Oh no, the summer holidays are coming…
Now I’ve been on both sides of the coin over the years: as a parent, joining in with the other parents expressing my frustration about the long summer holidays that teachers have, versus having worked in a school for ten years aware that the teachers are exhausted and need a proper break.
As a single parent I’ve wondered how on earth am I going to keep my children busy for six weeks? During term time, can we get our children up for school? No, no, no! But as soon as the holidays are here, the children are raring to go from what seems like dawn to the setting sun.
So what’s the answer to the long summer holidays? As I was either on benefits or a basic wage there was no spare cash for trips out, but I wanted my children to feel they had been somewhere. For us that usually involved water, something to represent the seaside. The simplest solution was a paddling pool… cheap enough to buy. Sometimes we added a small slide to splash into the water (important: requires supervision!). While they’re playing in it, I had an opportunity to chill out a bit. We used to make paper boats as a craft and then put them in the pool to see which one sails faster or sinks!
A picnic was always exciting, whether in the back garden or a park. I got the children to help prepare the food and decide what to take. It doesn’t have to be expensive… but we found it always tastes nicer eaten outdoors. I used to put a pop-up tent in the garden so we could pretend we were camping. Sheets over a washing line are just as good.
If you can travel a bit, maybe you could think about visiting a friend or family who lives in a different town or city. A change of scenery, a different park to play in and some free countryside to explore might be refreshing for you as well as the children. Some town and city parks have splash play areas which can occupy the children for hours in warm weather. A quick google search will find your nearest, or have a look at this national summary.
I hope you are able to find a little bit of peace and quiet as well as you spend time with your precious bundles of joy this summer – explore and make those memories together.