If you've read the AfPE guidelines (or our recent blog about it here) you will…
Are you going to be ‘off’ with your kids this summer? Check out our 5 handy tips below to help you get through the next 6 weeks without breaking the bank.
Plus read to the end to find out about a fantastic competition we are running, including a FREE workshop with JumpStart Dance!
- Make some time for yourself
It might sound strange to start off this survival guide by talking about you, rather than the kids, but stay with me…In my experience, the biggest influence on the mood of my household is me. So if I’m getting tired, worked up and stressed out then the likelihood is that my children will absorb these feelings and react to them, which is only going to worsen the mood of the whole family. Find some time to have a moment to yourself, ideally every day. Short simple ways to do this include…
- A bath once the kids are in bed
- Having a quiet cuppa whilst the kids are occupied
- Reading an article in a magazine
- Going to bed early and read
- And if all else fails, at least take an extra few seconds when you go to the toilet to breathe deeply and have a moment of calm before you head back into the chaos. It’s amazing how something so simple can have a big impact
- Enjoy having fun with the kids
During the term, we find we’re so busy juggling work/school/clubs that often we don’t make time for each other. Summer is a great opportunity to re-connect and enjoy each other’s company. The kids don’t need exotic days out or expensive activities. Rather what they really want is YOU. So even if it’s just for an hour a day, make some time to hang out with your kids and get to know each again. Some of my favourite FREE activities that you might enjoy too are…
- Playing cards. My daughter LOVES rummy and is so good at it that I rarely win these days. Our favourite family game is chase the ace – watching the children trying to keep poker faces is always entertaining!
- Drawing. We’re currently enjoying the game where one of you draws a head and then folds the paper over and passes it on to the next person who then draws the arms and body, and so on. The big reveal at the end is always fun! And you don’t need to have artistic skills to enjoy this one either.
- Disco. Put on your favourite tunes, listen to the radio or pop something on YouTube and have a good ol’ boogie. You could try lifting your kids up (which is a good workout for you) or spinning each other around. Anything goes as long as it’s fun. My favourite tune to dance to? It’s got to be ‘Can You Feel It?’ by The Jacksons!
- Create boundaries with the kids
When the kids and you are out of the normal school routine, things can become a little chaotic. Whilst it’s a definite bonus not having to do the school run for 6 weeks, I find that having some boundaries is really helpful for keeping me sane. Things to consider and discuss with the kids…
- Should they get dressed and have breakfast as soon as they’re up? Or is it ok to hang out in PJs all day?
- How much screen time can they have? Will this be more or less than usual?
- What jobs will they be expected to do around the house?
- You could even create a ‘jobs’ jar where the children have to complete a certain amount of jobs from the jar before they are allowed to do X, Y or Z activity
If you can have these conversations with the kids BEFORE the holidays, there will be less conflict when these issues inevitably arise.
- Let the kids be bored
Let’s face it we are parents, NOT children’s entertainers! Yes we want the kids to enjoy the summer, be stimulated and occupied. But it’s not OUR job to do this every minute of every day. In fact, I’m going to suggest that you DELIBERATELY let the kids get bored. Hear me out…
Boredom is vital to human existence because it allows us to reflect, connect and create: “By doing nothing you are actually being your most productive and creative self”. Kids definitely benefit from unscheduled FREE play, which doesn’t involve electronics. All they need is some space (either inside or out), one or two props (toys or random objects) and the chance to get bored.
They might find it uncomfortable or weird to start with. But if you let them ride those feelings out, you might find they start enjoying themselves – I’m constantly amazed with what my kids end up creating!!!
Plus, kids lead busy lives these days. So much more is expected of them at school and they have such a wide choice of clubs and out-of-school activities that it can be over-whelming at times. Embrace the chance to allow them (and you!) some well-deserved down time.
For more on the importance of boredom, check out this blog post here.
- Emergency ideas for when the weather is rubbish!
Ok we all know how unpredictable the British weather can be. So to finish off, here’s a list of easy and FREE ways to entertain the family when it’s wet…
- Hide and seek
- Treasure hunts
- Den building with cushions / sofas / duvets
- Hold a ‘talent’ show
- Arrange a playdate at another family’s house
- Visit the local library
Still worrying about how you’ll get through the next 6 weeks?
Fear not! I have teamed up with 3 brilliant other businesses to provide one lucky mummy a goody bag of 4 gifts to help you through the summer holidays. This prize contains…
- A beautiful hot pink, Indian print notebook from The Indian Block Print Company
- A lovely set of homemade chocolates donated by Three Little Birds
- A fabulous set of bath bombs gifted by Nelly Belly Gifts
PLUS a voucher to attend a JumpStart Summer Holiday Workshop FREE of charge!!! You can choose one of the following events…
To be in with a chance, all you need to do is follow the 4 Instagram pages (links above) and comment on one of their posts about why YOU deserve to win.
A winner will be chosen at random on the 12th July 2019. Good luck!
I hope you’ve found these tips useful! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the ‘perfect’ summer. Just keep things simple and fun.