Ideas for Holidays, Weekend Breaks and Going on a Jolly


Isnt the weather fab!  Maybe you should go on a jolly.  Read this first:

Family getaways create memories, teach children about new places, and provide an often much needed break. Unfortunately, some children have a difficult time with new situations, people, and timetables.  This post includes ideas for making trips less stressful and more enjoyable before, during, and after.

  1. Prepare the child –Unfamiliar places and situations can be very stressful for some children.  Prepare children for a trip by showing them websites, brochures, or guidebooks.  Accommodation, activities, people involved, and transport are helpful for setting expectations.  If you are on a train, bus or plane, discuss any security processes and social expectations (using an inside voice, wearing a seatbelt, keeping feet off the seat in front).  Social Stories are good for this
  2. Involve children in the planning –If you are debating where to go, involve children in the decision.  Research different trips and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each place.  Consider children’s interests in the decision. Because you loved the beach as a child does not mean your child who does not swim, sunburns easily, and finds the feel of sand upsetting will like the beach. Before going away, let children help pack their bags so that they know what they will have with them.  Use this as an opportunity to discuss the weather and appropriate clothes for activities.  Pack and have readily available a small bag of toys and books for car journeys, unexpected waiting periods, and relaxation.
  3. Retain familiarity –Consider children’s routines and familiar possessions when planning trips. Sleep routines may be difficult to follow, but keep wake up and bedtime as close to the child’s usual routine as possible.  Familiar objects also help children with consistency.  If a child reads a favourite story before bed, carries personal items in a backpack, or uses a stress ball, remember to pack these items.
  4. Keep the child in the loop –Many children benefit from very structured routines and the lack of a familiar routine on holiday can be upsetting.  If children use written or visual timetables, create one for the holiday.  Some children just need a verbal reminder of what to expect next or when to change activities. Many times consistently keeping children in the loop helps them relax and transition through the day.
  5. Remember to rota in some downtime –Families often over plan and cram things in.  Spending time with friends and family, going from one location to another, or doing a number of things at one place can exhaust children.  Plan rest periods so children can read, play a game, or sleep
  6. Create memories –Trips are fun and exciting, but children often forget some of it when they return home. Make a scrap book.  Every evening discuss the day’s events and write or stick things in the book – pictures, tickets, leaflets etc.  Read the book during the year to remember the experience, encourage communication, and plan future jollies.
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