School holiday times are lots of fun – especially when they involve chocolate, Easter egg hunts, and hot cross buns! But holiday times can be stressful too. Being out of normal routine can be difficult, and at Easter time the house rules can tend to relax a little which causes stress in its own way. Later bedtimes, long car rides and chocolate for breakfast might become part of the routine for a short while!
There’s nothing wrong with changing up the routine during fun family times, but making sure we communicate well with each other about changes can make the transition smoother for everyone. To help your family make the most of the Easter holiday, try these tips…
- Plan the holiday period together as a family.
Sit down as a family when Easter is approaching and explain what activities are coming up over the Easter weekend and throughout the school holidays. You could ask everyone to suggest one activity they would like to do together. (Younger children might need help coming up with an idea, and older kids might need to be encouraged to choose an activity the whole family will enjoy! But try to accommodate each person’s suggestion if you can.) Once you have agreed on everyone’s activity, put them all on the calendar so you know what you have to look forward to.
- Put some boundaries around chocolate consumption, or consider alternatives.
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t have any trouble eating a whole Cadbury bunny in one sitting! I’ve definitely passed this trait on to my kids, but I try to resist the urge to buy them chocolate eggs at Easter, as I know they will get them from everyone else in the family. The Easter Bunny brings each of my kids a book and a pair of new PJs instead.
- Tell kids what to expect.
This is especially important if going somewhere they haven’t been before, or don’t go often. You could make a social story to explain where you are going and what you will do when you get there. Or get creative on the spot, and pull up photos of Grandma and Grandpa on your phone or visit a cousin’s Facebook page to get photos to remind kids of who they are going to visit.
- Plan well for long car rides… but be flexible too.
Visiting family can be lots of fun, but being stuck in holiday traffic is a definite downside! It can be helpful to pack snacks and car activities, take turns choosing music, and plan plenty of active breaks (e.g. at parks or playgrounds), especially if your kids don’t enjoy the car. And don’t be afraid to veer off schedule if a longer (or extra) break is needed.
Easter can also be a great time to try out some Easter-themed activities at home. One activity I’m planning on doing in my house this Easter is making Chocolate Easter Nests. I used to make them as a child with my mum and anything that involves chocolate mini eggs is a winner in my book!
1 cup milk chocolate
2 tbsp butter
1 cup All-Bran cereal
18 Cadbury mini eggs
- Place the chocolate and butter together in a bowl and melt it over a saucepan of simmering water.
- Pour the All Bran cereal into the melted chocolate and stir until completely coated.
- Spoon the mixture into patty pans to form little chocolate nests.
- Place a few small eggs in each nest, and set in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours.
They will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week, but I don’t think they will last that long in my house!