Don’t give the kids a chance to even think about being bored this summer with our guide to cheap and easy boredom banishing during the holidays
Summer Holiday Preparation
The summer holidays can be a daunting time for parents – huge expectations from the children, parent pressure to provide enough stories for them to take back to school in September and the battle to keep your sanity at the end of it all! The key to a smooth running summer holiday period is planning ahead.
- Create a timetable. Even if it’s only the day before, you’ll be more relaxed and everyone will go to bed knowing what the plan is for the next day so you can avoid any episodes first thing in the morning.
- Don’t overplan. While it’s good to have an itinerary in advance, don’t try and squeeze too much in. Leave space either side of activities so that there’s still the ability to freestyle with your plans.
- Plan backups. The great British summer is an unpredictable beast. Keep a handful of tried and tested backup plans for if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
- Strength in numbers. Get together with other parents to plan days where each parent hosts a playdate with all of the other children. It will give each of you some break time to recuperate and get on with any jobs you need to get done!
- Strict spending. This goes for both you and the kids. Stick to a strict weekly allowance that covers the things they want to do, don’t give in to children asking for top-ups as it will only repeat and soon add up. The same goes for parents – keep to a budget and look out for deals on public transport tickets, cereal packets and of course online.
The summer holidays are about getting outside as much as possible! But outside doesn’t necessarily have to be far away. The garden, or parks and countryside near your home, will offer hours of fun for you and the little ones.
Make a Den
No matter how big or small your garden is, there’s always space to create a little hideaway. Get imaginative – drape some sheets over the washing line and peg them to some tree branches, position some garden furniture or collect some sticks and branches. This will give you the perfect place to learn some survival craft too!
Go on a Treasure Hunt
Who doesn’t love exploring? Turn a simple country walk into a treasure hunt by creating a list of things for the kids to find; it could include blackberries, a leaf bigger than their hand, a certain type of flower or a stick in the shape of a letter. If you want to find some real treasure then why not search for one of thousands of geocaches hidden around Devon? Download the app and find a geocache near you at www.geocaching.com
Hit the Gym
A lot of us like to visit the gym throughout the week. Manage your time having to look after the little ones by taking the whole family to the outdoor gym available at many parks around the area – an efficient way of getting your exercise fix and seeing your child gets theirs too.
When all else fails and everyone is feeling too hot to move, get the supersoakers out and practise your best military techniques! Water pistols can be picked up from pound shops so it’s worth getting hold of some for when the inevitable opportunity arises.
Turn meal time into a fun activity by eating outside as much as possible. Pick up some paper plates and you can have exciting breakfast, lunches and dinners whilst saving time by not having to do the washing up!
Make a Fridge Cake
No, not a cake that looks like a fridge. When it’s too hot for baking, enjoy the fun of cooking by making something that only needs refrigerating! Simple chocolate Rice Krispie cakes are simple yet fun and perfect for summer holiday treats.
Make your own fun
When you’re stuck for activity ideas, or the weather isn’t looking so friendly, then why not make your very own fun at home? Craft projects are a cheap way of keeping everyone entertained and you’ll be surprised how at how much fun the children will have playing with the recycling!
Make a Summer Holiday Scrapbook
A scrapbook is a brilliant way to keep your child’s education topped up over such a long break. Having them read, write and exercise their creativity will help them to stay on top of their game in the classroom when they return in September and create a lasting memory book for years to come.
Make your own Movie
Re-enact a favourite book or story, invite the family teddy bears and play dress up to create the excitement of Hollywood at home. Everyone will love looking back on this momento for years to come and there’s no need for a fancy video camera, just use your phone or camera!
The ‘I’m Bored’ Jar
This one is perfect for fussy children who don’t like the ideas you’ve got planned. Ask them to write down 10-15 ideas of things they would like to do this summer right at the beginning of the holidays and then put them in the jar. That way, when you hear the inevitable cries of ‘I’m bored’ you’ll be well prepared and they won’t be able to say no as it’s something they know they said they wanted to do!