Dear Mummy, the summer holidays are almost upon us and while teachers breath a sign of relief some parents up and down the country are dreading the six weeks over the school break. How do some folks cope with six weeks of childcare and keeping their school aged children occupied over the summer? Six weeks of keeping kids entertained and trying not to wish the days away. School holidays can be a difficult time for parents. Balancing work hours with childcare is hard to juggle and often expensive. Even if you are a stay at home, keeping children entertained can be tough, especially when the weather is bad and going out is more of a challenge. I’m still at nursery so my folks have this “six weeks of summer” to look forward to….NOT. They find it hard enough to keep me amused over a weekend, nevermind over a month and a bit!
So how have we survived so far?
I’m now starting to see how you cope on your childcare days with me. A lot of the time we escape the house and go on our adventures, sometimes we craft and bake and others days you just give up entertaining me and we just watch telly. I gotta admit outdoor activities are my mummy’s saviour during the weekends, which is why we’re praying for the warmer weather to arrive this July and August.
But what happens if it gets too much and the weather is awful? These are the ways my folks cope when it gets too much with a crazy toddler AKA me.
Admit it, kids love to watch YouTube whether it be watching toy unboxing video, catching up on cartoons or those REALLY annoying surprise egg videos, there’s no denying that mobiles and tablets can offer a quick break for parents – whether its buying them an extra lie in – like my folks have, or distracting them from a temper tantrum. You Tube seems to diffuse a lot of heated moments in our household. True dat.
Treats can be used to either bribe the kids to get them to behave or reward their good behaviour – either way its a win-win situation! We wouldn’t suggest giving them out willy-nilly though, as they lose their magical powers otherwise. Why not plan a super BIG treat for the end of the summer holidays to give children something to look forward to – and for you to threaten them with in case of bad behaviour Mwhahahahaaaaa *evil we know* My mummy has promised me a trip to Legoland in September if I stay good.
3) We’re going on a Treasure Hunt
My mummy and I often play this game, however sometimes she may disappear to make dinner while I’m still searching the house for hidden treasure. My treasure varies from a Kinder Egg to a friendship bracelet and sometimes my mummy will draw an elaborate treasure map for me to follow with clues which can keep me entertained for ages!
4) Free Park Day Care
One of my mummy’s biggest confessions is that she uses play parks to entertain me while she catches up with blogging on the park bench. Occasionally she joins me on the monkey bars *not very well* but parks can occupy kids for hours and give them a good opportunity to mix with other children and get some exercise. We don’t do this everyday mind, however parks can be a great free resource for parents.
4) Stickers galore
What’s not to love about stickers! They are perfect for keeping kids occupied over the summer holidays. Whether that are in activity books, glittery ones stuck on crafting projects or stickers stuck on…well….everything. They are great for buying parents a couple of minutes breather to have a cuppa or distract them in the shops or cafe.
5) Disney is my saviour!
I’m a toddler and love Disney, Disney movies, Disney books, Disney toys, dressing up and role-play. My attention span usually lasts 2 hours playing with Disney type products. Disney watching is perfect for a rainy day, snuggled up on the sofa under a blanket. Our favourite films are Beauty & the Beast and Cinderella.
6) Messy play saves the day
Over the summer holidays be prepared! Make sure that you have plenty of indoor activities in hand, planned and ready to go. My mummy stocks up at craft stores during the year when they have their sales to save money and build up a massive crafting hoard. She then lets me loose on the crafting drawer where I can spend ages exploring and creating mess. Thank goodness for washing machines and wine….oh and also daddy who helps clear up!
7) Den building
My Daddy is a Master Builder of Dens! Super structures that could rival The Shard! Sometimes he lets me get inside the den and builds around me. I’ve often been trapped in my make believe dungeon which is the perfect opportunity for him to catch up on emails *perfect diversion daddy!*
8) Get my friends over
In the summer holidays get other people involved! We love hosting playdates, giving other mummies a couple of hours break, but often the favour will get returned. *handy* It’s safety in numbers too, as children need someone to play with and their little buddies are far more exciting than a fed up parent! Children can play together while the big folk catch up and have a natter over a drink – perfect for their sanity!
9) Community pages for a break
‘What’s On’ websites are a great source for inspiration, especially summer camps/classes or activities where you can drop kids off in a safe environment and get some well needed space to refocus and take stock – away from your children. Even if its only for 30 minutes, a tea break could be that welcomed distance you need to prepare for a marathon of a day.
If all else fails hibernate and sleep through the summer! Either on a picnic blanket on the grass under the blue sky while the kids play or snuggled up on the couch. A couple of days out of the 6 weeks is fine. Why not have a PJ party and duvet day where you pretend to sleep? *Great trick mummy* I wonder how long that would last?
So how do you get through the long summer holiday? Whats your parenting confession?
Love Bella x
This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor.
To read other parents confessions why not pop over to BritMums.