I can't believe it. We're just weeks away from the end of another school year and time to start preparing for the summer holidays.
As not so little Miss finished Year for and is ready to go up into Year 5 (her birthday is in November so she missed out on the year ahead); it will also be the end of the first year for little Mr.
He had done really well settling in, and loves going to school - we never had any problem what so ever. I think, what will be the issue is the 6 weeks break that will soon be upon us. We've always found not so little Miss gets bored after a couple of weeks, so we've always had to think of things - but the change in routine for little Mr is really going to hit hard (as will the going back to school after the 6 weeks).
So, we always do a few things in preparation for the 6 weeks holiday... which I will list now (as this is what this post is about 🙂 )
So, my wife is a stay at home mom and is the carer for our son. As it goes, she did try a role recently but it didn't fit in with our needs for our son. So, I'm the worker in the house which means I miss out on quite a bit really. However, when it comes to the 6 weeks of holidays (and some of the end of term holidays also) I always pre-book many days off.
What I try to do is never work more than a 4 day week through the 6 weeks and many weeks I only do 3 day weeks. What this means is that I'm around so we can do 3-4 day weekend breaks and family events.
Quite often we will do at least one 4 day weekend in Butlins or a holiday park.
At least one of the weeks I take off fully. What we used to do up until 3 years ago - and something we are doing again this year - is go away on holiday for the week. This means that for a least 1 week of the 6 we're all off and we're away from the house discovering new things.
For the 6 weeks though, on the days I book off, we use these to get out and do family things - we find this is the best and top thing to prepare for, for the break.
As I was saying above, we try to do short breaks (and 1 long one if we can). These short breaks maybe somewhere like Butlins or Haven or some other holiday park. It may be a stop in a travel lodge up in the Midlands visiting family.
Maybe we travel down the coast a little and stay in an inn. Getting away, where ever it may be, gives that new fresh feeling to the surroundings and allows us to go out and discover. Our kids look forward to doing things like this as the love discovering - as long as there is a coffee shop and ice cream around.
Maybe its a picnic at the beach. Maybe its a walk around the nearest ruin. Maybe its a trip to the park. Although we are quite spontaneous on many days out we do, what we like to do is think and plan places to visit. Putting dates and places in your diary or on the calendar firstly prepares the kids of changes to the routine, and also gives them something to look forward too.
We're lucky that we live near enough to the beach that we can get there in 5 minutes. When we live 80 miles away we just made sure we had the days down here planned out so we could get up and go.
We know that through July and August, every Thursday evening they have something going on at Poole Quay. There are street acts and it all ends with fireworks. We know this and we plan and do this every Thursday.
We also know that Bournemouth Air Festival is on. We choose a day we want to attend and go for a set period when the Red Arrows are on - as well as few other displays either side.
Check what events are going on near you, there are always so many things we all miss - things that our kids would love. It also gives you some time to enjoy too.
You may also find summer clubs in your search. Often they fall into the category or drop your kid off or stay and watch. Not so little Miss has a week-long Karate summer club for example - she loves her Karate.
Just spend a little time checking out the notice boards at your child's school as well as looking for local groups that may give you info on whats going on.
There, I've said it. This probably goes in with the days out. However, this is certainly something to put in your plan. We all know how well these go over and it is such an obvious thing to plan - but really goes down well.
There you go, enough said on that one - the bloody obvious choice 🙂
So, I've saved the best for parents for last. Family sleepovers. It surprises me how much our daughter loves to have a few days stay over at her gran's. They also live about 80 miles away so it's certainly one we have to play for.
This gives you more time to spend with your husband/wife. It also is amazing how much just a change of place for a few days excites kids, least our daughter. It's amazing how quiet our house used to be when it was just our daughter and doing this. Little Mr is a little more difficult so doesn't do the sleepovers - but our daughter still enjoys - probably partly due to it just being here.
So, many of the things I have mentioned above could be said as bloody obvious. What amazes me though, even through obvious, many people don't plan their time through the holidays and then spend half the morning deciding what to do.
If you've already planned in advance what you are going to be doing, then there will be no arguing or wasting half the day deciding and packing what you need
Plan to succeed. Plan to have fun and plan to make sure you don't get an 'I'm bored'...