As the holidays draw upon us I would like to recognise all the hard work and effort that our students have put into their daily routines and school work during this first term. Holidays are very special times and they give families a chance to reconnect without the day to day business of school.
During the school holidays some parents may feel pressure to plan or organise activities for each and every day. It is important to remember that the school holidays are an opportunity for all members of the family to relax, take a break, and prepare themselves for the upcoming term.
When planning and choosing holiday activities for your child and your family it is important to consider:
- The type of activities, routines and environments that are usually successful for you and your family,
- The number of activities, routines and environments you and your family will be comfortable with (e.g. are there opportunities to revisit or repeat activities rather than having a new experience every day, how much time will you have, how much time is required for transition activities),
- How you will prepare and plan these holiday activities,
- The routines and equipment which will help make these activities more successful.
For those planning a “staycation” in Hong Kong these holidays here are some simple activities that may be useful for around the house:
- Making simple foods, such as popcorn or cupcakes.
- Sensory play, such as making play-doh.
- Water play.
- Art play.
- Chalk drawings.
- Singing, dancing and playing with instruments.
- Computer activities (this should be limited).
As school holidays draw to a close, some children may be excited about going back to school while others may be anxious and worried.
Below are some handy ideas and tips that may be useful to prepare your child for the new term of school.
- About five days before school is due to start, establish a count down on your holiday calendar.
- Prepare a back to school story with your child. This can be a shared writing experience.
- Read a ‘back to school’ story.
- Your child may like to prepare a ’My holidays’ photo board, story book, video or other activity to share their holiday with their peers. Having this prepared for the child to take to school on the first day provides them with a communication aid when children are discussing what they did on the holidays, and helps teachers and staff to know what activities children engaged in over the holiday period.
- Check school shoes still fit and practice taking them on and off.
- Plan school lunches and practice choosing and eating from the lunch box at home and somewhere else, such as a park.
- Bake items for school lunches and freeze.
- Check the school uniform to make sure it still fits!.
If your child is not excited about returning to school, plan an exciting meal or activity for the afternoon of the first day of school so that there is something to look forward to.
Try to get back into the ‘school time’ meal and sleep routines several days before school starts. Try to have a quiet day at home before school resumes to ensure that your child is well rested and ready for the new school term.
If you are concerned about your child’s anxiety on the first day of school, make sure you communicate this to school and discuss potential strategies to assist your child with this transition back to school with your child’s teacher.
Keep safe and enjoy the holiday period!
David Shirley | Head of Primary