The temperature is rising and summer is finally here. In fact, we’re just one short half-term away from the long, fun but stressful days of the summer holidays. That means that now is the perfect time to start planning how you will keep your kids happy and entertained all summer long.
Juggling your schedule with the needs of your kids isn’t always easy, but it is possible to make some great memories and keep everyone happy. Here are our top tips to help you make the most of the summer holidays with your kids:
Prepare for back to school
It might not be fun or exciting, but the first thing you should do once the school holidays begin is start preparing to go back to school! The earlier you buy those school uniforms, book bags and new shoes, the more likely you are to get the sizes that you need without any hassle. Don’t forget to buy your clothing labels to minimise the chances of that new, and surprisingly expensive, uniform going missing. Sticky name labels can also be used on smaller objects such as water bottles and pencil cases: buy these early too, so that you don’t have to hit the shops in a back-to-school panic later in the summer.
Work as a team
If the school holidays stretching out in front of you fills you with dread, then why not join forces with other friendly parents to share the load? Enlist the help of your children’s friend’s parents, as well as your own friends who have children of their own to schedule regular playdates throughout the holidays. Not only will these provide welcome social interaction and distraction for your children, it will also provide some adult conversation for you.
If your children are old enough to enjoy playdates without you having to go along too, then why not take it in turns to host playdates? Whilst this means you will have a house full of kids once a week, it also means you will earn a couple of afternoons off for yourself in return (ideal if you need a break, or are simply struggling to find child care while you work).
Stock up on supplies
Even the best of UK summers will involve rainy days. Prepare for these in advance by ensuring you have a hearty supply of paper, paint, glue and other crafty equipment. Whether making junk models from your recycling or painting their own masterpieces, most kids love to be creative. Other crafty ideas include card making, building papier-mâché models, and painting ceramics. Check out Stuck On You’s range of fun activity products for kids.
Not only are craft activities ideal for rainy days, they are also a much-needed indoor distraction if you find that you need to work for a couple of hours and want your kids to be occupied in one place where it’s easier for you to watch them and be busy yourself on your laptop at the same time.
Finally, plan at least one big day out for your children, and position this at the end of the summer holidays. Pick a day to a theme park, zoo, museum, or anything else you think they will enjoy. This will serve as both a reward and an incentive for good behaviour throughout the summer holidays, and will also give everyone something to plan and look forward to in the weeks before the trip.
In the event of poor behaviour, the gentle warning that their day trip might be removed may also help your children to turn their day around. It will also give you an opportunity to reconnect as a family and make a long-lasting memory before you all return to work and school.