The school summer holidays might only last for six weeks, but if you have kids it can feel like six years. For parents of younger children particularly, the holiday means having to find things to keep the children entertained every single day, lest they kick up a fuss and decide to ‘redecorate’ the kitchen for a laugh. The advent of online gaming and YouTube have softened the blow somewhat, as many children are now quite content to spend their afternoons squirrelled away in their bedrooms on Fortnite. But even that tentpole of modern children’s entertainment has its limits. So, how are you going to make sure you’re prepared for July and August this year?
Perhaps the most obvious solution is to take one or two weeks completely out of the equation by booking a long holiday abroad. Of course, you’ll still need to keep them entertained whilst you’re away, but if you find a location with a dedicated babysitting service, then you might actually be able to steal some time for yourself this summer! Going abroad does require a fair amount of planning though, so make sure passports and health insurance are sorted and make sure you have the funds prepared to cover the time off work.
Sweets and Treats
One benefit of having the kids off school is that they can help you around the house, with those daily chores. They won’t want to, of course, but if you offer an added incentive, they won’t be able to resist. Occasionally offer them chocolate coins as a thank you. When they have emptied the dishwasher or a bag of sweets when they’ve dusted the living room and you’ll soon change their tune.
Whilst the UK might not boast the vast array of summer camps that they enjoy in the US (more’s the pity), there are various summer kids clubs in operation throughout the country. They will look after your kids during the day if you can’t get the time off work or you just fancy a day off. They might cost a pretty penny, but if you shop around you are sure to find one that suits your budget,
plus you might be able to claim for tax free childcare. You might be wondering, how does tax free childcare work and who can claim it? Fortunately there are many resources online that detail everything you need to know to get your kids cared for without blowing your budget out of the water. There’s bound to be periods when you need childcare support during the summer holidays, so get prepared now to avoid unexpected unmanageable bills in the future.
Don’t Forget About Studying
Although the summer holidays should be a break from school for your children, it’s important that you don’t forget about studying completely. Having 6 weeks without reading, writing or doing any mathematics can stall your child’s progress, as they need constant stimulation to move forward. Provide them with access to books, educational games, puzzles and more to make sure they can study and have fun at the same time. Leaving them to play on a smartphone or tablet might be the easiest option, but it’s unlikely that it’s going to educate them in any way. You can find games that are focused around learning though, so be sure to download these if your kids love playing on technology.
Use Up Their Energy
Making sure you can use up all of your children’s excess energy by encouraging them to run around outside and have fun together is always vital during the summer holidays, as lounging around all day on the sofa will mean they find sleeping difficult. You could take them for a walk, go to the park, set up some swings in the garden – there are so many options! Just make sure they don’t turn into couch potatoes, as they need to stay fit and healthy.
One neat idea to keep the kids occupied is to give them a project they undertake at the start of the holiday and must have completed before they go back to school. This could be anything from building a treehouse in the garden to writing a book or learning how to play a musical instrument. Offer a decent reward for completing that project and you might end up barely seeing your children at all!
Prepare the Home
Finally, you’ll want to make sure you have adequately prepared yourself with all of the books, games and snacks that your little angels are going to be asking for over those six long weeks. Stock up on fizzy drink, ice lollies and entertainment as it won’t always be possible or convenient to look outside of the home for things to do, particularly when it’s raining.