Practical Things To Do During The School Holidays: A Parent’s Guide

School holidays are fleeting and, as a parent, you want to make sure you are ticking off all the things that are difficult to get done during term. Between juggling music lessons, sports, playdates and sleepovers, it’s nearly impossible to fit anything else into the plan.

Amongst the fun holiday activities, getting some practical jobs done will alleviate some of the term-time pressure. Read below for a few ideas on what to tick off your list these holidays, with our parent’s guide on practical things to do during the school holidays.

Routine health checks

Whilst there are quite a few recommended general and specialist checkups for children, don’t worry, not all of them need to be done every school break.


It is recommended that everyone gets their teeth checked and cleaned at the dentist every six months. Finding a family-friendly practice might be worth travelling for, especially for a local Epping dentist clinic that can also offer orthodontic services and mouthguard moulding. If your child, or children, play a contact sport, regular mouthguard alterations or remoulding is needed due to wear and tear and the non-stop growing that children do. Hopefully, your kids won’t need braces but if they do require orthodontic work, they may need more frequent appointments, so you’ll want to find a dentist who is good with children.

Local GP

For medical issues that aren’t urgent but need to be checked, a trip to the doctor should be on the list. In addition to common concerns such as growing pains, warts, acne, and eczema, if your child has existing diagnoses like asthma or allergies, going to see your GP for regular checks and monitoring is recommended. 

Hearing & vision

Yearly checks are generally adequate for vision and hearing unless your child’s specialist considers more frequent appointments necessary. This may be because they want to monitor a larger-than-normal change in vision or hearing and see if any intervention is required.


Unless you are concerned about your child’s gait, posture or balance, or they have growths or pain, a once-off visit to the podiatrist is generally sufficient. After the initial visit, the podiatrist will indicate if further appointments are necessary.     

Stocking up on supplies

Term breaks are a good time to take stock of all the school-related paraphernalia in your kids’ bags, on their bedroom floors, or even hiding under a car seat. Start by checking what everyone already has before making a list of what is needed. 


Look for holes, tears and stains on uniforms and make sure everything still fits. Check the school socks are paired up and holeless. Test the zips on school bags and inspect them for holes (and stray mouldy sandwiches).

Have your kids stand with their school shoes on and feel if there is enough space between the big toe and the shoe tip. It’s a good idea to look at the wear of the soles, especially when going into winter when threadbare shoes on slippery surfaces can end in accidents.


Schools vary in their stationery needs. If your children attend a BYO stationery school, check that they have the pencil case basics: pencils, pens, eraser, sharpener, ruler, glue and exercise books. 

When it comes to extracurricular activities, ensure that the most important things, like a mouthguard, shin pads and appropriate shoes, still fit and are effective, especially if they are starting a sporting season. It’s a handy prompt for your children to make sure their equipment is together in a suitable place where they can remember to find it.

Shopping with a child can be torture. If you’re out with your children, turn shopping into a game, giving each child a list of things they need to find. You’ll get some thinking room while the kids do the shopping for you. 

Planning for next term

The family calendar is full with just one child. Add in more children and life gets even more hectic. Most extracurricular activities stop during the holidays, so it gives your family space to talk about the term-time routine, including any chores, and important upcoming events

Have the school term schedule, parent calendars, and information about outside of school activities at hand, as well as the family calendar (or a planning system that works for your family). Collate all the upcoming dates of school camps, special assemblies, sports carnivals, theatre performances, dance concerts, footy matches, and family events like birthday parties and work trips.

Working out care and transport is also beneficial. If you have primary school-aged children, clarify who will be collecting them each afternoon, especially if they will be carpooling with a friend, or attending after-school care. For children taking public transport to school, make sure that timetables haven’t changed, particularly over the summer break!


Whilst the practical side of life can be a bit dull, taking some time during the holidays to organise as a family can make things easier in the long run. Treating this guide as a checklist will help you get back on track. But don’t forget to add in plenty of fun and relaxation, so that everyone is prepared to jump into the next busy term!

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