Hooray! The school holidays are upon us again and its time to rejoice that there are six weeks free of the school run. I love the school holidays, its my favourite time of the year because it means I get to spend some quality time with my children and I dont have the additional stresses and worries that their time at school entails. It wasn’t always like this though, I can remember my first school summer holliday filling me with dread and being horrific because I didnt know what to do or how to keep the children entertained.
The breakthrough came for me when I realised that at small amount of planning makes a big difference. Personally I try to think of a variety of themes or topics to look at over the holidays and then tailor our trips and activities to fit in with those. That approach really helps with sorting through all the options. One of my most successful approaches has been to base these loosely upon what the children have learnt at school or will be learning as this builds upon what they know in a very subtle way.
There are a lot of free things that you can do which are also brilliant fun, if you think a little bit outside the box. Obviously I’d recommend a trip to all your local museums which will no doubt have a range of educational activities. However these are some of the things we are planning to do ourselves:
- The Summer Reading Challenge
- I’ve bought a tree spotter book and we are going on a walk around our neighbourhood to collect leaves to put into our book as we identify all the different species.
- The children will have a go at learning some traditional crafts like the straw plaiting we did recently. We are going to do some weaving and some embroidery as last holiday we had a go at crochet.
- We will be getting together with friends and having a children’s book club afternoon.
- Outdoor art: This is always a favourite activity and provides the opportunity to go out and about collecting things to use.
- Bike rides: The older children are great at riding their bikes so we will be going on lots of long rides. I hope to teach 3 year old Ned to cycle without stabilisers over the summer, although i’m not convinced I can get that to happen.
- Fossil Hunting: You’d be surprised how easy it is to go out and about and find fossils. There is a fab map of locations here.
- Chores! We had some fantastic fun recreating old fashioned ways of cleaning the home and I thought we might have another go at some of these and investigate some more.
- Making our own kite and flying it. We have loads of books about making kites, so I thought we’d have a go at a few of the ideas and take the kites over to Dunstable Downs and see how they fly. There are lots of resources on line if you cant get hold of a suitable book.
- Country Day: This is a really popular activity for my kids, basically we pick a country and we do lots of things related to it. We’ll spend the day eating the food from the country and see what we can find out about it. See this post about our India day.
I’d love to hear the things which you are doing this summer. Please let me know in the comments and if you take up any of the above ideas let me know how you got on!