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How to make the best of the Easter break

by Mariella Camilleri, for kidsmalta.com
Easter holidays are on the horizon once again. Unlike Christmas, Easter break is less hectic, we don’t tend to run around shopping for ideal gifts and hopping from one house to the next for drinks and nibbles. Spring is in the air and suddenly we feel the need to emerge from our cozy homes to enjoy glories weather and mild sunshine.

Kids inevitably look ahead to this break, following the rather short mid -term, carnival holidays. Exams are over and children can take a short break from their studies before resuming for the final exams. So get up and get out.

Switch off the television and unplug all electronic games. Take out the children to a park together with their bicycles, tricycles and scooters. Let them run around and unwind to the point of exhaustion. They should welcome the freedom to play around after weeks of sitting in a classroom and endless homework. Plan ahead and try to prepare lunch or dinner early. Get the children to help you with clearing up, yes even little children can put away toys and place dirty clothes in a linen basket. Kids are more willing to help if a reward or treat is in store, so the more you get accomplished the sooner you can be out and about.

Meet friends with children. While your children enjoy themselves you can have a grown up conversation with other mothers. Everybody needs company; if this is impossible because other parents are at work, invite friends over. You will be better if your children have company, giving you time to relax and read a good book.

Go on a picnic. The country side will be truly beautiful this time of the year. Beaches are also ideal picnic locations, providing plenty of open space; the sand will be cleaner at this time of the year. Take along buckets, spades and a ball or Frisbee. Pack up a scrumptious picnic and enjoy the outdoors. Easter break is different from summer holidays; you cannot really take the kids on a picnic in the middle of July.

If the weather isn’t warm and sunny don’t panic. Think of new ways to keep the kids occupied. To keep up with the Easter team, decorate some eggs.  First wash the egg, pierce both ends with a needle and blow out the contents. When this process is complete the egg can be painted. Even little toddles can give this a try. Place newspapers on the floor or table to prevent staining. When you are done leave the eggs in cups on a windowsill as decoration.
Bake: Figollas are not only tasty but quite fun to form. Get cute metal shapes which kids will love and gather them around the table to do the cutting (always remember to supervise little children when they are using sharp objects.). Decorate  figollas  in frosty icing sugar. Alternatively bake cakes or biscuits and cover in icing sugar. Enjoy the indoors until the sun peeps out.

Holidays tend to put us in a relaxed mood; however they might be the ideal time to review any difficulties your child has had with his studies. Take a look at your child’s copybooks, does he or she have a problem with spelling, multiplications or maybe their reading could be improved? Try and set a short time aside. 30 minutes every morning is all you need, try to turn the process into a little game.
Listen to them read get them to ask you questions about the passage. Make learning fun. Fuel their imagination and ask them to make up stories, it will come in handy when they are asked to write a story. When exams approach in the next two months you will find revision that little bit easier. It will also help them remember better what they’ve learned so far.

Do not spend the entire holidays forcing kids to look at their books, be realistic just a little time revising will refresh their memories. This process is important to keep kids on track but it shouldn’t be forced and replace playtime. Children await holidays because it gives them the freedom to enjoy life, running and playing. That is why it is important for children to play outdoors and benefit from fresh air.
If you have a garden make the best of it. Get the children to help you with gardening. Repot flowers, cut out dry leaves, kids love nature so let them get their hands into the soil. If you are uprooting weeds, don’t forget to remind the children to wear gloves, nettles tend to irritate the skin and cause discomfort.
If you are having family for lunch and you have children invited, you could organize an Easter egg hunt. Place small Easter eggs in the garden, in pots and near trees and send the children to collect them. Easter egg hunts are quite popular in England, which is a rather sweet tradition and children will have something to look forward to after Easter lunch.

Easter is bound to leave your kitchen counter laden with figollas and Easter eggs. If you have one too many, organize a chocolate fondue. Most kids are chocolate lovers. Melt the chocolate and add fresh cream, even if you don’t have a fondue set, you can still melt the chocolate by placing it in a bowl over a pan filled with water. Chop up fruit, cake or sponge, provide sticks and let them dip.

Finally remember to enjoy yourselves. Easter holidays are conveniently timed with our lovely spring weather, a promise of more to come. Bear in mind those two weeks is a rather short time, so if you can postpone tedious activities do so. If a break from work is possible take it and make the most of family time. So gear up and have fun. Easter holidays are a great springtime break for both kids and parents.
After a two week break, kids will be ready to face the last semester  of the scholastic year and the challenge of their annual exams , bearing in mind that summer is just weeks away.

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