The summer holidays are hard work, especially if you have toddlers or school children with younger siblings. Your usual routine goes out of the window, and your nice organised classes and activities go out too. So what do you do to entertain your children when they’re different ages and have different abilities?
First of all, there’s no pressure on you to provide a packed schedule of day trips and holidays. Your children will be just as happy spending quality time with you at home or in the garden.
If you’re like us though, having a bit of a plan or a list of potential activities will help you all massively. It saves you from ‘brain freeze’ moments when you’re sleep deprived, or if it starts raining. Keep a list of when local events are happening, as well as film release dates and the opening times for your favourite haunts. Even if something doesn’t sound exactly like your cup of tea, it’s always good to try out new things and your kids might like it!
If your children are old enough, ask them what they’d like to do. It’s often surprising to find that all they really want to do is kick a football around at the park or rock pooling at the beach. It can be very heartwarming to ask a child what they think their younger sibling(s) might enjoy too.
Here are some of the activities I have planned:
– keeping a ‘journal’ – my son is moving from Reception into Year 1, so I want to encourage his writing. I’ve bought him a large plain paper notebook so that he can draw or write about the various things we’ve been doing throughout the holidays. It means that he has something constant to do in a spare moment, and can also be used if he is with family.
– cooking – we seem to do less baking once the temperature heats up, but I’m bringing it back! Easy things like chocolate crispy cakes, biscuits and cupcakes are all winners, and I’ve bought an extra mixing bowl so that my daughter can join in too. I’m also going to get them both involved more with preparing their meals, having seen unexpected success with making meatballs!
– outdoor drawing – we have a driveway and small amount of patio so I’m going to let them have free reign drawing with big chalks and paintbrushes with water. I’m also going to get some giant pieces of paper / wallpaper that they can draw on. Tracing their outline and decorating it with pens / stickers / tape and stuck on paper is a great idea.
– theatrics – both of my children love to dress up, and my daughter likes to sing so I’m going to challenge them to put on an outdoor theatre performance. I’m suspecting it may consist of a lot of Moana and Frozen songs…..
With a bit of planning, the summer holidays don’t have to be stressful, no matter how much time you get to spend with your kids. If you want to go on loads of trips out, then good on you, or if you want to stay at home and make treasure hunts, that’s fine too. Just remember that your kids want to be with you and see you enjoying what you’re doing so make that your priority.