The summer holidays are nearly here. Boy 3 has had his last ever day at nursery and Boys 1 and 2 break up next Wednesday. Although I’m looking forward to it, I am going slightly cross-eyed at the thought of keeping 4 little boys aged 8, 6, 4 and 1 entertained and myself sane for 6 weeks.
For me it is not about finding endless activities to march them too, but helping them to find a rhythm that does not revolve around school. It’s achieving a balance between organised stuff with me and playing independently, being active and being quiet, being outside and being indoors, being out and about and being at home. Boy 1 particularly finds this very difficult as he likes routine and he’s so used to school he struggles with having a lot of free time. Yet they all need time to forget about school, reading books, homework, spellings, and SATs. They need time to play, read, run around outside, ride their bikes and just be kids.
Just as finding a balance can be hard for them, I need time to get stuff done. I don’t want to be policing fights or having to yell at them for running round and round in circles in the front room, shouting “fart” at the tops of their voices, or barking at them for trashing the place. If we are to survive the summer holidays, we need a plan.
So this is what I plan to do. I don’t know whether it’s going to work, we’ll have to wait and see!
We’ll have one trip out a week, probably to the beach or to the woods, as they are both free and accessible by bus.
I’l have one activity planned for them to do with me. This will include:
Art/crafts/science, like painting stones, origami, making finger puppets, helping me by making stuff for my ebook, making kites, making a water wall, making it rain in a jam jar. I’ve collected some ideas on a Pinterest board here.
Going to the library. Our nearest library has a reading challenge for primary aged children.
Going to the park.
Going out on bikes or for walks.
I’m also aiming to have an outdoor activity set up for them. I’m assuming the weather is going to be nice! There are ideas on the same Pinterest board, including:
Painting with ice cubes
Ice cube sculptures
Rescuing lego people from ice.
Cars in shaving foam.
Play dough. There’s a great recipe on Imagination Tree, and lots of other good ideas too.
I’m also going to have an indoor activity set up, like:
One of the Playmobil sets
Lego, maybe car building bits or house bits, or a road mapped out on base plates.
The wooden trainset, partially built so they can finish it off
A box of toys out that that they haven’t played with for a while.
I’m also going to make an I’m Bored jar. There are lots of ideas for these on Pinterest! I’m going to write the activites onto lolly sticks so that I don’t end up with paper all over the floor and extra hoovering! Ideas I’m going to include are:
Read a book
Read a book to somebody else
Build a den
Find something to do in the art cupboard
Draw a picture
Make a book
Have a bug hunt in the garden
Do a job to help Mummy and earn 10p
Play Top Trumps
Make your own Top Trumps (my boys love Top Trumps!)
Do a puzzle
Make the Playmobil people go camping in the garden.
Hopefully this will be enough to keep everybody sane!
If you like to write stuff down on a pretty planner, there is a gorgeous one here on Brocante Home.
What are you planning to do to keep your children amused?