Well, we’ve all made it. We survived another (or your first) year of nursery and school. Now we are going to be thrown out of our routines, and for 6 whole weeks our delights are going to be at home, with us… for 6 weeks…With cries and wails of “I’m boooored. What can I do?” (even though you struggle to shut their bedroom door with all their toys in.) and the presumptions that every day must be filled with activities, I’ve decided to jot down a potential life saver for a parent or two out there – me included. (And the best bit is most of it’s free!)
You don’t have to fill every day with activities
This is priority number one. 6 weeks is a long time, and to busy yourselves every day may not only seriously decrease your bank balance, but it’ll tire you all out. You’re on holiday, enjoy it! Make time for resting and recuperating, and enjoy the nothingness whilst you can. Experts are even saying that letting your child be bored is good for them. So forget the guilt of having some quiet down days and remember you’re helping your child (even if they don’t see it like that!)
Have a sit down with your kids and write a list together of what they would like to do over the holidays, being mindful to explain to them it is just a list and you might not be able to do all of them. It’s good to get an idea as to what they would like, and it helps you too!
Budget, if you can.
As I’ve already mentioned, 6 weeks is a long time! Don’t splash out and go here, there and everywhere in the first two weeks, try and budget for the whole time and spread out the activities you may already have planned. This way the kids have something to look forward to each week and you’re not left strapped for cash with four weeks still to go!
So, with those in mind, here’s a list of activities you could get up to in the holidays:
Duvet & DVD days.
One of my favourite things to do. Dig out your favourite DVD’s, grab a plate of yummy delights and enjoy a day in your jimjams cuddled up to your favourites. Nothing beats not having to get ready to go out…
Build a Fort.
It doesn’t have to be Buckingham Palace, you’ll be amazed at how much kids enjoy making forts and dens! Bring down your blankets and pillows, clear the living room and make way for a fort! Use the dining chairs and sofa to hold your fort up, grab a few pegs off the washing line to peg the blankets together and you’re good to go. You could even pair this up with your duvet day, and turn it into a “private cinema.”
We all know how much kids love being in the kitchen! Personally I’m no Mary Berry, and the extent of my baking is a Victoria sponge cake. I can’t stand the faff of some recipes, and others just aren’t child-friendly, so I’ve rounded up a few posts I think would be fab for you and your little ones to give a go:
- Brookies (brownie & cookie combo!)by Kirsty over at Winnettes.
- Raspberry Cupcakes – Winnettes
- Salted Caramel Fudge – Winnettes
- Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake as demonstrated by Kerry over at One Hull of a Mum.
- Rainbow Cookies by Pam over at Pams Bake & Baby Blog!
- Mug Cakes – Pams Bake & Baby Blog.
And so many more, you’re bound to find something you can make with the kids!
Arts and crafts days.
You can spend hours making all sorts, and it doesn’t have to be expensive! Use items from your recycling such as cardboard boxes, toilet roll tubes and plastic bottles (and their lids! – make sure the bottles are washed out & dried properly before use!) Grab some child-friendly scissors, glue, sellotape, paint/paintbrushes, and other arty bits you’d like (such as glitter…) and you’re set to let your imaginations take you away! There are plenty of places to buy this stuff from, if you’re an online shopper you’ve got Amazon, but otherwise The Works, or any big supermarket, Wilkos etc! You could make it more fun by picking your favourite book and creating something from it (for example: an underwater scene with fishes and seaweed, or a castle for a fairytale themed book!) Or you could create crafts for you to use in the holidays such as a “pin the — on —” and you could go for the traditional tail & donkey, or depending what your kids like, you could make a face & headpiece (a crown/hat/glasses/beard – you see where I’m going with this!) or you can just let them go wild and see what they make themselves!
Have a party!
Bear with me here, I don’t mean invite hundreds of people over and cater for the masses. No, what I mean is get some picky finger-food in for lunch, find some music and have a party in your living room! Play musical statues and musical bumps, get your pin-it game you made during your arts & crafts session, or wrap someone up in toilet roll in a minute! Play guess how many sweets are in the jar – any party games you like to play! If you’re feeling generous you could invite a few friends over to join in too, or you can just keep it strictly family.
Send the kids away.
To the grandparents, of course! Entice your folks to let the little ones have a sleepover with them. This not only gives you a moment of peace, but it also breaks up the holidays and gives them a chance to spend time with their grandparents! Or if not their grandparents, maybe to another family member or a friends house? Whatever suits you!
Meet up with friends.
Arrange playdates with friends from school or cousins etc. Let them run riot at home, and then return the favour by sending your darlings to them. Or meet up with a few of them at your local park or soft play, that way the kids can play and you get some adult time too.
With it being the British Summer, you can guarantee the day you want to go to the park it’ll rain. All day. (I suggest you scroll back up to suggestion #1 if this is the case.) But if by some weather-god miracle we get some lovely weather this year, the kids will be sure to have a ball at the park! What’s even better is 9/10 they will make a friend there and you can just sit back and enjoy a moments peace whilst they merrily play. You could even take a picnic!
A Garden Picnic.
If you can’t be arsed to go to the park or anywhere really (because let’s face it, we all have days where we feel like crap!) make a picnic at home and enjoy it in the garden. Play cloud spotting or I-Spy. And if it’s raining? Indoor picnic!
Plan a day out.
There are hundreds of places you can visit over the holidays, each one as busy as the next. I’ve generalised this list and localised it to Norfolk, as that is where I know…
- The Norfolk Broads
- A petting farm (Snettisham Park/Wroxham Barns)
- The beach (Hunstanton/Heacham/Wells/Cromer)
- Go fishing or crabbing!
- A museum
- Animal Sanctuary’s (Redwings Horse Sanctuary)
- Visit the Queens House!
- Soft Play/Indoor adventure play (I know how many of you like that!)
- The Cinema
- Go Ape!
- National trusts/parks.
- Go for a bike ride!
- Go to your local library. They often put events on over the holidays, but if not, a morning or afternoon there is often more fun than you might think.
- Make a day for buying school uniforms/lunch boxes/pencil cases etc. Especially if it’s their first year in September. Make it fun and enjoyable for them!
So there you are, a rough guide on how to survive the 6 weeks holidays. Remember, it’s not all about going out every day and splashing the cash to keep the boredom at bay.