Dinghy Rally

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So often these days kids are drawn to screens to play in virtual worlds. That’s part of the reason we enjoy boating so much – they are forced to enjoy the great outdoors. These school holidays we were rafted up on our boat with another family and the familiar whine of the kids proclaiming they were bored led us to make up a rally.

My husband and I did a reconnaissance mission to work out clues for the kids, then we put them into cryptic clues.

There were three dinghies each with two kids; a driver and a clue solver. Once the item was found they had to take a photo on their phone. This provided hours of entertainment (particularly as one of the yachts we had given a clue to find had sailed away after we wrote the clues!)

It was great to see the teamwork with the kids out independently cruising around in their dinghy, having to use their brains to try to work out the clues. My favourite clue was that they needed to find a mooring with three yachts on it. They were all obviously looking for three yachts rafted up together, but the name ‘3 yachts’ was actually written on a mooring. They had to cruise around and look at every mooring in the bay before they found it.

When they returned they all received a small prize for participation (in order to soften the blow that there was only one winner), and a small cash prize went to the winning team. The photos that were offered up for some of the answers were a stretch of the imagination for the clue, but for the most part they all found the majority of the answers (except of course the missing yacht).

The kids all had fun and we had fun watching them head off on wild goose chases when they misinterpreted clues. If only we’d insisted they had to find everything on the list, we could have had hours of peace and quiet until the missing yacht returned from its sail!

We’ve told the kids that next time they can write the clues and the adults will try to find them. I can just imagine their clues will be referencing pokemon characters and minecraft instruments just to leave us as bewildered as they were with some of the cryptic clues we gave them.

(Image courtesy of Simon Howden, Freedigitialphotos.net)

The Grass Is Always Greener

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Flash back to six weeks ago and I was looking forward to the kid’s school holidays. I’d had enough of making lunches and encouraging (nagging) my kid’s to leave for school on time. I was sick of ensuring the kids had all their homework done and then confirming that they remembered to pack it to hand in the following day. I was also tired of being mum’s taxi shuffling kids to their extra curricular activities. I was ready for a break from all that to enjoy our winter school holidays.

The first few days were heaven with the kids relieved to have no school commitments. I enjoyed lying in and not worrying about what the kids would have for lunch, until almost lunchtime. But after a few days of relaxing the kids missed their friends and we were launched into frenetic socializing with school friends. My mum’s taxi route didn’t end; it just altered to collecting and dropping off kids for play dates.

Fast forward to today, the last day of the school holidays, and I can’t wait for the kids to go back to school so I can get my days back to myself. I’m longing to not have to hear whining about how bored the kids are and can they just have an outing, a friend over or some type of junk food. These holidays it actually seemed that the more organized a special outing was, the more the kids whinged about how bored they were. The best times they had these holidays were when they were left to come up with their own game or way to fill in time. They actually managed to devise some creative ways to entertain themselves.

So on the eve of the kid’s return to school, they are looking depressed at the looming term, whilst I’m the one trying my hardest to not do my happy dance in front of them. Tomorrow I may have to take back the responsibility of getting the kid’s into their school routine again, but thankfully I will be able to return to my normal routine as well (which includes more blogging and writing). But ask me in six weeks time and I’ll be craving school holidays again, because as they say, the grass is always greener on the other side!

What do you prefer: school holidays or school term?

Image courtesy of Clare Bloomfield, freedigitialphotos.net