Daily Archives: 19 August 2013

How to survive the school holidays!


Save your Sanity!

Top tips to you get through the rest of the school holidays

We’re over halfway through the school holidays now. And for those parents/grandparents who are looking after children, how are you doing?! As adorable as they are, week after week of entertaining our offspring can be challenging!

I have had a couple of weeks off with my children over the holidays but it’s their dad who is looking after them every day. Each evening, I tentatively put the key in the front door and peer round with trepidation wondering if he (and the house) has survived! They are all pretty well behaved but VERY demanding. Even if we wanted to ‘stick the kids in front of the tv’ we couldn’t. It just doesn’t keep their attention.

So, it’s crafts, jigsaws, walks, parks
and endless questions from dawn
to dusk – exhausting stuff!

What are your survival tips for the holidays? We have found the following very useful:

  • Charity shops – a cheap supply of ‘new’ games and puzzles works wonders.
  • Umbrellas and watering cans. This has entertained them in the garden for ages.
  • A daily trip to our local park or pool (it’s essential to get out of the house for a while).
  • Summer reading challenge – most local libraries offer a reward to children who read several books over the holiday. We have created our own chart with a Kinder egg reward for every five books read.
  • A holiday scrapbook – we save tickets, leaflets and postcards from everywhere we visit and stick them into a scrapbook and then encourage the children to write a little about each visit (helping to keep their writing skills active).
  • Local websites – to look out for free local events and places to visit.
  • Balloons – these have inexpensively entertained really well (when they’re not squabbling over who has which colour!)
  • A treasure hunt – we work out a route nearby or in a local park with five or six locations. Each location has a clue to the next location (with a little reward at each) until they find the final location with its treasure.  You can tailor the theme, location and clues to your child’s age and interests. Draw the treasure map and accompany them with helpful hints where needed and those rewards and treasure.
  • Colouring/painting/chalking/printing. Using ideas from craft books and online, we do something creative every day.
  • A hand-drawn/coloured train/race track for cars etc. Great fun to create and provides hours of fun even when it’s finished.
  • Play dough (see the recipe below).
  • Plant flower or vegetable seeds in individual pots, make pretty labels for them and nurture.
  • Fill ice cube trays with melted chocolate and dried fruit. Then encourage the children to be good all afternoon while they set in the fridge!
  • Build a den, indoors or out, dependent on the weather, using a clothes horse/washing line/old bedding/towels/cushions and pegs. Then enjoya picnic in the den (teddies optional).
  • Painting with feet – we place some old wallpaper on the grass and use a tray of paint (with a bucket of water nearby for cleaning their paws afterwards).
  • A mini beast hunt armed with paper and pencils (perfect for Isaac, but this one is not so great for our twins who are going through a phase of moaning about every tiny insect they see!)

Have fun everyone!


playdoughPlaydough Recipe

Plain flour 1 cup
Water 1 cup
Vegetable oil 1tbsp
Cream of tartar 2tsp
Salt ½ cup
Food colouring a few drops

1 Place all ingredients in a pan on a low heat.

2 Stir continuously until mixture thickens to a firm dough texture.

3 Store in an airtight container and keep away from pets.

%d bloggers like this: