Beach Cushion from Betsy Jarvis
With summer approaching there will be many parents faced with the daunting prospect of keeping their kids entertained over the summer. Even if it's just for a two week staycation whilst you have time off work, it's a good idea to plan in advance what you'll be getting up to.
We've put together some tips for surviving the holidays by having a plentiful supply of activities to keep the kids occupied and avoid the nerve grating 'I'm bored' syndrome. As you may have guessed it's all about planning!
Make A Family Summer Calendar
You need a calendar that you can all refer to. Get together with your kids and start planning your calendar. Give every day of the holiday enough space to write an entry in and allow input from all members of the family - it can be tricky to do activities that cover all ages.
How about a diy magnetic calendar? Try this tutorial from 'The Qilted Fish' for inspiration
Use stickers and marker pens or even give the task to a computer savvy child to make up a spreadsheet with some fun clipart, they learn IT skills from preschool now so it will probably be done in a flash.
The goal is that you all work on it together - it's a great way to begin to brainstorm ideas whilst you're busy making it - for days out, or activities that your kids will really enjoy. You need to commit to anything that's written in black and white on the calendar, so check your own commitments thoroughly before you start so you can add in all the important adult stuff that needs to get done, including any days where you have to be at work or have to do housework. Your local authority is likely to run a summer camp for children with working parents.
Add in 'surprise' days out that will give your children something exciting and mysterious to look forward to.
If your kids know that Monday mornings are 'pyjama days' were they can veg out and Fridays are 'treat days' where you will take them out somewhere special it gives structure to the week. It also gives you a little leverage for good beahiour during the week too!
Eco Jewellery Making Kit - Pretty Pink
Brainstorm with Friends
Invite other Mums and Dads you know for a diary and brainstorming day / evening. Teamwork is a great idea when it comes to parenting. There's a double bonus to this - you get to have fun with your friends!
Get out the tea and cake or head down the pub, just remember that you must all bring your diaries too so you can make some firm arrangements. They may have some great ideas for days out that you hadn't heard of. Also you can organise group days where you can save some money on entry by having a large group rather than a family entry cost - or enable you to share petrol if one of you has a people carrier that will take 2 families.
Having extra kids around, especially ones that get on well can take the pressure off a bit. Arrange in advance mornings or afternoons where you will look after a friends kids in exchange for them looking after yours on another day. This makes sense, it gives you time to charge your batteries or get some work done and it also feels like double the fun for the kids.
Ask your kids to help choose activites in advance so you can be sure to have all the supplies you might need ready. Dragging children around craft supplies shops or garden centres can be expensive and tiring. If you order online and get it all available in advance you can avoid all of that unnecessary stress and you will probably find a few better deals too. Clubbing together with other parents and buying 3 for 2 offers could also save you some money - it's definitely worth doing your homework and it may pay for that night out you have!
We've created a Pinterest page full of boredom busting activities for kids - The Summer Holiday Survival Guide, there are more than enough ideas to play with here! Crafts, gardening, cooking. You don't need a Pinterest account to look at them, just click the link and double click on the images to head over to the bookmarked web page.
We would love to hear about your plans for entertaining the children over the summer, please leave us a comment below :)