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:
- Don’t over plan. Children need downtime as much as adults, especially at the beginning and end of the holidays. There is nothing wrong with letting them collapse in front of a DVD or leaving them to amuse themselves to reduce stress levels.
- Help them use their imaginations with you nearby but not necessarily joining in. Let them use bedlinen to make tents, 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. This increases their confidence by making them feel safe as they move towards independence.
- 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!) In wet weather make the most of the local library, museum, child friendly cafe, swimming pool, ball-park, pottery cafe or cinema.
- 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. Check out Scrapstore where you can buy cheap off-cut materials.
- Use your supermarket vouchers cleverly (or hunt around on the internet for vouchers) for some special days out to theme parks and wildlife centres.
- Ask around at locally for summer activities and book your children onto anything that looks like fun.
- Arrange play dates with parents of your children’s friends. Take it in turns to host so that you can get some chores done or have some quality child-free time.
- Contact your family early and organise visits to and from grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends.
- 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. The holidays give you the chance to relax on your daily routines and habits and go with the flow more.
10. Keep your sense of humour! As the saying goes: Those who laugh together stay together.