And just like that the Summer holidays are here! A nice break from the relentless task of homeschooling and the weekday routine. But this year there are also lots of canceled holidays leaving many people feeling a bit deflated (me included). As with everything in life we need to be adaptable and choose to make the best out of situations we find ourselves in. So with that in mind I thought I would get some fun ideas in a blog, my top picks that I plan to do this holiday. There really are so many wonderful ideas online - we are all spoiled for choice.
Start with getting your kids involved, see what they want to do and what ideas they have. Let their imaginations soar and write them all down, some of their ideas could be very possible! You could have fun writing a list together and adding a check box next to each one you can tick off as you do them. Remember to try find things that your kids will engage in - you could even add a theme to the activities, like Dinosaurs if that’s what they are in to. That being said, also nice to get them to try new things!
This has been an uncertain year and financially we may not be in the place we thought we would be. Summer doesn’t mean spending loads of money on the kids on fancy days out etc. I suggest working out a budget - one that suits you and your family. Then break it down to a weekly one and let that help plan your days a bit.
- Get outside: with warmer days there is much to do outside. A favourite of mine is a water battle! Get a load of water balloons ready and hide them in bunches around the garden, along with some water pistols. You could even draw the kids a map, or hide chocolate coins for them to find! One for all the family and even friends too.
- Summer Olympics: get creative and set up some fun garden games. You can have relay races, balloon badminton, long jump, sack (even pillow case) races, paper plane races, obstacle courses... to name a few. These can all be altered to be done inside if you need. You could even get teddy bear team mascots, make Olympic themed snacks, draw winners rosettes and medals.
- Disco: this is a firm weekend favourite for my kids (usually starting at 6am no less). You can do this inside or outside! Set up lights you may have - you can use fairy lights, Christmas lights, little battery operated disco lights, then get some fun kids dance music on and get dancing! My kids bring all their toys as guests. You could add more fun and do party food and mocktails.
- Garden camping: pick a warm evening and sleep under the stars! You could use a tent if you have, or turn the trampoline into an outdoor bed, build a fort (either inside or outside). You could add loads of fun activities to this - make s’mores, cook sausages over a fire, tell campfire tales, use a torch and make hand shadows or even nighttime torch tag!
- Make a home movie: this is a fun one that could span over the summer ending with a movie premier (make tickets for the show, popcorn)! Help the kids to write a story (you could help guide them, try finding characters you have at home to use for filming, or make your own for more fun). Then work on a basic story board and then start shooting - your smart phone will be perfect for this. There are lots of basic phone apps you can get to edit the videos and put them together (I like InShot). For a few giggles you can add in bloopers! Super fun to make and what a fantastic memory too.
- Simple things: don’t forget about simple things you can do with the kids. Go for walks, enjoy nature hunts, visit your local National Trust site, draw, paint, bake, go for a ride, picnic, play in the sprinkler, pick fruit, build lego, plant something, movie nights, make your own pizza, play with all the toys in the playroom, make play dough… there are endless things to do!
- Learn through play: as you know I am big on this one! But with the school closures this year it’s not the worst idea to find creative ways to bring in some fun learning this summer. You can find ways to learn in so many things for example baking is fab (covering maths, literacy, fine motor skills). Plus there are so many amazing blogs out there packed with creative ways to learn. And don’t forget our very own My Busy Bots busy bags and toolkits, all premade activities with everything you need ready to go.
At the end of the day it can take so little to make big fun for kids, the main ingredient is you! This can be much easier said than done (I know, running my own business I totally get it) it can be hard juggling the kids and work, plus shopping, cleaning and the list goes on. But I started my business to be flexible for the kids so I do all I can to make sure I make it work for us.
Don't overly plan! Every year I say I'm going to get myself organised, have plans but I always end up winging it and I guess it has a way of working for me (plus I am grateful for organized friends who end up organizing me!). So try not to feel overwhelmed.
Mum guilt, we all have it! This year don’t let guilt get you! Have lazy days, let them play with their toys in PJs all day and eat cereal for lunch if they want. Stop stressing over the house work schmouse work! This is a big one... do not compare yourself to other families, you do you - have fun and enjoy the chaos of it all.