in a different environment – and it means no mess in the house! Lots of families opt for the pool or the park – what not go somewhere different like a garden centre? Buy a few bits and bobs and then go home and each make a miniature garden. Rules about tidying up are in place so you know you’re safe there – either that or have fun playing with water outside!
It's OK - we know exactly what we are doing
It’s OK – we know exactly what we are doing
  1. Movie afternoon – close the blinds and curtains, get the snugly blankets, a big bowl of homemade pop-corn and watch a movie together. Print out the Cinema Ticket below, have them decorate it and collect it in before entry is granted! The only trick is, they have to complete one chore / job around the house to pay for their ticket! Great – you get to celebrate the fact they can do chores (very good for later talks about taking responsibility) and then you all get to enjoy movie time together. Let them choose the movie – even if it’s something you don’t want to watch. It’s a great way into their world and you’ll know more about what are are talking about if you do. Can’t promise it going to be Mary Poppins like – but you’ll get to know more about your children and they will love sharing their interests with you.


  1. Cooking in the kitchen – either make salt dough and have lots of fun creating shapes and characters. The link below takes you to the recipe and ideas of what to make.


Master chefs - you and your kids together
Master chefs – you and your kids together

Alternatively, make pizzas with them – a great way to introduce them to new vegetables.

Here’s a link with some fun ideas to help:


Embrace that inner child - you know you want to!
Embrace that inner child – you know you want to!
  1. The week will be over before you know it – take a chance to tap into your inner child and have fun in the way they do – they will love it and you’ll be surprised how much you could too! We have to be grown-up all the time – why not take a few hours off? try some of these :a. Get the dressing up clothes out – your clothes too – and dress up in combos that would never EVER leave the house -and play dressing up and do their make-up for them, paint their nails (boys can like this too!) Take photos and have the kids make an album on the ipad afterwards
    1. Have a back to front day – ice-cream for breakfast, cereal for dinner
    2. Create a story or a play together and film it as a trailer or imovie – if you don’t know how, they will!
    3. Play one of the board games together (be clear of the rules first!)
    4. Teach them a card game or how to play draughts
    5. Teach them how to play dominoes or another simple game you might have in the house.
    6. Play football, swing-ball, hide and seek with them outside – really!

Half term is over before you know it and I hope these simple tips help you, and them, get the most of your time together. My name is Andrea Robson and I help support families to make life and family relationships stronger, happier, and more successful for everyone. If you’d like to know more, please get in touch.

How to survive half term - and even enjoy it!
How to survive half term – and even enjoy it!