A Guide to the Summer Holidays
Oh Summer holidays, how we love thee! We think back to the excitement we beheld at the prospect of six weeks off from school and complete freedom being only moments away. ‘School’s out for summer!’ we would chant as our parents would shudder with panic; how would they possibly keep us entertained for six whole weeks? By day five you can guarantee that there would be whines of ‘I’m bored’ filling the hallways and bouncing off siblings. And while school holidays fill us with nostalgia and cause us to reminisce about the days of yonder, for those who are parents, the holidays are a reality of ‘what do I do with my child?’ We can’t guarantee this advice will keep the whines at bay but we do hope that the activities we suggest are enjoyable for you too, and let’s be honest that is really important!
Explore the Best of Britain
There’s something idyllic about heading twenty-five miles from home to the nearest coast for a holiday. While it might not be the bright lights of New York City or some exotic destination, ask most folk and they’ll agree, summers are all about the British seaside. Rainy days stuck in a caravan and being forced to play Rummy with your grandma is what summers are made of! It may be a cliché but it’s what we remember from childhood. The merriment of utter chaos as the caravan sways in a storm or sharing a teeny-tiny room with your snoring sister while the rain falls hard in the August night. And if the unthinkable happens and the sun does shine? Well, then there’s nothing better than heading to the beach and building sandcastles or burying your dad in the sand. Elope for the weekend to the beautiful coast of Norfolk or Devon and celebrate the gorgeousness of Britain. Get cosy in a caravan or if you’re feeling brave, pitch a tent. Your kids will remember it for a lifetime.
Go to the Beach
If a holiday feels too much of a stretch then make a day of it and head to the seaside. Let’s be honest, is there anything better than the smell of fresh sea air and the feel of sand between your toes? We don’t think there is, so grab your spade and bucket and hit your nearest beach. For all you Londoners don’t despair, The Roundhouse in Camden has turned their roof terrace into a beach for the summer with deck chairs, beach huts and lots of fun guaranteed.
Sew, knit, crochet, upcycle, paint, embroider, draw, stitch or origami. Whatever takes your fancy get stuck in and get crafty. You can simplify tasks to make them child friendly and there’s an abundance of online tutorials that can inspire and teach in a fun way (YouTube is a good place to start). In fact, we’re pretty proud to admit that we have tutorials of our own and a range of DIY craft kits which will keep the kids entertained. And what’s better, you have something to show for it at the end!
Al Fresco Dining
Fact: having dinner outside makes the experience ten times more exciting. You may need your old pal, sunshine, on your side for this one but I’m sure it will show its pretty face a few times over the course of the summer. And when it does, take your food outside and have a picnic. If your garden feels too close to home, grab your blanket and some cushions and have your picnic in the park. Have we mentioned we also have a great picnic range? (Well, it would have been rude not to mention it really, wouldn’t it?)
Exercise sounds daunting when you have a bunch of kids to entertain but setting obstacles around the house or in the garden can be a great way to get out any extra energy. It’s good for mental health (for you and them) and they’ll be probably missing their weekly dose of P.E. A game of hide and seek, dance competitions, tournaments are all fun ideas, and the good news is that you don’t have to be part of them. Plus, if they’re tired enough after all the physical excursion it’s a great excuse to get them to indulge in a game of sleeping lions (again, this could work for them and you).
Fall in Love With Words
Reading may sounds like a task related to school and the very idea could repulse your children but reading is something that once they’ve learnt to love it, they’ll find it hard to not. If they’re bored and want to be transported to another world there is no better way than through the words of a novel. Haven’t tried Harry Potter? Get them hooked now for a lifelong relationship with a world they’ll love forever. If you have the time, read aloud and it will make the stories come alive. And if that’s not capturing their attention there is nothing better than to pop on an audio book on a sleepy afternoon. Try a classic like The Secret Garden,Railway Children or Just William. They’re great for long car journeys too!
Bake Your Socks Off
We’ve heard through the grapevine that The Great British Bake Off will be back on our screens in August and we couldn’t be more excited! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood (oh those eyes) are about to get us rummaging for the icing sugar and popping on the apron in a bid to become a baker that would make them proud (no soggy bottoms please). The fact that this delightful treat coincides with the summer holidays makes it even better. So on those rainy afternoons when the echoes of ‘I’m bored’ get a little too much, bake some scrumptious cakes together and make your kids feel like star bakers.
The last part of the summer holidays can often feel like it has been taken over with preparations for September. Back to school mode is one that requires a certain amount of energy and a vast amount of shopping. There is however, something exciting about getting everyone ready for the turning season and preparing for the fresh, new school year. Why not extend that feeling beyond new stationary and crisp white shirts and embark on a spring (well autumn) clean? Reorganise, paint, move around, put up some pictures or perhaps make a new study area. Whatever you feel, give some new life to your home and prepare for the impending autumn. The kids can get involved and will love watching the process of the project. Especially if they get involved along the way or it’s for their room.
We hope that this list has inspired you somewhat and your brain is buzzing with plans, day trips and activities to try. Relish in the nostalgia and use the holidays as an excuse to turn into the big kid we know you are at heart!