School holidays can be tough for expat children. They’re no longer surrounded by their school friends and their busy days are no more. This is a prime time for your kids to become bored and homesick.
Explore the local history and culture
Expat children are often referred to as third-culture kids due to their upbringing in a different culture to their own. Help to bridge the gap between cultures by teaching your child about your new location’s history and cultural practices. Children are naturally inquisitive and will enjoy feeling involved in their local communities.
You can do this by:
- Visiting museums
- Eating at traditional restaurants
- Attending local festivals and celebrations
- Visiting historic sites
Plan a weekly family game night
Once you’ve settled into expat living it’s important to organise some family bonding time. This will help to keep your family connected and strong as you face international living together.
Family game night is great for this. Keep it entertaining by allowing a different family member to choose the game played each week and remember to have fun! Family movie night is also a great option. Ask your child if they would like to invite a friend to join – this can help to keep your child connected with their school friends during the holidays.
Join a Summer camp
Summer camps are great for teaching children new skills, giving them independence and helping them to make new friends. Explore the options available in your expat location and choose the best one to suit your child.
There are different camps to suit children including: cookery, dance, academic, sports etc. Talk to your child to see which one they would like to join.
Take language lessons
It is commonly thought that children pick up new languages faster than adults. You may want to enrol your child in language lessons to learn the language of the new country you’re living in or retain the language of your native country
Learning a new language can benefit your child in many ways:
- They can interact with more people in the community
- It will help them to connect, empathise and understand their new cultural surroundings
- It can open career opportunities in the future
Join a sports team
Physical exercise is important for a healthy body and mind. Language becomes less of a barrier when playing sports and your child will benefit from the comradery of being part of a team. Joining a team is a great way for your child to make new friends and you might even make friends with their parents too.
Most sports clubs offer a trial class that your child can attend to see if they like it. Discover what sport suits your child and make sure that the training schedule is compatible with your work schedule.