This post is for those Mums and Dads who might be thinking "oh god I've got another SIX WEEKS OF TIME TO FILL". I am here to help! Enjoy a few simple tips and tricks to help keep you sane, help keep your children happy and most of all help you all have fun! Here goes...
1) REWARD CHARTS
I am not adverse to a bit of bribing. Call it positive praise if you want to sound fancy. At the start of the holiday make a little reward chart, buy some cheap stickers from Poundland and think of three things you would like your children to work on. Could be picking up LEGO, sharing, going to bed nicely. At the end of the week they get a treat. Or you could give them pocket money towards going on a little trip at some point in the holiday.
|Plan a dress up afternoon and try not to scare the dog!|
Around this time of year I reach out to family and friends and see if anyone wants any playdates (you are allowed two families in one house now). I try to book one a week. I also see if Nan's and Grandad's would like to help out and pop those dates in to. So you have a guaranteed day out of the house at least once a week. SORTED.
Each year my kids make a summer holiday scrap book. On our adventures we pick up all sorts of crap to put in it. Leaflets from zoos, postcards from trips to the seaside, those free stickers you might get from National Trusts. Each day I get them to write a little bit about what they have done. And if they've got nothing to stick in they draw a picture. Again give them some Poundland stickers to decorate the hell out of it. Something nice to look back on when they have grown up. And you are drinking cocktails on a balcony in Ibiza with your other half.
4) FREE SHIZZLE
Have a scour for free days out with your kiddos. Perhaps plan on going to a nice park, the free zoo (pet shop) or look at places near you that are free. I live in the Midlands so Cosford is free. During to this year being a bit different (SH*T) you will have to book tickets. But again plan one free thing per week and BOOM you've got another day sorted.
5) CHEAP SHIZZLE
I have a National Trust pass for us which is just over a tenner a month and a Birmingham Botanical Gardens one. This gives us a couple more options of things to do. If it looks like it's going to be a bit rainy perhaps get Disney+ for the month which is £5.99. And don't forget you can bribe, I mean positive praise, your kids and they could work towards a farm trip in the middle of the holiday.
All hail the snack! At the start of the holiday I get a load of 'not very healthy but very nice and kids love them' kinds of food in. We are talking Party Rings, popcorn, cakes, Haribo. Things you can take around to other people's houses on playdates. Or that you can shove in your bag and run out of the house to the park with if they sun shines. However...be warned...you may (will) find yourself eating 12 Party Rings on a evening when the kids go to bed.
7) A BAG OF TAT
Get to Poundland, Home Bargains or order off The Works and make yourself a 'bag of tat'. This is a bag of stuff that can be whipped out if you are in a bit of trouble. Picture the scene. It's pouring, everyone is bored and grumpy and then Mummy pops upstairs. And comes down with A PACK OF UNICORN SLIME? DAY SAVED! Also you can get some crafts in, blind bags, just bits and pieces that are cheap and will raise a smile.
8) LOLLIPOP STICK TRICK
I have left a video at the bottom of this post with a great lollipop stick trick in it. We did it last summer and will do it again. It is a LIFESAVER!
9) ELECTRONIC BABYSITTER
There is NOTHING wrong with a movie afternoon ever so often. Get the kids to make a den and have a snuggle in front of Moana. An afternoon of Animal Crossing in their pyjamas is fine. The past few months have been really tough on us all. And a bit of of chill out time is needed. So grab some popcorn, chuck down a duvet on the floor and sniff your kids.
10) HAVE FUN!
Are there going to be moments during the summer where everyone is a bit cross and grumpy? Sure. But your children love spending time with YOU. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with how much my two just want to hang out and be best friends. There is that "you only have 18 summers with your kids" phrase which is a load of old b*llocks as I still see my family in the holidays. So try not to put yourself under too much pressure. You got this. Promise!