10 Tips For Keeping The Whole Family Happy During The Six-week Summer Holiday

That’s right, I’m already making plans for the six-week school holidays. I’ve been chatting about my plans with a few friends recently and it turns out we’ve got a good mix of activities to work from ahead of the big summer break. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of tips that will hopefully help you make the most of the summer with the family.

1. Know what the little ones want

It may seem obvious, but sometimes we’re all so busy making a fuss over how best to treat our little ones that we completely forget to ask what they want to do. Are they wanting to go out? Play in the garden? Visit that aunt and uncle you hardly ever get to see? Finding out how your kids want to spend this time is a great first step and shows how their personalities are developing, too!

2. Make your summer holidays visual

Don’t have a calendar at home? Get out the crayons, colouring pens and glitter, because making your own and marking the activities down yourself is half the fun. It also gets your kids adjusted to structured days, although it doesn’t need to be as rigid as a school timetable.

3. Spark up their imaginations with a big trip

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to break the budget for this one. Whether you’re off to marvel at the models at Legoland or are heading for Hogwarts Castle on a Warner Bros Studio Tour, this is the perfect time to make those big trips happen. Of course, plenty of parents will have the same idea, so booking ahead to beat the rush is always advised.

4. Remember that downtime is also important

You don’t have to make every day an adventure – nobody’s expecting you to be a six-week superhero after all. Keep some quieter days, or even completely free ones, on that schedule you all made. How you spend that time is up to you, and again, is something you can talk about with the youngsters. Do they want a movie day? Ready the duvets and the popcorn. Fancy trotting around the neighbourhood catching Pok√©mon? Pack a small picnic and head out on your way!

5. Mark your memories creatively

One of the best ways to make each day of the summer holidays count is by making a scrapbook. While it’s a similar principle to the chart of days you started the school holidays with, this lets the kids decide which moments were their favourites and choose to feature them. If printing your photos is a hassle, you can also encourage them to do drawings or write about their experiences to fill up some space.

6. Have a clear out

As the kids get older, it’s important to notice how their interests and hobbies change. Get the family together and make clearing the clutter fun. I’m not saying that the glorious day has come when the kids are finally over Paw Patrol, but it’s a step in the right direction.

7. Unplug

The summer holiday at least implies there’ll be sunshine sooner or later, so heading to the park, the beach or the football pitch makes for a top day out that keeps things cheap and cheerful. It’s also a welcome step away from technology. Getting your kids to understand that they can have fun without computer games, tablets or phones is a brilliant use of holiday time – perhaps that’s why board games are outselling videogames once again.

8. Don’t stress about the schedule

I know, I know. This seems massively counter-intuitive to everything I’ve been saying, but it’s a simple trick to keep in mind even beyond the six week holidays. Put simply, don’t sweat the small stuff! We all deal with life’s little curveballs in different ways – either by having backup plans or staying flexible – but the key is to make sure that if one of your holiday days goes awry, you’re not tearing your hair out.

9. Make time for mum and dad

My tips are about the whole family, remember. We’re all busy being the everyday heroes our kids need us to be, but making time during their school break for yourself or your partner is equally important. Whether the kids are staying with a relative or you’re just snatching those precious moments when they’re asleep, make sure you give yourself the downtime you deserve.

10. Reconnect

The daily schedule of waking up, getting the kids dressed and taking them to school means that we’re often burning time away without having a moment to get to know our little ones. We all love to think we know what makes them tick, and in a very real way we do, but they’re growing and changing all the time. The summer holidays should ultimately be about one thing, and that’s making sure that the whole family is as close as ever.

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  1. great tips! I don't have to deal with these sort of things but I can imagine how stressful can be the holidays...what a paradox! xx

  2. Some great tips here for any family with children! Gone are the days in this house where my siblings are still at school, thank goodness!xx

  3. Getting some downtime really is key to happiness for the family.

  4. These seem like some great tips for families with children, I can imagine it adds a whole new dimension to holidays.

  5. Great tips, I'll have to remember these come summer holiday time! For me remembering downtime is important.

  6. What a great selection of tips. We get 8 weeks summer holidays which is too much here. The children are so ready for school 5 weeks in. This year we are going away for the first 2 weeks so hopefully that will break it up a little

    1. That's a very long break, I can imagine the kids (and adults) are ready for them to go back earlier than that.

  7. great tips. I think I should start planning what to do through the six weeks holidays as I always leave it too late and don't have enough money saved to do everything we want

  8. Great post with some good ideas. I haven't got anything planned, I'm still waiting for my husband to book his time off and let me know when we can go. I expect we will go somewhere in the UK preferably near a beach.

  9. Love your tips. There is so many great places in the UK to visit.