Planning for the summer holidays is part of the responsibility of being a parent. It’s a long six weeks in which you want to provide the kind of idyllic childhood memories that will remain vivid for a whole lifetime, bonding activities that will bring you closer as a family, and the kind of stimulation that will have your kids learning, broadening their minds and exercising all at the same time. Or at least not resorting to parenting by TV too often.
Today we’re contributing a few ideas to go towards your summer planning.
Clues, Trails and Hunts
Getting outside with your kids is a great idea: a walk burns off some of that inexhaustible energy, gives them a chance to engage with nature in a way they can’t at school. If you want to make it really special, it’s worth turning an ordinary walk in the park into a treasure hunt.
Matchbox scavenger hunts are a traditional childhood activity: all you need is a matchbox (or equivalent convenient container), and a list of things to find! You could write this yourself – all you need to do is think of a dozen things you might find on your walk (or in your garden) and let your kids loose!
If you want to make more of an event you could buy a scavenger hunt or treasure trail. This industry provides not just lists of things to find but narratives, puzzles and clues as well. It can turn an ordinary walk into an unforgettable family adventure.
Providing childcare for the whole summer can be challenging, especially if your children are younger, so it can help to team up with other parents. Talk with the parents of your children’s friends – you may be able to make plans together to give each other time off by sharing childcare responsibilities. This works out well for your kids too – even a day at home playing in the garden or doing crafts is elevated with company!
Summer is a good time to get outside – a far better one than winter, but if you’re able to instil a love of sports and exercise when the weather is fine then your children are more likely to stick to it in the freezing November rain.
You could look for summer schools in your area, offering kids a chance to try out tennis, football or cricket, or simply encourage games in the park with family and friends. The important thing is to be supportive and focus on the fun, not the competition – that’s what’s missing from school PE lessons that leads to a lasting love of exercise!