Can you believe that we are already half way through the summer holidays? If your kids are anything like mine, three days in the kids were already bored, one week in, they could barely spend ten minutes in the same room as each other without one looking at the other funny, or someone ‘accidentally’ elbowing someone else in the head. Right? By now you are probably wishing you could run and hide every time some someone yells “Maaaaaaaaaaaammmmmyyyyyy….”!
So after surviving the 13 summer holidays since my kids started school I thought I would share some “practical” tips to help you keep your sanity during these seemingly never ending days! Okay, none of these ideas are profound. But when your brain has had small children singing nonstop rounds of ‘Let it Go’ or asking ‘wotcha doin?’ 17 times a minute for a week, you need simple and quick ideas!
Let’s be honest, as British summers go, this one has been well and truly pants! We’ve had at least 75 heatwaves promised to us by the media and had a grand total of two days scorching hot days. And those happened before they even broke up from school! But don’t let that get you down, all is not lost. It’s time we embraced our rubbish climate, get your coats and wellies on and get outside. As long as you are somewhere the kids can be more than six feet away from each other you are all bound to feel much better after a run around in the fresh air. If you can find some muddy puddles to splash in all the better.
Embrace screen time
Yes I know, I shouldn’t be advocating screen time. Who in their right minds would pixelate their children’s developing brains with trash TV and video games? Right? Anyone who has spent even a single afternoon all cooped up in a small house with a couple of bored kids that’s who! If you can get everyone cwtched up in bed or on the sofa watching the same movie or TV show that’s great. But when you have a big age difference your more likely to get everyone happy, quiet and not squabbling when they are in their own little virtual worlds on tablets and phones. This is okay! Teenagers are likely to be socialising with friends, despite the fact they didn’t even get out of bed, and if you’re really strict your little ones can be playing on educational apps, like crossy bird, or watching mind expanding shows, like those surprise egg videos on YouTube!
Let them eat cake…
or biscuits, or generally any snack that keeps them happy! Summer time is our down time, my kids get to have chocolate cereal for breakfast. They have ice lollies for elevenses and Nutella sandwiches for their lunch (other chocolate spreads are available). We have a pretty healthy diet on the whole so we get a bit wild during these warmer months (who am I kidding, warm? I laughed even just typing that!). For starters this does have a generally enlightening effect on their attitudes, who wouldn’t be happy eating chocolate cereal for breakfast? BUT!!! The promise of a cookie or a smoothie is great way to quickly relieve any escalating rowdiness or signs of boredom!
Take a trip
If you can afford to take your brood away for a week or two that’s great! But remember, holidays aren’t the be all and end all of summer. Until this year I was reminded quite regularly of exactly how many years it had been since my lot had a real holiday! But day trips are great and you can spend as much or as little as you like, getting an ice cream and having a picnic at the local country park or beach is often just as great an experience as going to a farm park, or theme park, and usually make for a much less stressful day. If you are at a loss for days out in your area I’ve used the Days Out With Kids website a few times with great success, I hope it’s as helpful for you too.
and if all else fails…
Let’s admit it. most days you will still be pulling your hair out by mid afternoon. Just make sure you are well stocked with your favourite tipple, whether that be gin or tea, your favourite snack foods and as soon as the kids are in bed, or at least suitably distracted, enjoy your secret stash and think happy thoughts. The count down to the first day of school is well and truly on, it won’t be long and we’ll be dropping our cherubs off at the school gates!
Personally, I’m losing two teenagers to Army Cadet annual camp for the next 11 days, I haven’t quite worked out if this a good thing yet as they are equally the most helpful and the most complicated (read whingey) of all my children at the same time! But I’ll still have three little darlings to keep me on my toes!
What are your secret ricks to surviving the summer break?