What do you do with your children during the school holidays?
We have always sent our children to afterschool care and they in turn run a holiday programme.
Ok the care is done through the YMCA and their holiday programme is huge.
Their age groups are split into 3 due to the numbers.
Ben has always thrived in this enviroment and we had no worries adding Alex to it, however I was aware that he didn't enjoy it as much.
Now I am aware that I will never find somewhere suitable for both of them, nor could we ever handle having to send them to different places!
They always enjoy the activities on offer at the Y, but we do feel that they spend a lot of time sitting and watching movies. Ben again loves this but Alex doesn't. He doesn't mind watching movies but on his terms not by being forced to sit and watch something. However it came to my attention a few times that over the lunch period, the kids all had to stay in the kitchen room and watch a movie whilst the leaders split themselves for meal breaks. Which in turn meant that if you didn't like the movie on offer you were stuck there.
Now we have always explained to our boys that if there is a movie on that they are not enjoying then they are not forced to sit there and watch, they can do something else, but turns out they can't, and I was not sure if I agreed with this?
At the end of last year someone mentioned another holiday programme they had come across, there are loads of them by the way!
This was an art based programme, now before you start thinking we have budding artists in the family, let me assure you that this is by far Ben's worst subject, but turns out this programme is art based, therefore encompassing all areas of art, not just drawing or water colours!
So we investigated further and decided that we could only give it a go.
So this Easter holidays they spent a week at Artmakers. And guess what....they loved it.
They came home each day covered in paint! Despite having painting shirts with them.
We got pages and pages of different patterns on paper that just had to stuck up on the wall for all to see. We gained models made from egg cartons, bongo drums and toilet roll shakers.
They spent the first 2 days doing art related activities (no movies or tv insight) and then the last 3 days were spent organising, planning and creating a production for the parents to view on the Friday. Suddenly they had to work as a team designing sets, writing lines and planning characters. They had to paint sets and design and make costumes.
Each morning they were raring to go and eager to attend. I never once heard "I don't want to go today mummy!" or "I don't like it I am bored mummy!"
When having to make that decision to put your children in care it is an awesome feeling to know you managed to do something good and right for them, at least once.
I will be happily sending them again, not sure if it will be all the time, as I feel they will enjoy a mixture of both places, Artmakers v YMCA, but nice to know I can mix it about a bit and get satisfaction on somethings!