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How to Plan Summer Holiday Fun for Kids

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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 …


  1. Don’t overschedule… don’t plan every last minute of every day!!
  2. Just have simple prompts to play ready to go … particularly no prep ones like these … so you’re not constantly back footed …
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. Love, love, love your library … go every week. This is a great way to keep kids reading over the summer break.
  6. 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
  7. Get out early … before the squabbles start … and beat the crowds
  8. Prep something fun for packed lunches on trips so not tempted to buy stuff
  9. Create a simple weekly meal plan and bulk cook + freeze everything in advance … pizza Monday and Spag Bol Tuesday helps give kids a routine …
  10. 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
  11. Tolerate mess … BUT have a quick tidy up together before lunch, 15 minutes at end of the day and 30 minutes once a week
  12. A rota for simple chores … setting table, filling the dishwasher, helping with laundry, watering plants … and having a reward chart for them …
  13. Put aside at least 15 minutes every day for reading practice
  14. Work mental arithmetic into as many everyday activities as you can – going to the store – adding up reward points
  15. Create a daily diary to keep up writing practice
  16. 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.
  17. Book in stuff like dentists, hair cuts that never get around to during term.
  18. Shop back-to-school stuff early so you are not caught in last-minute scrap for stuff
  19. 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!
  20. Let them be BORED some of the time!! Working out how to entertain yourself is an incredibly important skill


Tuesday 13th of June 2023

Amazing! This is such a wonderful post.


Tuesday 28th of September 2021

Interesting ideas and this blog post really help me a lot thank you for posting such amazing content keep posting

Hannah Mums' Days

Wednesday 17th of June 2015

just brilliant! this is my first summer holiday where Reuben will be off and I'm slightly scared about it! It think the meal ideas and getting a routine for each day, is particularly good! Thanks for linking up to #TheList xx


Thursday 18th of June 2015

Have to say am so looking forward to holidays and escape from school run torture every morning but also know if we don't have a bit of routine we will still be in pyjamas and in a grump everyday at lunch time :-)

JDaniel4's Mom

Thursday 5th of June 2014

This is such a great resource! I love the idea of journaling over the summer.

Aubrey Hunt

Monday 2nd of June 2014

Love this list! I just found you through the Babies and Beyond Link up, and I'll definitely be checking back! :)