I love the summer break, 6 weeks quality time with my favourite little people. However it’s a long time to keep the kids occupied, let alone safe!
Let’s be honest. There is only so many times us parents can hack the screams “mum I’m bored” or “Dad I told you I’m not going there it’s boring”. I don’t have a magic wand to stop the moaning, tantrums and the undue stress that the holiday may bring but I do however have some tips that might help a parent in need.
As a former childminder I would spend most of the summer holiday caring for and entertaining up to 6 children of a variety of ages (yes it’s ok I agree with what you’re thinking, I must have been nuts!!). On the plus side I have learnt from my mistakes during my time in childcare, so parents, I have you covered.
With a little planning I have some ideas that will take the stress out of the summer break.
Holiday Bucket List
A few months before the holidays get underway I gather the kids and compile a holiday bucket list with them. This is a great opportunity to listen to each others thoughts and get excited about the impending break. In order for this list not to backfire on you I do recommend that you manage your kids expectations. Make it clear from the outset that time and finances won’t allow for you as a family to do everything on the list. E.g. Scrub Disneyland off your list kids!
I encourage the kids to come up with some indoor and outdoor activities. Don’t forget us parents are important too so when its your turn write down some things that interest you.
Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect just try to get everyone opinions down on paper!
Create a Bored Jar
This really is as simple as it sounds!
The idea is you come up with a variety of activities that your children can do if they mention those fateful words “I’m bored” or as we do you can get a child to pick out an activity for the following day.
You only need 4 things….
- A Jar
- Pen and Paper
- Your Kids
Write down one activity on each piece of paper, fold it and put it in the jar. See how many you can come up with. Again it doesn’t have to be perfect any jar will do and allow the kids to decorate the jar how they like.
To get you started a fellow blogger has compiled a great list of ideas.
Know What’s On
Before the holidays get underway be sure to check local magazines, websites and notice boards to see what events and activities are on nearby. If you are going on holiday in the UK be sure to check out the things to do with kids page. You can find a comprehensive list of things to see and do in every county of the UK during the holidays.
The National Trust and the WWT offer a range of activities during the summer. Your child can get involved in anything from bat walks and fencing to Gruffalo exhibitions and Pond Dipping so be sure to explore what’s on offer.
Car supplies for impromptu fun
The key to a smooth stress free holiday in my opinion is organisation. I pack a beach bag with the following in….
- Sun cream
- Spare clothes
- Beach ball
- Bucket and spade
- Bat and ball
- Pen and paper
Other Handy Things
- First aid kit
- Sick bowl or bag
- Hand gel
- Suncream and hats
- Bread sticks and dry snacks
- Cartoons of drink/water
- Picnic blanket
Don’t over plan
At the end of term the kids are knackered and so are us parents! So the last thing that anyone needs is a military planned break. It is so important to include some days of down time in amongst the busier days otherwise you will all be testing each others patience! For a sense of adventure and surprise we love having impromptu days where we make up the day as we go along!
Take some time out
Holidays are fun but can be exhausting. Make sure before the holidays begin that you have some designated time off . If like me you aren’t fortunate to have grandparents on call, ensure that when the other half is around you manage a few half days kid free to relax and recharge. This way you will find it easier to cope with the daily demands of entertaining your little ones.
Would love to hear how you get on with some of the ideas here.
Wishing you all a safe fun-filled break!
For more summer holiday ideas take a look at our 50 day’s of summer bucket list.