The summer holidays are nearly here and that means no school until September. Obviously we parents are over the moon with this news and we cannot wait to spend some quality time with each other as a family. However, at the start of the summer those 6 weeks seem to be yawning ahead. All you can see are the pound signs. Keeping children entertained over the summer can be an expensive affair! Did you know that the average parent spends £1,200 on keeping their child entertained over the summer? Say what! That’s ridiculous. I could buy a Mulberry handbag for that. Obviously I am not bitter at all and never have I been tempted to trade my child in for a handbag. Never.
Anyway, I do get excited about the summer holidays but I still need to ensure that I have tricks up my sleeve. We can’t afford to spend shed loads of money so here are my thrifty tips for surviving the summer holidays with your adorable children.
How To Survive The Summer Holidays!
- Set the ground rules on day 1. Yes, this is the holidays and that means we can relax. That means bedtime is not going to be a strict 7pm affair. However, you also need to remember that this means that wake-up time is no longer a 5am affair. I will wake you up. NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.
- The park. It’s free people. Get there as soon as those gates are open. Then encourage them to run round and round. Suggest that they take it turns to push each other on the swings. Encourage the bond between your children whilst you sit down on a bench and shout encouraging words like “not that high darling, we are not trying to send her to the moon. Oh too late” They will be so exhausted from the trip to the park that they will spend the rest of the day in a very docile state. Winning.
- The sock monster. Inform the children that the house has been invaded by the guzzling sock monster who has chewed up all the socks and spat them out again. You need to find the matching pairs and for every pair mummy gives you ‘I owe you an ice-cream’. This saves you doing the tedious job and will keep them busy for a couple of hours. You are a genius.
- If you have a beach then go there. Children love the beach. You can spend all day topping up your tan as you help the children build sand castles and bury each other. Again, encouraging the sibling bond. Such a caring parent.
- Get the grandparents involved! Every child loves it when granny comes to stay. Now you can act as a tag team and the hyper kids won’t be able to run circles round you as easily! Summer holidays are very important for encouraging bonds between grandparents and grandchild.
- Collect all of your toilet rolls. You know the empty ones that your husband and children seem incapable of placing in the bin. Now you have a use for them. Set the children a team working challenge. Between them they have to come up with a seat that will take mummy’s weight. It will never work but it will keep them busy for a good couple of hours.
- Get two/three/however many children you have boxes from the supermarket and put a child in each one. Give them some paints each and tell them to decorate their boxes and turn them into boats that reflect their personality. Tell them it is a competition and they will be in those boxes for days decorating them. You also have them contained and, therefore, they are not destroying your house.
- Get back to nature. Children love playing outside in the woods. Go all Bear Grylls and set them a challenge. They will have so much fun and go even more feral. You might want to hose them down when you get back home.
- Using all of your cushions and blankets etc encourage them to make a den. You can then crawl in and have a nice power nap.
- Bring out your inner Simon Cowell, get those high waisted pants on, draw a beard on yourself and tell them to put on a show that you will judge. They will spend ages rehearsing. The neighbours will ring the police because they have seen and heard a very weird (wo)man with high pants, brillo hair and wonky beard shouting “get off my stage.”
If all else fails then we have the magical iPad that can be cracked open in emergencies. Good luck my friends. Remember the summer holidays are fun, relish this time and enjoy the freedom. Ignore the whinging and focus on the positives. I will see you on the other side. Fingers crossed. Have a fab summer.