Summer days should be filled with family happiness, fresh air and sunshine. Sister Lilian gives you pointers to make the most of the holidays.
Travel savvy sets the tone
These five points will get your holiday off to a good start:
1. Buy inexpensive, special toys that you only bring out in the car or on the plane.
2. Music will help soothe little ones (and parents). Bring a portable music player for flights. Older children respond well to audiobooks too.
3. A bunch of keys and a magnet will fascinate a baby endlessly.
4. Don’t feed your little one anything that will give him an unnatural energy high, but make sure he’s not hungry.
5. Once you’re at your destination, take it easy for the first day or two so that you don’t disturb his routine too much. Locate the closest pharmacy and hospital too, just in case of medical emergencies.
Fun and games
The simplest family times are often the most fun. While the absence of work and home stress should leave you feeling happy and relaxed, parents often find that they don’t really know how to spend 24/7 time with their little ones. It seems to be a skill that is fast disappearing in today’s busy world. These seven activity ideas will also help keep your tot busy during the holidays:
1. Go for extended walks. Whether your baby is in a buggy or in a kangaroo-type carrier, or can walk independently, walks are guaranteed to soothe them if they are unsettled and waken their curiosity to everything around them.
2. Always have a variety of balls on hand to roll to your baby or toddler.
3. Invest in a ‘bug hunting’ set and study the tadpoles and insects your toddler finds and then help them set the bugs free.
4. Construct a ‘tent’ with sheets, blankets and cushions for your little ones to ‘camp’ in.
5. Stacking toys and beach buckets and spades are firm favourites from six or nine months, and encourage dexterity.
6. Visit an animal farm. Ducks, peacocks, horses, donkeys and cows will impress your toddler no end, and he’ll love feeding the animals. Take a picnic along, too.
7. Make sure to pack farm or wild animal play sets for endless hours of fantasy play on the beach, at the caravan park or at home.
Not too much sunshine…
Because sunburn can spoil a holiday instantly (not to mention it’s bad effects on the skin), ensure that each family member does these five things:
1. Wears a hat and clothes that cover as much as possible, but are still light and cool
2. Remembers that sunburn also happens on overcast days
3. Realises that water doesn’t offer protection; you can still burn while swimming
4. Sticks to midday shade as much as possible
5. Slathers on the water-resistant sun cream, reapplying every two hours and after swimming, sweating, or wiping with a towel – and don’t forget to put sun cream on ears, backs of necks, faces, the tops of feet, and partings in hair