Surviving the Easter Holidays
It’s probably a combination of decent coffee, mountains of toast and Spring bursting through the undergrowth that makes the farm a real draw during the Easter holidays. It’s one of our busiest periods. We entertain a lot of bouncy, children and their charges.
As the holidays wear on, the calls from parents, wanting opening hours and entertainment inspiration come in ever earlier. Two weeks is a long and expensive time to keep the kids entertained. We thought it might be helpful to pool all of our experience of entertaining kids (there’s 12 children between us here in the brand team alone) into a handy list that one day might just save your sanity.
How to entertain the kids, Hawarden style.
1. Ignore them
Boredom is the precursor to creativity so force the kids to embrace it. Change the wi-fi password and ‘miss-place’ the tablet charger. You’ll be surprised how ingenious kids become once the responsibility of entertainment is laid with them. Fabulously, the by-product of ignoring the kids is a quiet afternoon spent luxuriating in your own boredom.
Find an open space and fill it. Have a screaming contest. Roll in the mud. See who can spin the longest. Find the most exhausting and unique way to expend some energy. You may have noticed we’re not exactly pressed for open space in North Wales with much of it being of the lush and green variety. Covering as much of this space as possible will release endorphins, resulting in tired, happy, hungry children.
We’ve always felt that kids are at their best in the process of tiring themselves out. Our Helter Skelter is free for that exact reason. There’s an awful lot of steps for little legs to climb, and boy do they climb it. It’s the ultimate little person workout, only minus the expensive monthly membership.
Escaping to the outdoors is a big love of ours. So big in fact, Charlie and Caroline Gladstone wrote a book about it. It might be an interesting purchase for once you’ve exhausted all screaming and mud rolling options.
3. Set Them Free
It’s been widely documented that we modern parents have a tendency to over supervise. There’s a big difference between the amount of freedom we had, compared to that of our kids. Free play and exploration is a great way for children to solve problems and learn a bit about the outside world. We’ve all seen (or been) the parent in the soft playground, taking it upon themselves to protect their precious charge from the big ones. Let battles be fought, mud pies made and games refereed without your presence. Give them the opportunity to say “I did this myself.”
We devised two nature trails on the farm with this sense of accomplishment in mind. We want children of all ages to feel empowered by the great outdoors. We want to give them the tools to explore it themselves. Both are a good 40 minute trek, probably longer if you stop to dig up worms.