I adore my little people and normally I am very excited about the summer holidays and take enjoyment from planning fun and fab things for us to do. After all, as a teacher, it’s my summer holidays too and it signifies no work and evenings that are mostly my own (well for the the first few weeks at least, until the planning fear for the new year kicks in.) Usually, I am all geared up with my Summer Holiday Pinterest Board and ready to relish the crafting and the baking with the little ones! Obviously, skip to 4 weeks in and I’m only able to survive with daily trips to the park and plenty of CBeebies! But I’m planning away lots of fun summer ideas for kids.
This year, however, is a little different. We are expecting an imminent arrival from Baby Number #4 at the beginning of the summer holidays and so I’m feeling that this summer is going to be a baptism of fire into having 4 little people to look after! So I’ve spent the last week or so of maternity leave thinking up ways to ensure the little people still have a fab summer holiday and that we all don’t have a mega melt down by the end of it!
Step One: ‘Summer Holiday Busy Bags!’
As a present to the children from their new baby brother, I’ve been collecting bargains and things to do for the last couple of weeks to make each of them (and my niece who is also expecting a baby brother) a ‘Summer Holiday Busy Bag’. The idea is that they’ll be able to open a gift a day from their goodie bag.
In case you’d like to make your own, the bags contain: A Book, A DVD, Colouring, Stickers, Make-a-necklace-kit, finger lights (who doesn’t need finger lights?!!) a collage kit (aka random bits of fabric, paper and ribbon I wanted to get rid of!) and a mini detective secret message kit. I found pretty much everything on Amazon or from Tiger.
Step Two: ‘Summer Holiday-Proof-the-Garden!’
The last few weeks, Mr M has done a sterling job of clearing the garden of brambles and setting up a space for our chalk board and trampoline. My parents’ Christmas present to the kids was a fantastic swing and slide set which they are rarely off of at the moment. We’re yet to sort the sandpit and buy a paddling pool but if the weather sorts itself out, we’re hoping the garden will keep the kids occupied for the best part of the summer. They love to spend the vast majority of their time swinging or making dens and potions in the garden!
Step Three: ‘Crafting and Baking’
Despite having a Pinterest Board dedicated to Children’s Crafts with (embarrassingly) over 200 pins on! Pinterest is such a time stealer isn’t it?! I’ve still set up a separate summer holiday one to pin easy crafts and bakes with not much set up. Here’s to hoping that these keep the kids busy during the odd baby feed. Check it out here….
Step Four: ‘Summer Holiday List’
I thought a good way to get the kids involved in planning the summer holidays (and also a way to help my baby-brain to remember all the plans we came up with) was to make a ‘Summer Holiday List’. We can tick these off as we go and we can leave a few blank for spontaneous fun!
Step Five: ‘Get Help!’
Possibly the most important step is to utilize our lovely parents and siblings help. We didn’t feel that taking a summer holiday this year would be sensible with a newborn but we’re lucky enough to have parents close by who are around in the summer and who are brilliant at entertaining our grandchildren. I know we’re really lucky to have this support and we’re so thankful to them…………I don’t think we’d survive the summer without them (and the odd glass of wine)!
If you have any other ‘keeping busy’ summer holiday ideas – I’d love to hear them!
For more budget saving Summer ideas – see this fab post!