Surviving the holidays without toddler groups #12daysofparenting #Day1


Thanks for hopping over from Glossy Tots and welcome to my post for the 1st day of #12daysofparenting. We have many prizes to giveaway so remember to check back daily over the next 12 days. Full details can be found on the #12 DAYS PAGE and all entries to be completed via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

So it’s that time again. The schools are busy rehearsing Christmas productions and you suddenly realise that there’s only 12 days until Christmas! That’s right 12! So in a way it is a good thing that a lot of baby groups close down for the holidays. But then there’s the issue with… Now what do I do with my baby/toddler? How do I maintain my own sanity and grown up interaction?

I’m a stay at home mum to 3 children.  So how will I keep a 14 year old, 12 year old and a 1 year old happy and occupied all at the same time, while attempting to finish all the holiday preparations too? Penny is a very social child. She adores children and trying new things so the thought of having her stuck in a pram or indoors for two weeks just isn’t fair. The weather being unreliable makes planned walks difficult but I am hoping to squeeze in a walk before Christmas.

I’ve devised a plan to help me (and hopefully my readers) get over this quite challenging period.

  1. Don’t try and do too much- The temptation is there to try and cram as much into the holidays as possible in order to keep the children occupied.  This can lead to festive burn out and a lot of tired.irritable children and parents.
  2. Do make basic plan- Chances are that your usual organised activities won’t be running over the holidays.  A lot will be though, so it’s worth finding out in advance as you might need to book /arrive earlier than normal to avoid disappointment.  Children’s Centres will no doubt be busier than normal once the schools finish, so perhaps avoid those at peak times.
  3. Shopping with children- Shopping with children, especially at Christmas is to put it mildly…. a nightmare! If you can, shop before the children break up and if you can’t then online shopping is fab! You can avoid the cues with an irritated child, and lugging gifts around while hiding the contents from little eyes.  This includes your food shop too! Christmas delivery slots fill up FAST, so to avoid disappointment book early.
  4. Call ahead!- Chances are if you thought of it, so did 100 other mums.  Call ahead and see if they can recommend a quieter time? Soft play venues run a much stricter schedule during the holidays/bad weather.
  5. Plan some stay at home activities- Avoid soft play craziness during the holidays by creating some original ‘stay at home’ fun time activities.  Arts and crafts, baking, making Christmas gifts, home-made decorations etc.
  6. Utilise your local library- Libraries are often overlooked.  They will more than likely have some pre-arranged events which may get busy, so call in advance and see if you can book a place.  If not, an afternoon reading is a great indoor activity to promote some Zen in the madness.  You can also take some books home and build a reading den and dedicate some time to really exploring a new book.
  7. Indoor Picnics- Give the children some control and get them to plan a fun picnic lunch at home.  Get them to write the shopping list, help with the shopping, invite some guests and decorate a space in a unique way.  Perhaps bringing the outside inside! Don’t forget the clean up is just as important.
  8. Stay in touch with your mummy friends- 2 weeks is a long time.  It is easy to lose touch with friends that you only see at toddler groups etc.  Make the effort to exchange numbers and plan to meet up during the break.  Even a 30 minute refreshing winter walk in the park is a great way for the kids to blow off some of that energy and you get some adult company too.
    Startup Stock Photos
  9. Research local festive events early and fast track when you can- Facebook events are a fantastic utility to find out what is going on in your local area.  Local Christmas markets, Christmas lights, Charity Carol services etc.  It’s easy to miss out if you don’t plan ahead, and it will give the kids something to look forward too, so breaks up the holidays. Fast track tickets will help you beat the queues, so if the option is available then perhaps for your sanity it is worth the extra pennies.
  10. Create a Calendar for the holidays- Have it placed somewhere everyone can see it and keep it flexible.  Use magnets or write in chalks on a blackboard.  A lot of activities can be weather permitting and it is December remember.  Make it child friendly so that they can amend it and add to it too.
  11. Try not to stress!- It’s easy to get bogged down with everything that you NEED to do, rather than what you would like to do.  A good plan is key.

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18 thoughts on “Surviving the holidays without toddler groups #12daysofparenting #Day1

  1. Fuss Free Helen says:

    I think that lots of these apply to everyone, not just parents of toddlers! I vow every year to have all the shopping done by the start of December and of course never do. Enjoy the holidays!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Beautiful Bear says:

    This is a fabulous post Em, great advice for all parents! 🙂
    We’ve just moved and I’ve seen that our new library has LOADS going on so we’ll definitely become regulars I think.
    We’ll also be starting baby groups etc. in the New Year which I’m really excited for.
    X X

    Liked by 1 person

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