How to survive the summer holidays

Are you dreading the summer holidays?  Or excited for them to start? Or maybe you have mixed feelings about them.

Here are some ideas to make the most of the break

  1. Don’t over plan. Firstly, children need downtime as much as adults, especially at the beginning and end of the summer holidays. There is nothing wrong with letting them collapse in front of a DVD or leaving them to amuse themselves to reduce stress levels. 

  2. Help them use their imaginations with you nearby but not necessarily joining in.  For example, let them use bedlinen to make tents, or combine watering the garden with water play such as running through the spray of a sprinkler or hose. Children need to build their ability to play safely on their own with the company of adults in the background.  Consequently, this increases their confidence by making them feel safe as they move towards independence.

  3. Aim to leave the house every day: the beach, park, a bike or scooter ride or walk or just a visit to the shops.  A change is as good as a rest and even a short injection of vitamin D and endorphins is healthy (and will help to tire them out too!) Whereas in wet weather make the most of the local library, museum, child friendly cafe, swimming pool, ball-park, pottery cafe or cinema.

  4. Stock up on some arty crafty bits and pieces (Wilkinsons do an extensive cheap range) and keep old birthday cards, envelopes and scrap paper and card for easy, impromptu making sessions. Also check out Scrapstore where you can buy cheap off-cut materials. Because you can use lots of household recyclables for craft activities, why not keep a seperate ‘junk modelling’ bag or box in preparation for the holidays?

  5. Use your supermarket vouchers cleverly (or hunt around on the internet for vouchers) for some special days out to theme parks and wildlife centres. Additionally, some vouchers can be swapped for a higher value meaning you get more for your money.

  6. Ask around locally for summer activities and book your children onto anything that looks like fun. Also check whether their school/ nursery have any extra clubs running or recommendations. Especially when it is likely that their friends may be there too!

  7. Arrange play dates with parents of your children’s friends. Why not take it in turns to host so that you can get some chores done or have some quality child-free time.

  8. Contact your family early and organise visits to and from grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends. As well as a change of scene, you may find they enjoy the time together too.

  9. Above all, be easy on yourself and cut yourself some slack over the holidays. After the year we have all had you deserve to rest up too. Term time is relentless. Furthermore, the holidays give you the chance to relax on your daily routines and habits and go with the flow.

10. Finally, keep your sense of humour!  As the saying goes: Those who laugh together stay together.

ideas for days out/activities

Visit England – places to visit and things to do

National Trust – days out and events

English Heritage – days out, things to do and events

Days Out – days out and things to do

Read my previous blog: HOW TO MANAGE UNCERTAINTY

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