Tips for surviving the summer break - 20 things I have tried !
I am no expert by any stretch of the imagination and anyone who says they find 6 weeks at home with 3 children easy, needs to come and tell me their secrets! My husband works most of the summer too which means it is down to me to keep them occupied, enjoy their company and fit in what work I have to do as well. My eldest two are lively boys and I learnt that the rule "get them out by 10am" was good from very early on. For those parents out there, heres my top 20 from my experience over the past 10 years..........please add yours in comments - all suggestions gratefully received!
1. Plan, plan, plan.
2. Have some days for the kids to do nothing....they need down time too.
3. Organise help....local teenagers to give you an hour or two to catch up with housework or to have a couple of hours to yourself can be a life saver! Or try childcare.co.uk
4. Arrange play dates.
5. Get the kids to write a list of things they would like to do. Add guidelines like '6 on the list must not cost any money'.
6. Check out local places of interest through the National Trust. 'Kids go free' voucher here
7. Try out Treasure Trails - days out in local areas across the UK.
8. Get them to choose a good cause and raise some money for it . Charity Directory here. ( e.g sponsored bike ride , baking and selling cakes)
9. Look out for free local sports sessions or book into local sports clubs for regular sessions - tired kids sleep better.
10. Check out your local museum .
11. Take your camera, go on a walk and let the children take some photos . If you don't trust them with your camera get some disposable cameras - display/mount best photos.
12.Teach them a recipe a week - allow the older ones to cook the dinner.
13. Create a raised vegetable garden that they have to manage. Use the produce in their cooking.
14. Go to the library.
15. Let THEM camp in the garden and cook bacon and eggs for breakfast over the camp stove.
16. Enter a competition - here is a story writing competition .
17. Plan a day out somewhere special in advance, so they look forward to it! Days out with the Kids.
18. Have a cinema evening at home with dvds, popcorn,duvets and pillows.
19. Sponsor a child with your children - get them involved in the letter writing etc . Compassion is a good company to use. We have sponsored a child through them.
20. The Woodland Trust have some great ideas for this summer - this is a new one for us.
My 10 rules to try and keep the chaos at bay:
1. Put a load of washing on every day.
2. Do one more job than you think you need to do.
3. Everybody has jobs to do. ( Even the 5 year old)
4. I have a night off cooking.
5. If it isn't done before 9pm - it doesn't get done.
6. Everybody puts their own washing,toys,books,shoes,clothes,towels away - penalties if you don't!
7. Have a rota.
8. Have a reward chart.
9. Don't stress about the mess.
10. Sunday night tidy up - everybody mucks in.