SUMMER HOLIDAYS ARE NEARLY HERE…
The countdown to the Summer Holidays has started and those of us who can’t escape to the office are beginning to wonder how we can keep our sanity during this long break. Here are our top tips to stop any mental breakdowns and to prevent you asking for your kids to be taken into care.
The worst kind of holiday can be one which is absolutely jam-packed with activities and people. The kids and you need a break. Not just from school but from all your friends (no matter how good friends they are) and from constant schedules. Slow down the pace by having a couple of days a week when you stay in your PJs and throw some spontaneity in the mix. ‘What shall we do today?’ can be so much fun. It can be as simple as a garden picnic, making a den in the living room, baking some cookies or just hanging out. This freedom from schedules offers the kids a wealth of skills; independence, decision- making and importantly some important peace. It is these memories which summer holidays are made of.
As soon as the dreaded ‘I’m Bored’ rears its ugly little head than squash it like a big fat fly. If we ever uttered these words our clever Mothers would have us doing chores and cleaning out the kitchen cupboards at 5p per time. Believe me when we tell you that we only ever said it once. If they (and you) do desperately need to break then have a few back up plans in mind and few friends you can call on for an emergency playdate or use the box of treats (see below).
SET REALISTIC GOALS
If you work from home, plan how and when is the best time to get your work done AND spend some quality time with the kids. Give yourself an extra hour by getting up earlier – it’s amazing what you can get done before the house noisily awakens. Likewise, an hour of earned screen time each day (yes we said 1 hour!) in the early morning or early evening may give you some space to do some work. Be realistic what you can get done and aim to be completely committed when working, doing housework and playing with the kids. The worst thing you can do (guilty guilty guilty!) is be on your phone emailing when you are supposed to be playing. Undivided attention is the way to go. So get planning.
CREATE A LUCKY DIP BOX
This will be your saviour. Get a box for each child and throw in a new magazine, some old toys they may have forgotten about and a few crafty bits & bobs to make. When things get fraught or as a reward, the kids get a lucky dip and you get some peace.
SET SUMMER BEDTIMES
This is one of the best things you can do for your sanity. Set the bedtime rules but offer it as an exciting treat rather than a negotiation. If they usually go to bed at 7pm then say ‘as it’s Summer and you have been so good we have decided you can stay up until 8pm’. If desperate for a glass of wine after a particularly gruelling day then feel free to use our trick and turn the clocks back an hour. Shhhh! (PS this only works on younger kids who are a little fuzzy about the time still but hey it works a treat!)
PLAN SOME TIME OUT
Time out is usually a punishment phrase but in this case we mean time out for you. 24/7 childcare for 6-8 weeks is no mean feat and we are all better parents when we have a break ourselves. Arrange a swap playdate with a friend or two so that one of you has all the kids for a day giving the other a break. If you can’t do that then book a babysitter for the day. Go for lunch. Read a magazine. Have a work-out. Book a Treatment. Drink wine in bed. What ever your thing is to keep your sanity. Enjoy. Some. Space.
Summer Holiday Activity Ideas
Create a Treasure Hunt
Have a water fight in the garden or ambush Dad
Teddy bear’s picnic in the garden or if wet, a carpet Picnic
Make your own Pizza (you can cheat and buy the base)
Write or draw a daily holiday diary
Visit your local library and all take books out (this can be a weekly activity)
Make a Den (inside or outside)
Send postcards to friends and family
Make a Pixie/Fairy Garden
Plant some flowers
Make Mud Pies or perfume with petals
Get the skipping ropes out and learn some skills
Graffiti outside with washable chalk paint
Create and paint a pet rock
Choose 5 toys to give to charity (de-cluttering at the same time)
Go for a nature walk and see how may things you can spot
Learn a magic Trick
Arts & Crafty stuff
See you on the other side.
Good Luck x