As I sit quietly at my desk with a warm cup of herbal tea I am a little apprehensive that in no time at all the silence will be replaced with 8 loud weeks of school holidays!
If like me, you are feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of this then DON'T PANIC! It is only the summer holidays! Although it only seems like we recently got our routine back in order, and got the children settled back into school life, we will soon find ourselves back together again. Take a deep breath and jump in!
Whilst the long summer holidays can seem jammed-packed and routine-less at times, I am determined to make it as fun and calm as I can (although ask me again at the end of August!). We are so lucky to live in the countryside so I will be opening the doors and throwing them outside the moment tensions run high.
I thought it would be nice to offer a few of my go-to top tips for getting through the summer hols both unscathed but also, and if possible, with a spring in your step!
Have a read of the below, we hope it helps a little!
1. Recreate the rituals
Whether you are heading away camping in the UK or jetting off to far away lands for some heat, I find it helps so much to pack my fave mug and tea bags, or coffee, for a familiar brew during the busy days out and about. I find a comforting cup at a certain part of the day really helps reset and recharge. It often helps me to carve out even a few moments of the day to have some precious 'me time' with my beloved mug and warm drink. It just brings a sense of calm and a bit of regularity to the day I find.
2. Keep some routine
Although it sounds like I am sucking the fun out the holidays, I really find it helps a lot to have little pockets of the day or week where you make time to do something 'learning' based with the children. As mine are still so young that involves literally a little bit of reading, or some phonics work books. It can be for anything as small as 10 minutes but it helps to focus them for a little bit, to sit quietly, ask questions and remember a few things they have learnt. They work so hard on reading and spelling at school it is worth investing in a few basic workbooks to help you out. They can be fun and full of quizz questions or multiple choice, it is almost as though there is no work involved at all, just a different type of play time!
3. Invest in a really good sprinkler!
Its an age-old trick that has stood the test of time, but getting your littles into their swimmers and turning the sprinkler on for 20 mins on a hot day creates so much endless fun, they just keep wanting to do it over and over again! Plus it is a great way of getting them to sit down and do some reading first, safe in the knowledge that they get this treat straight afterwards!
4. Make a load of lollies together!
If you have early risers, like we do, then another easy hack for an early morning job together is making a load of delicious lollies. I find this a total win-win as it takes very little time, almost any flavour goes and you don't need a lot of ingredients either so you can pretty much make anything. With water, milks, elderflower coridal, some fresh fruit, a blender and a freezer of course (!), you are onto a winner. We often give it a go and when we pull them out of the freezer for a late afternoon snack they hit the spot everytime!
5. Den-gineer Club.
There are going to be highs and lows, fun times and testing times, but remember, you are not perfect or super-human. You are not alone when you are craving a moment to yourself, when the noise levels are giving you a headache and when the bickering is off the charts annoying! Cut yourself some slack and remember it is absolutely fine to walk away for a moment, take a few deep breaths and give them a movie in the middle of the day! A massive hit in our house is making a den in the playroom where they can snuggle in and watch a film together. Yes its annoying pulling the cushions off the sofa, but they love it and it provides endless ways of having fun throughout the day. This fort building kit below is a super-sized version of the one we have and when you've thrown a sheet and some blankets over it they are in it for hours!
I hope a few simple things we've included here help you in some small way over the summer. I also really hope that wherever you go and whatever you do, it is a truly brilliant time together, goodness knows we all deserve a good one this year!
Try to remember to be kind to yourself and let the small things go. Enjoy the small moments together and try to laugh at all times, it's only the summer hols!