Real parenting tips to get through summer

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!

Bella with Cabin Fever
Summer fun with stickers!

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.

Summer parenting tips
Running away with the summer

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.

Our confessions

1) YouTube 

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.

Cabin Fever
My ‘treat’ face!

2) Treats 

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!

Fun at the park
Can I live at the Park mummy?

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.

Disney Love
Now, which one to watch first?!?

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.

Cabin Fever
Bringing out my creative side!

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!*

Cabin Fever
Playing with my friends…

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.

Naps happen
Worse case, sleep through the summer! 😉

10) Sleep…

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.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

32 thoughts on “Real parenting tips to get through summer

  1. My kids love watching those unbox in videos on YouTube. My 6 year old daughter is quite obsessed with them #KCACOLS

  2. Why are daddies always best at dens?! I’m a bit fan of the humble sticker, although they do get everywhere. My eldest is a big fan of “telly on your phone” which drains my battery and gets sticky fingers all over my screen. Must do a bit more parklife I think…I love your site by the way, gorgeous graphics! #KCACOLS

  3. Love these ideas – and yay for stickers! I remember getting one of those sticker machines as a kid and it was literally the best thing ever. (Unless you ask my mum… Hehe.) Marianna’s still young enough that her summer entertainment will be pretty much the same as every other day – resisting all our attempts at fun and engaging activities until we give in and let her watch Rainbow on DVD for the 7000th time… 🙂

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday!

  4. Great post with nice ideas. We have 8 weeks here in the public school system. Of course as a homeschooler….lol I have my kiddos all the time. Scary huh? 😉 enjoy the rest of your summer it truly flies by when looking back. #KCACOLS

  5. I have to admit that I avoid messy play at all costs. I am out pretty much everyday – local splashparks, the beach etc…….they always seem better behaved when out and occupied

  6. I took part in this challenge too with my own confessions – including not clearing up afterwards breakfast and letting them make their own food in order to maximise my working day! #KCACOLS

  7. YouTube is a great help here too! I have been putting lots of bits and pieces, activity books etc into a box so that we have plenty to do during the holidays.

  8. Great ideas. We’re mostly planning lots of days out and activities to keep busy. Before we know it September will be here with mixed emotions. Hopefully we’ll actually get something of a summer too! #kcacols

  9. Craft drawer they can access themselves is definitely useful. This is our first school summer hols with baby bro in tow so I’m really hoping my friends will come through and we can do some day trips together and stuff. We’re lucky where we live there’s lots around us for is to visit like wildlife parks and things. 🙂 #KCACOLS

  10. Yep the dreaded six weeks holidays. I’m lucky that we have a Peppa pig pass and a zoo pass so can visit them but during the holidays these places are hell and fall of toddlers like mine that don’t want to queue. Great post and love your pics #KCACOLS

  11. Hehe, sounds like some great plans 🙂 Mine are a lot older now and they want to be going out, running, exercising, days out walking or keeping me on my toes all the time. I am usually worn out after a week!!

  12. Stickers are a big hit here too – though they end up everywhere and then peeled off and stuck into a huge ball! Boo loves Proper Tasty cooking videos on my phone. she always come up and says ‘shall we watch the cooking mummy’ haha #KCACOLS

  13. Love LOVE these ideas, and I’m obsessing over the photo of you sleeping with that sweet little babe. There really is nothing better than lazy, summer cuddles and naps. My 15 month old is just starting to get into stickers, and he LOVES them. Loves sticking them EVERYWHERE haha. As long as it keeps him busy while I drink my coffee 😛 :#KCACOLS

  14. Imy pretty sure that I have been using all of this summer. Especially kids YouTube. My son adores Ryan’s Toy Review. I haven’t tried the park yet though as we don’t too many of these where I live that other kids spend a lot of time. #KCACOLS

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