Things To Do In the Summer Holidays – Your 8 Week Survival Kit
Things To Do In the Summer Holidays - Your 8 Week Survival Kit
Posted on July 24th 2019 by Hollie Pita-Carr
School may be out for summer, but not everyone shares the same euphoric image of kids and teachers bursting through school doors in elation, carefree throwing their paperwork up into the air ready to enjoy a summer of freedom.
‘6 out of 10 parents dred summer holidays’
A recent survey by Sphero, who state their goal as ‘inspiring the creators of tomorrow’, found that 61% of parents actively dread the summer holidays as 72% said that they struggled to occupy the kids.
Parents and caregivers all over the world may be desperately trying to work out how to look after the kids full time and keep them entertained throughout the long summer holidays. This article not only gives you 5 top tips to survive the summer holidays, but is also full of inspiring activity ideas to keep your little ones entertained. Plus, what to do when it all ‘ends in tears’ and the best advice around arguments.
Has it always been like this?
You may have heard about ‘the good ol’ days’ or even said yourself something along the lines of: “in my day... children were left to get on with it. We created our own fun, we entertained ourselves.''
Societal expectations have changed over the years and there seems to be increased pressure now for parents and caregivers to constantly entertain and amuse young people with a physical, mental and emotionally stimulating daily activity schedule. Theme parks, play dates, soft plays, zoos and farms fill up with families desperately battling the long queues, joining all the other masses of parents trying to keep our children happy and entertained.
The dreaded question: “Where are you going on holiday this year?”
If trying to find time to become a full time children’s entertainer isn’t enough, then you have the dreaded question: “where are you going on holiday this year?” Not everyone can afford to go on an all expenses paid trip to the Caribbean, Disney World or Dubai.
Many families struggle with the extra costs of the summer holidays at home, with kids to feed and entertain, let alone spending thousands on the expensive school holidays. Yet it’s become an expectation - yet another pressure on parents - another source of ‘parental guilt’.
Parents can feel such guilt of not being able to afford to take their children on expensive holidays. You may be asked the dreaded question several times a week: “So, are you going anywhere nice on holiday this year?”
Luckily ‘staycations’ have become a trend and people accept that it is perfectly acceptable to stay closer to home and explore the local area and attractions, without needing to get on a plane. The list below will help provide some inspiration and ideas for you and your family during the summer holidays.
Most of all, it’s important to remember that the best memories come from spending time, not money together.
5 Top tips to getting through the holidays:
1. Communicate a routine
Communicate with your children - bring them into the discussion as an active part of the family dynamics. Try and establish a routine where possible. Children like routines - it saves the constant thinking of ‘what are we doing now’ as they know and they have their expectations set. This saves a lot of energy for everyone.
2. Playdate swaps
Arrange playdates and take it in turns with other parents to have the kids over to play. I’ve found that it’s actually a lot easier when they are contentedly playing with their friends, rather than needing constant amusement. Plus you get the time back when the other parents host in return. Win Win!
3. Lists for rainy days and any days
Make a list of things they could do. Have this to hand when you have a we ‘NEED TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE NOW’ moment! Or when you are being told “I don’t have anything to do I AM BORED” repeatedly. You could even invite them to brainstorm ideas with you and try to make this a fun activity in itself. How many ideas can they come up with in a minute? Who can come up with the longest list? Make it into a game, once you have the list, have them close their eyes and wherever their finger or a pen lands, determines the next activity. (You could even add booby prize activities like ‘tidy your room’!) The list below should provide some inspiration.
4. Active involvement
Give them responsibility and make them part of the process. They can actively participate in earning treats as rewards for good behaviour and helping in the house. For example, the classic earning stars/stickers/points/tokens/money towards a treat or being able to choose a reward day from your list of options.
5. Be kind to yourself
Keep things simple and give yourself permission to let go of any feelings of guilt about not living up to the social-feeds of everyone else’s ‘perfect’ holidays. It’s guaranteed that these happy smiley holiday shots are not an accurate reflection of their full reality - everyone will have challenges no matter where in the world they are. Make sure that you prioritise your self-care as health care and rest and relax when you need to. This guide to having a good day has some good suggestions, practical tips and techniques anyone can do to improve their day.
At home/on a rainy day:
- Movie session - get the popcorn ready and do a movie marathon of your favourites.
- Have a clear out - sort out old clothes and belongings in a Marie Kondo style tidy up. You could even do your own Pretty Woman dressing up montage (complete with music?) Sort and try on clothes to decide if they ‘spark joy’ or are ready to be thanked and released to a new home.
- Scrapbook memories and/or create a vision board for the future. This can be done old-school style with scissors, paper and glue, or online as a tech project.
- Get arty - look at Pinterest for crafty ideas and have the kids choose projects to work on. Make a wish-list of things to try and plan out how to do them.
- Cook something tasty for dinner or a cake or cookies for a treat. Find a recipe, write out a list of required ingredients and cook something that you can enjoy eating together, or give to others?
- Performances can be great fun for kids. Maybe they can dress up and put on a show, choreograph a dance routine, write a song, have a karaoke competition or even make their own short movie or song video to show you later?
- Games - whether this be board games, marbles, dominos, or skittles - make a list of all the games you have or can think of - who can create the longest list? Have them design their own games to play the next day.
- Physical challenge - set up an obstacle course around the house or some kind of physical challenge and time them to see how fast they can complete it. This will allow them to burn off energy running up and down the stairs, over the bed, under the table, around the footstool etc. Use old newspaper or borrow things from recycling to create stepping stones across the floor - or when they are on the red paper they have to star jump ten times, on the yellow they have to do bunny hops etc. Have them try out some yoga moves or a dance exercise session on Youtube.
- Imaginative relaxation - have them lie down and practise breathing techniques, by focusing on their breath and counting, to relax their body and mind. Use mindfulness techniques, such as studying a raisin in depth or concentrating on their senses and what they can see, hear, smell, touch, taste. Have them imagine a beautiful relaxing space and fill it with all their favourite things and people.
- Bring stories to life - write or tell stories that excite the imagination. Create pictures and images on paper, which they can colour in and bring their story to life in their own little book. Create a diary of experiences, feelings or a gratitude journal of their favourite things.
If the weather is nice:
- Picnics in the park, the garden or even the living room! Have the kids decide what food they want and make the sandwiches and snacks.
- Camping - in the garden if needs be, or even just making a den in the house.
- Treasure hunts can be done around the house or garden, you can set these for the children and then have them create their own. You can do scavenger hunts, for example they have to find something that starts with every letter of the alphabet in the quickest time.
- Garden Olympics - set obstacle courses, fashion some kind of egg and spoon balancing challenge, time them racing around the garden or completing a set of challenges.
- Gardening - plant seeds and water them into being. Maybe you could try growing your own vegetables or herbs - this can even be done on the kitchen window sill.
Out and about:
- Libraries are not only full of books and computers you can use, they can be a useful source of information on local activities and events, plus often run activities such as storytime and arts and crafts sessions.
- Museums and galleries can be free and sometimes also put on special events in the summer for children to stimulate their creative, cultured side.
- Softplay, trampoline parks and activity centres allow the kids to burn off energy and often allow you to grab a coffee and sit down in the cafe.
- Bowling, swimming, cinema, ice-skating, or pottery cafes are great places for a rainy day.
- Go to the park with a football, frisbee, rounders or cricket bat, bats and balls. Take drinks and snacks or even a picnic and flask of hot chocolate.
- Explore your local area - have the kids look at a map of the local area and find some places they’ve never been and would like to explore. Go for a walk as an explorer, follow a map, or have them make their own map.
- Volunteer - are there any residential homes that would appreciate some company? Are there any community projects happening that need an extra pair of hands, such as a local clean up? Could you start your own - don some gloves and a grabber and go and see how much litter you can find to pick up.
Surviving the Summer holidays - what to do when it all ends in tears
Disagreements are inevitable - it’s how you respond that counts.
No matter how hard you try, even if you are the perfect parent with a continuous timetable of inspiring, engaging and stimulating activities, there will be challenges. This article has useful stress management techniques, anyone can implement to reduce stress and anxiety.
As behavioural expert and celebrity therapist, Marisa Peer states “It is unrealistic to expect to never row and never disagree. You only have to be around a group of two-year-old children to witness fighting and disagreeing about ownership of toys or sibling jealousy. People arguing is okay as long as you do it constructively.”
It helps to reframe your thinking
When the kids are driving you to the point of disagreement, just remember what Marisa explains in this article ‘Getting on With Family At This Time of Year’: “The only way our children can assert themselves and confidently say no when pressured into drugs, sex, drinking etc is if they have had enough practice and freedom at home in saying no and being heard and respected for their opinion…. This can be exhausting, however, what helps is to remember they are learning the debating and negotiating skills that they will need in adulthood and these skills are essential for their confidence. The only people they can practice on are their parents and they do need to practice a lot.”
Control YOUR controllables
In her book ‘Ultimate Confidence’ Marisa shares: “One of life’s great truths and something that has helped me more than I can say is to understand that “What happens does not affect you, how you interpret it does”. It is not an event that affects us, but the meaning we attach to it and the interpretation we choose to give it.”
It’s worth remembering that you cannot control another person or situation, only your response. Whilst it’s not always easy, you can control the meaning you attach to something and consequently how it affects you.
Marisa states: “While everyone is different, the truth is simple: You can’t undo your past, but what you can do is change your narrative about it. ...I have watched clients, readers, and followers of mine from all over the world change their lives in an instant. How? Because they changed their thoughts and beliefs. No matter who you are or what you’ve gone through, you have the power to change your thoughts and beliefs, too.”
World leading transformational techniques available to you
This is a key component of Marisa Peer’s Rapid Transformational Therapy™ (RTT™), which seeks to get to the root cause of an issue and reframe how you feel about it, giving you freedom. It empowers people to take control of their lives, so that they are not being held back by repressed subconscious beliefs and behaviours.
Marisa’s comprehensive solution-based Rapid Transformational Therapy, has proved so successful that it continues to win numerous awards, recognised internationally as one of the most effective therapies available. Marisa proves that therapy needn’t take years of talking through painful issues and disagreements. Life-changing transformation can be achieved instantly and with permanent all-pervasive results when you know how to use the power of the mind. That is why Marisa is now teaching others how to use her techniques to achieve the same rapid transformation for any issue.
For anyone who would like to Find A Specialist Therapist, or if you are interested in a new career transforming lives, you can now access the same transformative techniques used by athletes, celebrities and leaders at the top of their game.
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