School’s Out for Summer now until September (August for our Scottish customers) and if you’re wondering what to do to keep little hands and minds busy, its time for some ideas to take the pressure off and ensure that a good time is had by all.
Its annual leave time here at the office and so I have put together some personal hints and tips to share over the next couple of weeks; here’s part 1 of 2 of my School’s Out for Summer blog:
1. Sport for free!?
If like me you’ve got a sporty child then check out websites like the FA (Football Association) or the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) as they often offer free (yes free!) coaching for 5-11 year olds. Your kids can run their legs off and make friends and you can catch up on some jobs… Or perhaps enjoy watching them…
Or, even better, join in!.. I recently enrolled my 5 year old daughter in a free 10 week LTA course that encouraged lots of parental involvement; we had a great time and now I’ve caught the bug too!
2. Plan fun together!..
Nothing is more distressing than the pressure of “What are we going to do today Dad” when you really have no idea!.. This can be especially hard if you have more than one child and you’re trying to keep different ages happy; I have four kids aged 5 to 16, believe me I know!
So, as a family sit down and make a fun plan of activities you can do throughout the week. Not everything has to cost the earth; we are blessed with Cornwall’s lovely scenery so beach walks in quiet nooks are a must. However, things like pizza making, crafting and trips to the park are fun but also low-cost for filling up the holidays; not to mention the acquisition of a bag or two of water bombs… It’s amazing how quickly teenagers (and dads!) become young again.
3. Give recycling a miss for a week
Don’t throw out old milk bottles, cardboard or plastic boxes – they can be turned into fun “rubbish monsters” with the help of some glue, stickers and paint!
4. Don’t completely avoid the inevitable British rain!
Go outside, chase rainbows, dig holes or just splash in the rain to get some fresh air into your lungs. Again, being lucky to be near the coast we can hit the sea; you’re going to get wet anyway! Don’t worry about the house til the kids are asleep; or even better, leave it a day… happy memories aren’t made washing dishes and cleaning floors.
5. Ditch the car
If you can, try and walk or take public transport to wherever you are going. This gives more time to interact with the kids and less time and money spent on trying to find a parking space and paying for the car park, plus it adds to the adventure; so few children experience public transport… We only live a 10 minute drive from Looe harbour, but how much more fun would a trip on a steam engine be? And no battling for a parking space when we get there; that has to be a bonus.
6. You can eat out on budget
The school summer holidays last a long time; and paydays don’t seem to keep up at the same pace. So, when you’re out and about, pack a picnic where possible. Take money for treats such as ice creams, but most places now have picnic areas where you can bring your own food and drinks.
Most places also let you pop to the car and return without carrying your food around all day; this means that you can spend more time at attractions while other visitors are queuing for lunch at peak times.
Better still, get the kids involved in making the food for the packed lunch; a simple pasta pot with pasta, tuna, sweetcorn, salad cream and mayo always goes down a treat with my clan rather than a traditional sandwich. Make some dips, bake a cake, there’s so much you can do to keep costs down and have fun along the way.
7. Enjoy a little culture…
Museums and art galleries are usually free, and during school holidays they often run interactive events for children. It is worth checking their website and taking along a picnic again for a completely free (and dry) day out.
If you’ve found this article interesting, then please like and share it with your friends; more next week!