Your Go-To Summer Holiday Plan
As the last part of the last school term starts, there’s only one thing on everyone’s minds: summer holidays. For kids, six or seven blissful work-free weeks lie in wait. And for us parents? Six or seven stressful weeks of keeping children amused are about to land on us. If you’re a super organised type, you might already have a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, and so on… And for the rest of us – well, I’ve put together this list of emergency back-up activities and suggestions, to hopefully fill up any spare time!
Decide when family time is
If you’ve got older kids, they’ll probably be quite happy with a free pass to spend the summer with their mates. But if your family time is limited due to busy work schedules, make sure you lay down some ground rules. I wrote a post at the beginning of the year with some great family-time ideas – you can read it here. Let your kids know when they’re expected to be at home, then give them that much needed free rein.
Be prepared – stock up now
Once the last bell rings and the children are let loose, you’ll struggle to find anything left in the shops. Paddling pools? Gone. Swingball sets? Gone. Giant outdoors board games? Gone. Colouring pencils?! Gone! So, start making a list of your kids’ favourite activities now, and make sure you’ve got enough to keep you going through an apocalypse – let alone just the summer holidays. I love to browse on sites like Deals.co.uk, as well as other supermarket sites. You can normally save a few pennies, and you won’t get caught up in the mid-week food shop run!
Have a rainy-day emergency plan
While we can wish for six weeks of sun, we’re unlikely to get it. And when the rain does arrive, you need to be prepared. Luckily, there’s plenty of easy things you can set up for your kids to do inside. Why not try your hand at making jewellery or learning to crochet? Both activities are less messy than painting or crafting – you won’t be peeling glue off your furniture! If you’re up for making a mess, then cooking is always a good shout. BBCGoodFood.com is my go-to for kid-friendly, simple recipes – but I’d love to hear any of your suggestions too.
Make sure you don’t lose out on downtime
The summer holidays often fly by, and before you know it, September has started and the kids are back in uniform. So, try to calm things down between holidays and days out with some quiet days. Keep the back garden filled with toys, and the bookshelf stocked with stories, and you’ll be onto a winner.
Put some days out in the diary
If you’ve already got a holiday planned, you might not want to be organising many expensive day trips. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do free, or for very little money. Depending on where you live, try investing in a National Trust pass. It’ll give you access to some of the most beautiful grounds in the country, meaning you can escape to the country for the day, and let the kids blow off some steam in a safe environment. Otherwise, MoneySavingExpert.com has some awesome ideas to keep your little ones inspired and exercised!