Sunday, 31 July 2011

How to survive the Summer Holidays!

So far, so good.  What am I talking about??  Well the first week of the summer holidays of course!!

We have had a lovely week and it hasn't cost a lot of money which of course is an added bonus.  On Monday ie the first day we met up with friends and spent  10 hours playing outside which was a lovely, lovely day and had I taken a picnic instead of buying pizzas would have cost us nothing!  We also went Fruit Picking and had a Teddy Bears Picnic which you can also do via Netmums.

I am not naive (stupid?!) enough to realise that the remainder of the holidays is going to be quite so lovely, but I do find it very sad when I see people berating the fact that they can't wait to get the kids back to school!!  Enjoy people, Embrace the little darlings, because once you do that, you'll have a whole heap of fun.

So here are my top 10 tips to surviving the Summer Holidays:

1) Don't plan organised activity after organised activity.  I only realised last year (after 2 years of planning tennis, football, summer camp) that  the kids need to actually chill and relax.  Otherwise they go from rushing out the door at 0830am  organised, structure at school, to rushing out the door at 0830am, organised structure at whatever activity I had planned.  Yes, activities are GREAT but let's save that for when we are a few weeks in.  The first rule of the holidays should be:

PJs on until 9am all round and let the kids sleep in!!

Have a leisurely breakfast - al fresco if possible and just enjoy a chilled time with no clock watching!

2) My next tip for surviving the summer holidays is throw out the clock watching.  I am the "queen of routine" usually but it's not going to hurt if the kids stay up late (although mine still wake up early I don't adhere so strictly to this) Last week they had 2 late nights but 2 out of 3 slept the next day to catch up on the Zzzzzz's)

3)Try to get out of the house EVERY DAY.  This is for your own sanity as well as the kids.  If you have boys, you need to embrace the fact that they are like dogs - they need lots of exercise and plenty of food (see my next point!)

4) Like a good girl guide - Be prepared.  Prepared to be eaten out of house and home.  I don't get how during term time they survive on a hearty breakfast, a hot school dinner with fruit snacks and then dinner with a yogurt.  Mine are eating non stop (well that's what it feels like) cereal, fruit, yogurts, crisps, ice pops and that's in between proper lunches and dinner!  Greedy guts reign.

5) Explore the local area - you will find so many lovely things to do for free or very little money - find a decent park with a decent cafe,  arrange to have a mini sports day with friends where everyone brings something for the picnic and a sporting challenge - could be who can hit the tennis ball the furthest or even 3 legged races. 

6) Embrace the games of old - yes that means climbing trees, playing British bulldog and hide and seek.  Forget health and safety, children need to take risks in order to not be mamby pambied adults.  I can never forget the feeling of freedom I got from climbing a tree (whilst at the same time being scared but assessing the risk).  Important life skill!  Yes that really is BoBo at 2 years old on a pony...we assessed the risk vs enjoyment factor - he was fine and LOVED it.

7) Make a den in the garden - we do this with our tent and paddling pool which then turns into a house with a pool.  The kids spend hours and hours playing at "house" and splashing in their pool.

8) Get cooking - bake cakes, make lemonade (will post my homemade recipe soon, it is LUSH) or even use your spoils from fruit picking to make a crumble.  Just enjoy being with the kids and spending quality time together.
9) Have a back up plan - by 3 weeks in the kids will be showing signs of boredom,  if you are not lucky enough to go away this will be the time to book one or 2 activity sessions a week.  We have a great resource where we live and for £10 each the boys can go off to Football Camp from 9-1pm.   Research your area, you will have the same.  Museums are free but VERY busy.  I always arrive about 4pm giving us 2 hours (which in our case is plenty long enough).   I can highly recommend the Science Museum, The Natural History and War Museums.  The Tate Modern is also worth a visit.

10) Have a sense of humour - you will need this for when it all goes tits up (which of course it will at some stage) and a decent supply of gin/wine/chocolate.  By the time the little brats are tucked up in bed, you'll be ready for that drink! 

What are your tips on surviving the holidays?? Please share them below.

Have fun and stay safe!

Peace and Love

S.A.M xxx


  1. Brilliant list!! Love not clock watching all summer. And your so right...think of boys as dogs and you will be on the right track with excercise and food!! LOL

    when the boredom sets in after a few weeks thats when I start some sleepovers/friends over for the day. I find they will find something to do outside when they have frends over! :)

  2. Thanks for commenting!!! I am yet to go down the sleepover route as heard they stay up till 2am!!! Not quite ready for that just yet!

  3. you say kids eat you out of house and home over the summer, remember with all the sun and sleep they grow terriffically and that needs more fuel. ever noticed whent they go back to school how nothing ever fits!

  4. This is such a great list. Really love it. Of course mine have been off since the end of June so the sense of humour is waning and the TV is winning at this stage...

  5. thanks Kate for your comment - yes, definately time for you to investigate camps...failing that I am sure you have an understairs cupboard????

  6. Love this post. I am first to admit I watch the calendar and tick off the weeks so I need to chill. I do plan out trips to stay with family and play days with friends so something is on that calendar! We have just done our festival for the year so will now be referring to your list, thanks!

  7. Great tips. I was only thinking about looking for somewhere to go fruit picking today! Agree you need to get out everyday too. Enjoy the rest of your holiday x

  8. My children have done nothing but whine so far! I have six of the angels under 10yrs old, and after nagging non-stop for friends to come and play, have refused to play with said friends. This is the first summer I haven't had husband's help as well, as he has just started a new job and can't take the time off. My plan for next week is to have a computer/tv/ds ban, no friends, and hang out at the library and playground. Both local and free!

  9. Hi Anonymous - 6 under 10 - WOW.......

    My advise would be to get bats, balls, and a picnic and head to your nearest beauty spot!

    Good luck, please do report back!

  10. Great list - the point about clock watching is great. We have had a great summer holiday so far - seeing friends, loads of outdoor activities, swimming, parks, playgrounds and libraries.

  11. Great list. I agree on getting out the house. We all get itchy feet if it's 2pm and we haven't gone out.
    We love a beach, shell collecting, digging, throwing stone, sand castles, eating stones (the 1 year olds love this one!) paddling, swimming, ice creams, bike riding, kites. There are so many things you can do.

    Only problem is we live near Birmingham - not a beach for miles. It's definitely worth a log car journey though!

  12. I'm loving the list, and especially the first item - I know too many people who organise the holidays to death. Time to relax sounds good to me :-)

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  17. Hahaha. I can truly understand you. I have 3 children, and they are all girls. Even so, they like to run around so much. I haven't planned our daily activities yet. So, they're still free to do as they like. :)


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