I’m sitting here this morning, with two of my guys off at school and my littlest bored to tears without his brothers, and it got me thinking about that first day back after a school vacation. Spring break just wrapped up and boy was it ever hard to get moving this morning. I hated to see my kids go to off to school about as much as they hated to go. I love how vacations give us some much needed family time together and are a time to reconnect even if we never leave town.
So, how do you survive the first Monday back after vacation?
Ours looks something like Starbucks, cake pops & lots and lots of love.
Seriously though. Think about how you feel about returning to “reality” after a week of vacation? Heading back to school after a week-long vacation can be equally hard for our kiddos. I seem to miss my kids more than usual on that first Monday and I can’t help but think they feel the same way.
As much as my oldest loves school even he was crying (and when I say crying I really mean whining) about going back today. His reason though? He just wanted to spend one more day with his family. I know how you feel kid! Anyway, it got me thinking about the little ways we can make these transitions a bit easier on our little ones. Ways we can maintain the connection.
Next time your kids head back to school on that first day post vacation, perhaps try some of these ideas to make the transition a little easier (for you and for them).
Ideas for keeping the connection going with your kids after a school vacation.
1. Back to School Breakfast. Why wait until September? If you have the time, (or make a little extra time) why not make that first post vacation, school-morning breakfast extra special. Maybe it’s a stop at the local donut shop on the way to school, or perhaps pancakes instead of cereal. Whatever your kid’s favorite breakfast is, today is the day to bust it out.
2. Lunch box notes. A hand written one is fine or you can find a bunch of great ones online by searching ‘lunch box notes’ on Pinterest. There are so many! I recently started a board dedicated to lunch box notes. (my kids love them). Just the fact that you took the extra thirty seconds to pop something special into their lunch box in will make your kiddo feel loved and connected to you when they see it at lunch time.
3. Surprise them with a special after school treat. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, just something that they know is an extra special treat. Maybe bake cookies or if you’re not a baker, perhaps cupcakes from grocery store? Are strawberries & whip cream your kiddos favorite treat? That would make an awesome after school snack!
4. Pick your kids up at school. Maybe you pick them up all the time anyway, but if your kid typically rides the bus, and you have the means, it can be a real treat to be picked up at school by mom or dad when that’s not usually the norm. I bet they will be excited about it all day. If you can’t pick them up, be present and greet them with a great big hug and a smile when when you do finally see them for the first time after school. Whether it’s after you get out of work or when they hop off the bus, show them how happy you are to see them!
5. Get outside and play together! Play is a great way for kids to blow of steam and decompress. Forget about the homework for a few minutes and head out with your kiddos after school or dinner for some fresh air and time to play and reconnect together.
6. Eat dinner as a family. If your schedule allows for it, reconvening the family for dinner is a great way to reconnect at the end of the day, especially after vacation. My husband works late more often then not and it can be hard for us to get everyone to sit down together during the week. But, on these first Mondays back after vacation it seems like everyone is anxious to get back home to that connected feeling we had all week long so we make a real effort to build our schedules in such a way that we can make family dinner happen. We talk about our day, hang out, play a little and everyone is refreshed, feeling loved and ready to tackle the rest of the week.