I know it’s barely the middle of May but already I’m starting to try and think up plans for the summer holiday.
Thankfully, Jude’s school keep it fairly short. He has four weeks off, literally just August so it’s pretty manageable (she says now…) But Elsa’s holiday is something completely different.
This summer Elsa has EIGHT WEEKS AND SIX DAYS OFF!!!! Arrrgghhhhh
Thankfully, she’s pretty easy to entertain…more often than not these days, when were at home, she just ignores me and FaceTimes her friends or chats on the phone. Otherwise, she plays maths games on the laptop or practises her gymnastics.
Call me a sadist but I’m putting a blanket ban on tv during the daytime this summer. I’ve noticed a real dip in Elsa’s attitude when she watches too much television and a few weeks ago, I went a bit mad and banned all screens for a week. It was amazing, best week we’ve had in a long time.
But anyway…to fill this enormous routine/education-free void, I am starting a list of things we can do together. As a family or individually. I appreciate that all three of the children have different needs and abilities so this list will be a bit of a pick and choose of what’s apt for the day in question.
Strawberry (or any fruit) picking
We did this last year and it was so much fun. Emmeline loved it as much as Elsa and it was just amazing to be out in the fresh air.
Vegetable digging at our allotment
Ok so only relevant if you have an allotment but it’s fun and we love it, especially if the sun is shining. I love that the children know how to grow food and again…it’s an outdoors activity so all the better.
Camping in the garden
I don’t like camping, I’ll fully admit that. We went glamping last year, which is pretty much as far as I’ll go – during this trip we slept in a four poster bed and drank tea by our gorgeous log burner in the living room area so it wasn’t exactly Bear Grylls worthy. I’ll rough it for one night in our garden if the children are up for it.
Something I loved doing as a child. Collect petals and herbs from the garden and put them in pretty, water-filled glass jars. It doesn’t take long to do if you’re an adult but I’m yet to see Elsa play this game and not elaborate out into other, similar activities.
A bit obvs this one but essential for a summer holiday. We went to Frinton last year and I love it; it’s somewhere I visited regularly as a child too and have many fond memories. Fronton is really old fashioned in it’s appearance and miraculously, you can still park for free, all day, along the coast line.
Look for pretty shells, search rock pools for little crabs and other floaty creatures and breath in the lovely salty air.
Sprinkler and bbq day
Have a day in the garden (weather dependent) where you have a few throw away bbq’s on the go, everyone is wearing their swimming costume and you end up with wet grass wandered all around the house. I love days like this.
Hold a lemonade stall on the pavement
Elsa loves to run a stall at the end of our driveway. Last summer she sold a load of Emmeline and her old books and made about £20. It was great because she had her little price list, made a banner and spent a large chunk of the day playing shop. Elsa is strangely obsessed with making lemonade at the moment so I promised that the next warm weekend to appear can be her lemonade selling day!
Is there a woods nearby? We’re lucky to have a lot of countryside only a short distance away so it’s easy to go for walks and explore. I loved climbing trees as a child and this love has transferred down to both the girls so we’ll definitely go out one day this summer purposely to find a decent climbable tree!
Let the children plan for and cook dinner
You may need to help dependent on your child’s age! Elsa would love to do this if she had half a day to prepare and go shopping for the ingredients.
Family film day
Nothing wrong with a day in front of the tv and a mammoth sized bucket of popcorn.
Learn a new skill
Go try something different with your child. Painting? Jewellery making? Whatever floats your boat, it’s just about spending time together.
Have a day of playing games. Crack out all the old classics and see which is the family favourite.
Build something challenge
It could be a den in the woods, a nest for the birds or anything your child fancies. Maybe use up some of your recycling boxes to make a junk model space ship? Whatever it is, just challenge them to be creative.
Again, we’re lucky because there is a particularly fantastic kite flying place only a short drive away but all you need is a slight windy day and a raised area to propel your kite from!
Go on bike rides
Elsa loves cycling so this is definitely one for her. Go off for a day on your bike and see which lovely villages you come across. Just don’t get lost 🙂
Again, something I used to do as a child. I remember the pretty wooden flower press I was given as a present but Elsa has used heavy books and baking sheets to press flowers and it works equally as well.
Croquet, mini golf, bowls. You can buy sets for only a small amount of money but it’s worth it for the hours of fun you can then have!
Make a bug hotel
Using canes, moss and sticks, you can easily create a habitat for small creatures in your garden. Here is a link to the RSPB’s suggestion of how to build one.
Make play dough
It’s really easy to do so give the children the ingredients and leave them to it. They’ll love making different coloured dough and adding glitter or even scents such as ginger or mint.
Sunbath and listen to audio stories
Children don’t lie down and chill out particularly willingly (or at least mine don’t) but I’ve found that Emmeline will sit and listen to a story. Chill in the garden with some fruit filled mocktails, put your shades on and listen to some stories. Win/win.
I’d love to hear your summer holiday ideas.