We love holidays. I bet you do too, whether they are at home in the UK, short breaks, long breaks or in exotic places abroad, holidays are time for the family to come together and enjoy each others company.
We try to keep our holidays relaxed, time to eat new things, visit new areas, seek out local beauty spots and also time to learn new skills. I wanted to look back and see what skills the girls had developed over the years during our favourite times together, it’s pretty amazing as you see just how far they’re coming along.
The first skill our girls learnt on holiday was swimming. We spend a LOT of time at the pool simply because they loved it, they would spend the entire day there paddling with wings on getting more and more confident in the water. Before you know it they are lying in the water with the ears under the water and next they’re jumping off the side.
Swimming is a life skill and one I encourage all of my children to learn and of course they keep getting better, we’re now diving off the side and doing ‘somersaults’ in the water over and over and over again. At least they are tired come night time.
This video was taken on one of their first holidays in Spain, they couldn’t walk yet and they are having a scream here in the paddling pool with the rubber rings.
A great part of being on holiday is meeting new people and learning the art of making friends and we have found the kids clubs to be invaluable for our children, giving them the confidence to stay with other adults other than their mum and dad and to mix with children they have never met before. It is a handy social skill they will take through life with them and one not to be undermined especially when your children, like ours, are naturally shy. The confidence they learn on a holiday helps them in class when they have to speak in front of their peers, it helps them prepare for exams and it helps them make decisions about their future. The photo above shows various creations from joining in kids clubs on holiday at Retallack.
Driving and road awareness
On a recent holiday there was this fabulous track with petrol run bumper cars. It may seem odd but to start with the girls couldn’t get the hang of steering the car, it took a few circuits before they worked out how much to turn the wheel for the desired curve in the track. Once they’d gained the ‘knowledge’ we couldn’t get them off! At the same time they learnt road awareness and to stop, look and listen. They learnt not to walk on the track in case other cars were coming, to turn around and look and to keep themselves safe, a vitally important part of everyday life.
The first time our girls came across one of those ‘rock climbing’ walls they were afraid, I stood behind Alice and held on to her as she trembled in my arms moving from one point to the next. I coaxed her onwards as I could see it was her fear upsetting her, I knew if she completed the small trail she would feel very pleased with herself. The next time we came across a similar wall she was much more confident and although I stood close by she didn’t need me holding her anymore.
On our last trip to Cornwall the girls were delighted to find beaches strewn with boulders and rocks and dad and I watched them playing on them shouting out to anyone who cared to listen ‘We are rock climbers.’
We had a first attempt at surfing back in June last year on a break in Woolacombe, Devon. We bought them a wet suit each, looking back it would be better to invest more money and buy the full length suit as the moment they are cold they lose all interest and the short suits don’t keep you warm for long in our cold British seas. They loved it and belly boarding became a number one hit.
On our recent Cornwall break we were lucky to discover that Retallack also has a Flow Rider, we booked up and with full wetsuits on we had lessons on how to surf, it was exhilarating and thankfully there was a hot tub to warm up in, in-between surfs as it was the coldest day of the year.
Things we still want to learn
Of course we’re at the beginning of our learning curve and the beauty now is that they can slowly do activities with us, like the Flowrider above. We shall always encourage our girls to have a go at all sorts of sport and pastime so they have a wide range of skills and hobbies, a few things on our list to tick off this year are flying a kite, tennis and zip wire.
And things I dream of doing with my children? Swimming with the dolphins, walking a mountain, orienteering, skiing, white water rafting, canoeing and sailing.
This post is an entry for the Visit Wales #Wales4Kids Family Holiday Challenge.
Wales is the perfect place for a fun-filled family break, we have been twice to Wales. We took Megan (eldest daughter) when she was still living at home to the beautiful town of Tenby, it was my first trip to Wales. Megan was about 16 at the time and not the easiest teen to please but she loved her stay with us, we walked along the beaches, we explored the local area and we tried as many welsh products as we could find. Megan still has her Welsh dragon to this day.
Our second trip was to north Wales when the girls were still tiny and we stayed in Prestatyn. My highlight of that break was the trip to the beautiful beach of Llandudno.