We are on day 1 of the holidays!
Actually it feels like a pretty normal day right now, as Arlo is with his usual childcare, I’m working at home and the older two are attending the first day of a sporting/performing arts summer day camp, which I’m hoping they’ll enjoy as they’re booked to go three more times over the next couple of weeks.
As summer holidays go, I’m really looking forward to them this year (although ask me if I feel the same in a month!), as I feel we’re going to have a good balance of summer camps/me working, relaxing days at home, and going out and about.
I’m working my usual two days which will give me a chance to get my work done, go to the gym for my fitness/sanity as well as some time to get the house straight and life admin completed. Any other work can be achieved in the odd evening, freeing up the other days to really enjoy being with the kids and focusing on them. In holidays gone by, I’ve sometimes felt quite stressed trying to get my freelance work done on top of my day job, and willing the kids to go to bed earlier than they might otherwise do so I can crack on with work. This year should be different, and I’m looking forward to putting Arlo to bed at a relatively normal time, but then Adam and I spending time with Freddie and Sasha more in the evenings; whether that’s playing board games, teaching Sasha to do cross stitch (a summer goal!) or just reading together (and then Love Island, always Love Island…).
I’m not naive enough to realise that the difference in ages of the bigger two compared to Arlo might make logistics for certain activities a little tricky, but with some planning and organisation we should be able to get around this. I like booking a few things in and having a rough idea of how our week will pan out, but I hate planning to the hilt and organising things too far in advance (unless it’s a kids club/camp for childcare purposes) as I think the kids need some downtime too. Their school terms are so busy and they have lots going on, that it’s actually just nice for them to have the time to actually play with their toys and enjoy crafts etc without constantly being out and about every day. We are also really lucky and are heading back to Ca Savio in Italy again in August, and I can’t wait! We loved visiting there 3 years ago and it’s such a lovely place, so that will break up the holidays a bit too.
I know that for many people the holidays can drag, and I’ve had periods where the kids have driven me nuts, but we really are very lucky to be able to do some great things together (got to love living in London for the free musuems!) and the children are fortunate that we can afford for them to enjoy some sporting activity days (gymnastics, tennis, football and cricket). I was reading this article in The Times over the weekend, about families living on the Broadwater Farm estate in North London, and it was really sobering: the kids featured likely won’t get to do anything over the summer holidays.
Our three are really so very lucky.
We like to make lists of ideas for activities, both for at home and days out, and they’re a mixture of my ideas and ones that Freddie and Sasha have now written themselves. We don’t get through all of these of course, but they’re a great basis for planning our weeks alongside the two days of sports/summer camps each week!
- Paddling pools out
- Cross stitch and completing a kit
- Lego challenge
- Summer reading challenge at the library
- Baking (brownies, bread, pizza bases, victoria sponge cakes, biscuits)
- Learning to cook a meal
- Camping in the garden
- Choosing and completing cubs and brownies badges
- Shoelace tying practice!
- Starting a (private) blog and learning to set it up, writing it, taking photos for it etc – the kids want to document their holidays and activities etc
- Online games eg TimesTables Rockstars, Bug Club (our kids actually really enjoy this!)
- Upcycling a massive dolls house that we’ve been given (making wallpaper, painting the furniture etc)
- Raiding crafts boxes and finishing craft kits
- Hampton Court Palace
- Seaside (Hastings, Ramsgate, Broadstairs?)
- Mudchute Farm
- Swanley Park & splashpools
- Natural History Museum
- Postal Museum
- Cinema (Lion King, cheapo morning kids cinema)
- Swimming at the gym
- Picnics with friends at local parks
- Visiting Bedford
- Visiting relatives
- Walk along Southbank & Tate Modern & lunch out
- Bike rides
- Investigating Geocaching?
I’m also not averse to TV/kindle/gaming time and just chilling out at home, and I also think it’s good for them to be ‘bored’ sometimes and not structure and plan their time too much – I find they go off and create amazing Playmobil cities, Lego creations, get stuck in to a book etc if ever they come to me ‘bored’ and I shoo them away!