Malta, kids and a long hot summer. Holiday bliss or hell? As we reach the half-way mark in the school holidays, we’ve done a straw poll of some kids’ feelings about their long time off over summer. We can imagine what the parents’ version of this would be, but, for now, it’s kids who have their say!
And to put this in context….
In Malta, and in some southern parts of continental Europe, ‘summer’s out’ lasts a record three months. For instance, this year, most Maltese schools broke up on the 26th June and are back on 26th September. Three solid months of fun or mayhem, depending which side of the fence you’re on. Plus, in June, Maltese schools operate a half-day system ending at 12.30 which means in effect a four-month holiday as far as parents are concerned. So, if you’ve moving to Malta with kids in tow, you are forewarned. Kids though find this state of affairs highly attractive, or do they?
1. No school for three months, and no early starts. (Note: some kids are waiting at bus pick up points as early at 06.30 in term time).
2. Beach practically every day if you want! So long as parents can get you there and back as waiting for the bus isn’t nice in the heat.
3. Lots more junk food such as ice creams, pizzas, pastizzi, granita, take-aways from beach bars, and lots of BBQ sausages. Mums are too hot to bother to cook much in summer, so kids get more ‘convenience’ food of various kinds.
4. Get to make new friends at summer school activities (and avoid the school kids you hate) and meet real friends from school (and not be bothered by those you aren’t keen on)
5. Have sleepovers any weekday night, camp out on the beach and stay up really late! Families here tend to keep little kids up very late in summer as they all go for an evening meal or passeggiata along a seafront to get some air and to socialise.
6. Get to go to Playmobil a lot (the factory funpark is very popular with younger kids, and it’s airconditioned so parents benefit too!), and Splash ‘n’ Fun (Malta’s open-air water park).
1. Summer schools and various summer activities. they can be good fun, but by the second month of summer, we’d rather like to be able to get up late, not rush somewhere and just bum around at home in front of a screen. (If parents work, then summer school is a must not an option to be able to get bored kids through a very long hot summer.)
2. Other kids at summer school and other teachers. a lot are a real pain, and some ‘teachers’ are even stricter than our normal school teachers.
3. Beach. It’s OK, but we don’t like to go every day. We’re quite happy at a TV/computer/Wii screen too.
4. Summer can be as organised as school terms: parents often make sure their kids are catered for a lot so as to avoid hearing the ‘I’m bored..’ phrase.
5. We see a lot of granny: a lot of kids, especially the very young, tend to end up staying with grandma after summer school as their parents work. It’s probably not fair to some older, or less fit grannies, and not fair to the active kids who want to do more than granny can!
6. Parents tend to shout more: not surprising really, since they have their darling kids around almost 24/7 and have to think how to keep them occupied in the heat for 3 months! Tempers are bound to fray.