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The summer holidays are almost upon us! So why so glum, mum?
Hmmm … maybe it’s the thought of being Chief Entertainment Officer alongside the Household CEO, fitting in work and anytime for yourself.
Plus, there are all the extra mealtimes to provide for – why do kids expect to have lunch on non-school days, eh?!!
So how on earth do you survive the summer vacation without spending a fortune and without losing your marbles? I asked a whole host of my mummy friends, and these are what they came up with …
PLANNING SUMMER HOLIDAY FUN FOR KIDS
- Don’t overschedule… don’t plan every last minute of every day!!
- Just have simple prompts to play ready to go … particularly no prep ones like these … so you’re not constantly back footed …
- Check out museums and parks for free activities – there’s usually far more than you might think. If you’re a fellow Londoner, you’ll love this list of 50 Free Things To Do In London …
- Kick off a creative project … that will last all summer long. Set a photo challenge to get them to use their smartphones or tablets in a creative way. Give them a scrapbook and challenge them to fill it out by the end of the holidays. How about giving them a big list of things to draw when bored that they can refer to whenever they are… bored!
- Love, love, love your library … go every week. This is a great way to keep kids reading over the summer break.
- Try to create a bit of routine … i.e. do something similar each Monday … kids are much more adaptable if they know what to expect
- Get out early … before the squabbles start … and beat the crowds
- Prep something fun for packed lunches on trips so not tempted to buy stuff
- Create a simple weekly meal plan and bulk cook + freeze everything in advance … pizza Monday and Spag Bol Tuesday helps give kids a routine …
- Share meal plans with neighbours – it’s as easy to cook for 6 kids as for 2 – if 3 or 4 mums share lunchtime duties will cut effort even further, and kids will have more fun
- Tolerate mess … BUT have a quick tidy up together before lunch, 15 minutes at end of the day and 30 minutes once a week
- A rota for simple chores … setting table, filling the dishwasher, helping with laundry, watering plants … and having a reward chart for them …
- Put aside at least 15 minutes every day for reading practice
- Work mental arithmetic into as many everyday activities as you can – going to the store – adding up reward points
- Create a daily diary to keep up writing practice
- Arrange for them to volunteer and help someone else once a week … great if could be tied into seeing a relative who might not see so much during term time.
- Book in stuff like dentists, hair cuts that never get around to during term.
- Shop back-to-school stuff early so you are not caught in last-minute scrap for stuff
- Plan time off for yourself every week … to get your hair done, have a child-free coffee with friends, read a book, and take a nap … don’t wait until you’re in a meltdown to demand time off!
- Let them be BORED some of the time!! Working out how to entertain yourself is an incredibly important skill
Luci is the founder of Mums Make Lists (Est. 2011). Over the last decade or so, she has used her experience as a mum to create useful guides to organising family life. During that time, she has found the most joy in creating lists of ideas and inspiration to make it easier for busy parents to plan and host kids’ parties and find great gifts. Read more.