Just the idea of keeping the kids busy for a single weekend can often be an intimidating task, but when 6 weeks of ‘freedom’ stand before you it can be almost impossible to devise a plan of action to amuse everyone at once. Keeping the younger kids happy is always a good way to begin, because if they’re happy, things just seem easier and more quiet.
The great outdoors. If you’re lucky and the weather is decent this summer season, why not make the most of the fresh air and encourage your kids to be active when the sun is out. This is definitely the healthy and cheaper alternative to a summer fun filled day. Kites, ball-games BBQs and picnics are all options of how to spend the day in the sun with your kids, and as a family. Parks, nature reserves, and even your own back garden can be places to let your kids run loose. For longer term solutions to that summer holiday boredom, why not take the kids camping? Even if it is in your own back garden, the kids will love the change of scene, and the idea of packing up for a night to venture to new surroundings. Camping and outdoor activities are a great way to bond as a family, taking everyone away from their computer or television screen for a couple of days could do a world of good and help you all create some happy memories.
Scour the local area for free activities. Not everything has to cost an arm and a leg. With the price of cinema visits, trips to the zoo and shopping trips, everything adds up. Local councils are aware of the pressure summer holidays can bring financially, and often host a range of events during the summer holiday period to amuse the kids. Check the websites of your local council and tourist information centres for local days out, or scan the local papers and community centres to see what’s going on in your area. A trip to your local library and look for adverts of events as well. There’ll be no shortage of things for your kids to get up to in town for a few hours a week.
Home activities. If all else fails, there’s always the comfort of your own home, this is also an opportunity for you all to spend some quality time together. Whether it be movie nights, or dinnertime all together, the summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to get some bonding time in. In the daytime, use the familiarity of your own home to get your kids’ creative juices flowing. Transform your kitchen table into make-shift crafts area with old newspapers and magazines, paint, glue, anything and everything really, and let your kids’ imaginations run wild. Encouraging them to create a summer scrapbook could be a good idea; they could stick tickets, photos and other bits and pieces that they’ve collected all in one space- and they’ll be entertained for hours. Baking and cooking are also activities your kids can get excited about and can lead to an end product that they’ll be proud of.
Your teenage children may even want to get involved in this one. No one can really say no to chocolate can they?
At the end of the day, summer should be a time for you to get a breather as well. Depending on your work load, the summer months should be an opportunity for you to have a holiday of your own, and escape from the chaos of your usual schedule. You can incorporate these needs with entertaining the kids, and plan a holiday that’ll cater to your kids’ needs as well as your own. Whether it be a trip abroad or just to the neighbouring county, there is a holiday somewhere out there with your family’s name written on it. ‘Staycations’ are becoming increasingly popular; you won’t even have to leave the UK to have an enjoyable time with all the clan. Holidaying on your own turf won’t break the bank either, and you won’t have to worry about flying with the kids, just pack the troops in the car and you’re all set. Camping is always an option as well, or for the more relaxing alternative, there are always deals on seaside getaways along the British coast. Holiday cottages in Suffolk have become a getaway of choice for families of all sizes and budgets. Holiday houses in this area are newly furnished, close to the sea and other holiday attractions, and most importantly family (and pet) friendly.
Planning in advance can be advantageous for you and your children. It gives you the peace of mind of solid plans to fall back on, and also gives your kids something to look forward to. Even if it is just an afternoon at their friends house, having that plan set up a week in advance will get your kids through a rainy afternoon at home make them happier in the respect that they’ll feel busy, wanted and loved. Everyone likes something to look forward to; your kids are no different. Also, get the children involved in the planning process from time to time. They will be less likely to complain about the activities chosen if they get the opportunity to take part in the decision-making. Line up a range of activities to select from: stuff to do at home, outdoors, arrangements with friends, trips to town.
There are loads of ways to keep your children occupied this summer, while simultaneously spending some time together as a family. It’s just up to you to decide what best fits your family’s interests and needs.
Written for Mojomums by guest writer Chloe Hashemi – if you have any great ideas of how to keep the family busy we would love to hear from you…
Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net and by arztsamui