Parents? Here's a post you're going to want to bookmark.

This post is sponsored by P&O Cruises




This is one of those posts you’re going to want to bookmark.  Trust me on that one.

I’m going to be honest with you. I only barely survived the Easter kindy/school holidays with my sanity in tact. Within an hour of the first day of holidays I was already contemplating making phenergan milkshakes. By the last day I was found curled up in the fetal position rocking back and forth under the dining room table, fingers in my ears, muttering “Happy place, happy place”.

Seriously, with a four-year-old, a one-year-old, the seven-year-old cousin, two dogs and sporadic special guest star appearances by two little girls from across the road … the Easter school holidays were like my own personal Vietnam.

Lord how I wish I was joking.

So the purpose of this post is to swap our best ever school holidays survival strategies.  Think of this post as the Mamamia War Room.  It’s time to get match-fit and arm ourselves with new ideas. Ideas that aren’t reliant on theme parks and play zones.

I want your best at-home-on-the-cheap ideas. Seriously. Gimme.

To kick things off, I’ll share 5 rather awesome ideas I stole from my immediate circle of friends last week when I pleaded for help.

1. Cardboard Box Forts, Cubbys and Tunnels:  From now on try and keep your cardboard boxes.  At school holiday time, let the kids have them out on the grass with some old sheets and pillows to make a cubby or tunnels.  If you’ve got paints or some chunky crayons they can paint and decorate them too.

2. Treasure Hunts:  Get the kids to bury a small treasure in the backyard and then create a treasure map so that later in the day you (or some of the other kids) have to use the map to find the treasure.

3. Scavenger Hunt:  Make a list of random items that have to be found and collected from the back garden (or on a walk).

4. Visit an Op Shop and Put On A Play:  Take a trip down to your local St Vinnies and let the kids choose some clothes for a play. Then when they come home they have to write a script, rehearse and put on a play for you (which you could also film if you have a video camera).

5. Play MasterChef:  Most kids love to cooking (or at least love to eat).  Creating their own home-made pizzas or baking and decorating cupcakes will usually fill an hour or two.  If the kids are old enough let them create their own ‘Instant Restaurant” a la My Kitchen Rules. Worried about the mess? That’s why martinis were invented. Drink up.

Aaaaaaand, that’s all I got. I’m out.  So now it’s over to you. Don’t let me down, people. I’m desperate and the June/July holidays will be here faster than you can say, “When Jimmy Giggle starts looking attractive it’s time to put down the jug of tequila”

Of course, there are easier ways to survive the school holidays. Actually not just survive them but enjoy them. As a family. All of you. Imagine that!  And it’s called GOING ON A CRUISE.  Suddenly the school holidays are about fabulous food (not made by you — high-5 to that), games and island adventures and activities and  (best of all in my opinion) a kids club that means you actually get to relax by the pool and read a book. Or, you know, sleeeeeeeeeeeep.

A P&O Cruises holiday means two things: the time of your life and fantastic value.

If you’re looking for a holiday that ticks every box – from superb cuisine to unrivalled sightseeing and as much (or as little!) action and excitement as you can handle – then the holiday you’re after is a P&O cruise.

Everything’s included in your fare: main meals, onboard activities and even our Kids’ Clubs which stay open late so you can make every night a date night. All that’s left for you to worry about is relaxing and having a good time. What’s more, your holiday with us won’t begin sitting next to a complete stranger on an eight-hour flight, crammed in tighter than sardines. In fact, it’s the opposite: your hassle-free holiday starts the moment you board.

This post is sponsored by P&O Cruises. Comments on this post are just for this post. If you want to talk about the IDEA of sponsored posts or the choice of advertisers please click here. We will be reading all those comments too for feedback.

What do you do with your kids to survive school holidays?  Have you ever gone on a cruise with your family?