The ‘back to school’ adverts have started before the summer holidays have even begun. All of a sudden the kids are at home, bored, arguing, under your feet and generally getting on your tits.
Next door have already kicked off about the noise the kids are making in the garden, you think the dog might have swallowed some Lego and you are wondering if it’s OK to have a gin as you secretly count how many days there are left until September.
Six whole weeks. How the hell will you all manage not to kill each other? Overwhelmed? Well fear not! Let us share some tips to help you survive summer.
Make a Plan
Don’t wing it. Survival needs a bit of pre-planning and organisation … but you don’t need to be Wonder Woman! Plans for the grown ups are important too, so make sure you schedule in time to meet with people your own age now and then and, of course, time to relax and put your feet up.
Put something in the diary for the end of the holiday that you can all look forward to. It can be upgraded with extras if they behave during the holidays. The internet is a great source for ideas, so type ‘free things to do’ in Google and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
You might be on a WhatsApp group with other families from school, but think about setting up one with neighbours, too. This is a great way to quickly share ideas, ask for information or beg for that all important foot pump or extension lead.
Make Some Golden Rules
Everyone needs to understand the rules and boundaries. We all know that kids love their routines, so might be feeling a bit lost without their weekly school timetables keeping them organised.
Maybe set some new routines and get the kids to help with some easy chores, such as keeping things tidy and putting shoes away. Tempting as it is to let them stay in bed for some peace, make sure they understand bed times and getting up times, then throw in some early nights to balance out any long days … nobody likes an overtired grump, be that them or you!
Make a Budget
The summer holiday does not have to be expensive and we don’t exactly have piles of excess cash to fritter away. Make a budget and stick to it – and when the kids are old enough to understand, be honest with them about what you can afford to do over the summer. Have a look online at your local and county council websites. They often have newsletters you can sign up to that will let you know about events near you, many of them free. Your local library and park will often host free or inexpensive events, too
We were kids once, even if it feels like a lifetime ago. We survived our school holidays without computers, devices and social media and will have some great memories. Use the summer break as an opportunity to make some new memories.
Kids love to use their imaginations, so task them with organising an event of their own such as a fancy dress competition, putting on a show in the garden or organising a treasure hunt or trail around the house or local area. If you have kids that like to get crafty, how about taking them to the local charity shops with a small budget each, then set them a ‘Sewing Bee’ or upcycle challenge. Challenge them to build something from things they find in the garden or shed, teach them to work with their hands (stealthy way to get jobs done!), build a den, or do some arts and crafts following a YouTube tutorial. And of course there are the old faithful activities such as walks or bike rides.
Kids just want our time and to have fun…the smallest things can make an impression that lasts a lifetime. They’ll be too cool to spend time with you before you know it, so make the most of the break. And if survival does get tough, then there is always gin.