Laura Armfield

Summer holidays are here and it’s a time of fun and relaxation for kids that have worked hard all school year. For may parents however, the thought of filling six weeks with fun, educational activities (with out breaking the bank!) can be daunting.  We’ve put together some pointers to help you navigate, and enjoy, the summer break.

Set some goals

Its easier to feel like you’ve had a good summer if you know what you want to achieve. Have you got any projects at home that need completing? Do you want the kids to start learning a language? or perhaps your aim is to get the family doing more activities together. Whatever you do, ensure you include the kids in this discussion. Perhaps try sitting down together and talking about what things they’d like to do over the summer, any places they’d really like to visit or activities they’d like to try. You can then prioritise and budget and try to balance more expensive activities with free ones and the purely fun stuff with some educational activities.

Do your research

Many regular clubs and activities stop over the summer break so it’s a good idea to look into what else is on in your local area. Many places have special events or holiday clubs running and will do deals for 6 week sign ups. These can be a great option to help out with childcare and give an educational focus. Check out public transport options for days out and also opening times of local leisure facilities etc. Grab some leaflets and flyers for a little inspiration of places to visit/things to do.

Set some screen time expectations

Try to have a discussion around screen time early on in the holiday. Whatever rules you stick to during term time try to echo these. Some parents like to stick to exactly the same screen time limits for consistency whilst others are happy to increase hours as a holiday treat. Whichever route you go down just try to be clear from the outset.

Keep learning going

Bridging the gap between the end of one school year and the start of the other can be difficult. Whilst children might want to forget about school work all together doing just small amounts of school related work can really help avoid a September slump. Making it part of the holiday routine can help to keep things relaxed and enjoyable. Maybe pick out some special summer books, or take part on the summer reading challenge and then set aside some reading time each day. You could try keeping a holiday diary for younger children and for older ones think about playing some family board games or card games and quizzes and try to take time to discuss current affairs. 

 

Avoiding the back to school blues

Whipping up enthusiasm for the new school year can be hard after a summer of relaxation. Some kids are raring to go whilst others are more reluctant. With this in mind it can help to have a chat about how your children are feeling about the new school year, are they making a big leap like the Primary to Secondary transition, have they moved class groups, will they be starting A Levels? Whatever the circumstance there are bound to be nerves and questions and regular chats can really help to diminish these fears. For reluctant returners try to ease worries by getting any new equipment or kit in advance and perhaps plan a fun activity for September so the fun isnt just confined to the holidays.

What works for you? We’d love to hear your thoughts on summer holiday activities. Get in touch on Twitter (@parenthub_uk) or email us: hello@parenthub.co.uk

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