The summer holidays are always a controversial topic with many parents dreading occupying their children for such a long time, other parents worrying about how they will manage with childcare during the long summer holidays and then the parents like myself, that actually can’t wait for the summer holidays as we have so much fun each year! No matter what your view on the summer holidays is, there is no doubt that they can be stressful if you are not prepared, so I thought I would share some of my tips on making the most of the summer holidays.
My top tips for a stress free summer (although a little later then I had anticipated) are;
1) Plan! I am a huge believer in the old saying – failing to plan is planning to fail! Now I am all for children having time to use their imagination and deal with feeling bored rather then being totally over scheduled with every minute accounted for, but I also think that as a parent you need to know what you are doing and when, so that you can plan for work commitments, plan budgets, book activities etc so every year I make my children summer holiday books which tell them what we will be doing each day. You can read about these on a previous post which I wrote here. The idea is that the children do not have to continually pester me about when will we be doing certain activities and I can create a good balance of activities and free time where they can play in the garden or out with friends, use their imagination and over come boredom. Having a routine for each week mapped out in the books makes life so much simpler and is good for the children as it keeps them more focused and we are all kept happy.
2) Make a back up plan. I like to keep a few indoor activities in a secret place so that if something happens that you can not predict, such as bad weather or one of the kids becomes poorly, and you can not do what you had planned there is still something fun that is on hand to keep the kids happy and you sane!
3) Be open minded. I think that the summer holidays are really important for bonding with your children and as a family and they are also the perfect time to make memories that will last a life time, so the summer holidays are a time for letting your hair down and being silly! Do cart wheels in the garden, join in at the soft play, cover yourself in homemade face packs, dig for worms in the mud and get stuck in with the kids, they will love you for it.
4) Relax and be a bit more flexible with the children. Yes it is important to still keep some kind of routine for the children as most children do thrive when there are rules and boundaries in place and they know what they are doing, but does it really matter if they have sweets three days in a row, or if they stay up a little later then usual? You need to relax your expectations and there will be far less arguments and stress.
5) Make a budget and stick to it. Money can often be tight for families now more then ever, so decide on a budget that you can afford and then plan your holidays with that in mind. If you are on a very low budget there are lots of free or low cost activities that you can do if you do a bit of research and use your imagination. This post was inspired by the McVitie’s/Britmums blogging challenge and McVitie’s were kind enough to send me some of their BN biscuits. We received a packet of the chocolate flavoured biscuits and a packet of the raspberry ones. The biscuits are artificial free and 45% wholemeal and whole grain. They are also really tasty and make a great treat after a busy morning or afternoon of summer fun! I was a bit worried about the raspberry flavour if I’m honest, but they actually taste great and my oldest daughter Lauren who is 16 said that the raspberry ones were her favourite. I loved the chocolate ones the best as I am a bit of a self confessed chocoholic and Faith said that she could not decide on a favourite flavour as they were both equally yummy! The biscuits are a good size to fill hungry tummies and I will definitely be keeping some in my cupboards from now on!
I had to laugh when I came into the kitchen and found Faith using two of the biscuits like dolls talking to each other! It’s because of the cute faces on the biscuits so they are also great for imaginative play! This post is my entry for the 42 days of summer linky challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN – Learn more at http://www.mcvities.co.uk
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