So as you all know the 6 weeks holidays are just round the corner and they can be really hard.
6 full weeks with your children – entertaining them, spoiling them, educating them, teaching them, disciplining, trying to keep them occupied and at the same not killing them. I worry that my kids will get bored, have too much screen time, not enough days out etc. So what I always do is a plan and book ahead. I do this as it makes me feel more organised and know what I am doing week by week. I know it seems hard work, but it really is effortless and you enjoy the weeks more. Before you know it the 6 weeks are over. It is better to pre-plan so when it comes down to the day or week you are not stressed and know exactly what you are doing.
Last year was amazing. We did so much and the kids enjoyed all of it – some things free and some paid as I like to mix it up and I was working 2 days a week in an office too. So I really had to make sure I knew what we were doing every day and where we were on which days. But when I look back it was really the best 6 weeks ever and that was from my perspective – so here are some ideas as well as little tricks to help you decide what to do with the kids the 6 weeks summer holidays.
First off I get my diary out and book out the important slots – days we all have off as a family, birthday parties, holidays etc and then I work around it week by week and then I mix it up. I try to book one big thing a week for either me and the boys or as a family of 4. It could be a museum trip, a trip to the farm, a festival. That is the main activity of the week. I get the kids pumped up for it too – so I say if you misbehave we are not going to the farm, or if you behave and get amazing on your awards chart we will go to the festival on Friday. So that is really only 6 things to save up for. As yes, it can be very expensive. I don’t over spend at all, in fact I don’t like too. I look for coupons, discounts etc – Groupon is amazing for this, especially just before the 6 weeks holiday. So always keep an eye out on Groupon.
Now you are probably thinking I don’t have a clue what the hell to do…This is where the blog post comes in handy. For the BIG one week events I always look at Hoop (an app that tells you what is on locally) it tells you times, dates and if you need to book, how much it costs and more. I haven’t used it a lot but when I have it has been very useful. It is great for a last minute events you are looking for. So if your plans fall through always look at Hoop. We found tea parties and horse riding schools on Hoop and Khillian still talks about them. I also use Facebook. Type in what you want like – pottery painting, cupcake making, outdoor cinema and then click on EVENTS and everything will come up that is local to you. Booom – you have so many ideas at your fingertips.
Facebook in general is really good if you use it properly. If you are members of mummy groups – like the groups in your area so many mums post what is on locally and small and upcoming businesses want you to attend their classes and events so they will post on Facebook. Always keep a look out for them. But my secret weapon is something most mums ignore. In Khillian’s book bag before the end of term is a magazine that comes with SOOOO many ideas of what to do in London and Kent and they have them before every half term. It will supply you with date, times, location, website addresses and the details about the event. It is so interesting. I go through it while looking at my calendar and if the date is free and ideal I circle it and then book it. It is a life saver. I always book something from the magazine and look forward to reading it.
If you still don’t know what to do. You can google some ideas or…
- The Beach – The perfect place to go if if the weather is great. Look for small secluded beaches that will not be packed. Book a hut, bring a tend and stay there all day
- Funfair – Funfair rides, all the candyflosh you can eat and lots of toys – is like Disneyland for kids. A great place to go if you have kids of different ages or older kids as the night time rides are the best!
- Bowling – Great for a big group. Get all your mummy friends together and book a bowling day. The kids love it and you can give them dinner there too.
- Park – Nothing wrong with a good old fashioned park and picnic. Grab a picnic rug, basket of food and spend all day playing in the splash park / sand pit / playground. Your kids will sleep like angels that night.
- We took the boys to a Steam Festival and it was the best thing ever. Food, music, live bands, lots of entertainment, soft play and characters dressed up as Spiderman and Captain Jack Sparrow. You can find food festivals are great for kids as well as music ones and craft ones too.
- Swimming – my boys love it. So much that I have to take them weekly and this summer I am going to sign Khillian up to swimming club. That is another great idea…
- Camps…they run from 9am/10am – 3pm and the kids will stay all day. You pick them up and take them home. You get swimming, football and even gymnastics and art. This summer I think Khillian will go to swimming but his friend goes to football and loves it.
- Local Car Meets – My kids love transport but I know some girls love them too. So many local parks and communities have car shows on that showcase old and new cars and to be honest my husband has fun there too. So win win!
- Soft Play – If you want to make them run around and get out all their energy but not get too hot and flustered there is nothing wrong with soft play. We love it!
- Theatre – My kids love the theatre. I love the theatre. There are so many shows to see and in so many places. We always go at Halloween and Christmas but summer holidays are the perfect time to go as they get to use their brains and be imaginative.
- Pottery Painting – I have been once and absolutely loved it. The place we go has a coffee shop and books and toys so you can really relax while you paint your plates, pots, money jars and more. So creative and something to always keep as a keepsake – which I am a big fan of.
- Cinema – If you dig deep you can go to the kids cinema (Showcase and Odeon) for £2.50 a person. It starts at 10am and is so quiet so if your little ones is playing up you can leave and not feel so bad about the money you have wasted.
- Princes’ Trust Grounds – we have a few near to us and we love them. So beautifully set up and every half term they have something new on for kids which is creative and so inspiring.
- Camping – If I could camp with my kids and my husband every weekend I would. I love it, but there is a lot of stuff to bring and think about. If you have a garden you can spend a day pretending to camp or if you have older kids you can stay till sunset and look at the stars.
- Grandparents house – Do not feel guilty when you need some down time for yourself. Of course you do. If you have someone to help you with the kids even for an hour or so over the 6 weeks – TAKE IT! That is what family is for.
- Library – Our library is near a big park and shopping centre so we hit it all in one day and the kids love it. Books, ice cream and a trampoline. Happy days. Our library has lots of events on for kids too like arts and craft sessions, singing time and more.
- Doing something with your kids will keep them busy and entertained all long. Something like baking takes one hour and they love it. Or take it to the next level and take a workshop of some sort. Cupcakes, brownies, push pops, perfume. Anything and everything. The kids will remember it forever. We did this at Easter just me and Khillian and he loved it.
- Football – Get a ball, find somewhere that has goals and let them go wild.
- Fancy dress – you do not need to have every outfit under the sun. Make a cape out of bed sheets, give them your old hats, find some old Halloween costumes – every little helps and do a show at home. Let them dress up and let their imagination go wild.
There are so many more ideas. You just have to think outside the box and my biggest tip – plan, plan and plan some more.
Enjoy, don’t worry and please do not compare your family to anyone elses. I hope this blog post has helped you and I would love to have you comment on what you did over the 6 weeks.