I might be the only one that does this, but I do like to re-organise the house for the Summer Break. Buy stylish furniture to store things better, throw out old stuff and I move the children’s items around the house so they can get to them easier. With school out I like to have their favourite toys and stationery items at the ready. When I am feeling organised, I even try to put things out to encourage play the next morning. Here are some tips to get you through Summer:
In our house, Summer break is the same as normal. We use Summer Holiday Camps to keep the kiddies entertained because the grown-ups still have to work like normal. We are having a couple of weeks together though which is nice, but the rest of the time its either holiday camps or Mummy with the kiddies. For those days where we do not have camps it is nice to have something for the kids to do as soon as they wake up.
I have lots of lovely storage in the house from shelves to bookcases to hidden cupboards. Making this work for children and grown-ups is quite hard work, namely because there are things that you don’t want the children to get hold of without supervision (like paints) and things that you don’t mind them using. Our children are old enough now to come downstairs in the mornings on their own, which means I want to make sure it is safe for them to do so.
Finding the right storage solution
You might need a bookcase for storing the notepads, Filofaxes and journals. Or you might need a storage bin for the odd set of Glitter Gel Pens! I have even re-used an old mint ice cream tub to store the colouring pencils, so they are all together. Being conscious about what items will need what storage will help you from the outset (basically what do you want to hide in a box and what do you want on show).
Setting something up for the morning
Before I go to bed I put things out on the kitchen table to entice the kiddies into play when they wake up – for example: a puzzle (one of Isla’s favourite things to do) or some crosswords. Sometimes we make the kids little quizzes based on things they are learning or things we have seen online that are funny. Daddy printed off a Sloth or Brioche quiz the other day which had us in stitches. The aim of this is to put something on show, in their minds eye, that they might not have played with for a while or love but just haven’t thought about it. It’s also a way of discouraging device play – which I want to keep to a minimum whilst the weather is beautiful.
Play, hide & rotate
This is a concept that I came across from a friend – basically say the children had 100 toys between them. Leave half of them out in their bedrooms, playroom and play areas then take the other half and hide them in the loft. Then every few months rotate them all – it’s like the children get new toys every few months and get to play with new things again. It also keeps toys fresh, instead of being tossed to the back of a cupboard or sitting there gathering dust. Some toys lend themselves to Summer play too – like a nice Sudoku puzzle in the garden! Painting and chalks are great for summer play – we like to decorate the stones and rocks in the garden.
What fun ideas do you have for the Summer Break? I would love to know any creative things that you do with the kids stationery.