Remember, there is the added expense for most parents over this time period to provide an extra meal at lunchtime as they are now without school dinners. Oh! And don’t forget the organisation that will be needed and who is going to be looking after the children in between the times you will be working.
But, and it’s a big but, beyond it all lies the time to bond, explore, make new friends, or simply lay on the grass and make shapes out of the clouds. Childhood summer holidays will live forever in their hearts.
Time is the most valuable ingredient that parents need. Yes, it’s probably the one thing you don’t think you have much of, but even a little of it consistently will sprinkle your summer so that you have just enough things to do without over scheduling. This leaves time for you and your kids to potter around the house; to find out that being bored can lead to productive ideas and doing something new together can connect you all on a profound level.
Daily dose of fun
So… you must make time every day to have fun, no matter how small it may seem. You could be just hanging out for a moment in the garden with the kids, as they paint with their fingers and toes on an old bed sheet. Or maybe, you pop over to the park unexpectedly and play goalie for your tween son.
Remember it’s not about how you look, it’s about how you all feel afterwards. I remember my friends thinking it was so cool in the summer when my parents would pitch up at the park to play rounders; of course with drinks and snacks in hand for me, my brother and our friends
Find time to teach your kids something new. Maybe a sport such as tennis, or dabble your hand learning a new board-game like backgammon. Maybe it’s simply something you feel skilled at, such as fixing a flat tyre on your bike.
If your child shows an interest in wanting to try something new over the summer holidays, nurturing their curiosity supports that exploration.
Off the grid
It’s easy to let this slip, but limit technology. Your parents weren’t far wrong when they used to say, ‘Get out and play, and come in when the street lights come on!’ Meaning enjoy being outside! Let the summer breeze touch your face. Of course, your kids need a moment to catch up with themselves.
However, being outside truly gives you a moment to de-stress, connect with nature, help reduce anxiety built up from school, homework, exam pressures, and academics on every level. Give Twitter, Facebook and constant messaging a summer break.
If you take some great photos you can put together your own photo album when the kids are back at school in September ‘The Summer of 2015’. It will certainly give you something to talk about and you will have your photos to look back on as well as your cherished memories.
With a house full of kids you want everybody to feel connected and involved. It can be tough trying to please all your kids of different ages. As much as you want to give them their own individual experiences with their friends, this truly is the one time that you get to connect together as a family.
If you are not used to doing that, it may feel really awkward at first. I think it’s very important for parents to teach their children to selflessly enjoy time with others and their interests. After all, we all don’t like the same things, it’s what makes us different – sharing ideas is being open to enjoying new adventures.
Get your kids to write down their ideas and come together to see how many of them you can make happen over the summer period.
Need ideas for fun activities? Try these
Have a super time this summer with your whole family. Some of the best memories are made from simple things:
- Trail bike rides
- A trip to the seaside
- Visit to a public museum
- Be a tourist for a day
- Camp out sleepovers
- Water fights
- Pick a sport for the day
- Cook something new
- Picnic by the river
- Glamour pampering for the day
- Build forts
- Make your own birdhouse
Credits: Photos: David Carlson, Kids' styling: Georgie Perrins, Kids' hair and makeup: Renee Loiz,
- Design outfits
- Choreograph a new dance move
- Download this summer’s tunes
- Pebble/stone painting
- Rock climbing
- Attend a free seminar
- Attend free festivals
- Mask making
- Chalk drawing
- Cruise across a river
- Aquarium visit
- Ride ponies at a petting farm