Here in Scotland we have 6 weeks of Summer holidays from school and pre school nursery.
As i’m a stay at home parent my children don’t go to any childcare provider and most of the clubs or extra curricular activities they attend aren’t on over the school holidays.
This leaves us with 6 whole weeks ahead of us to fill!
In previous years I’ve been caught out by not planning ahead and this often leads to bored children, a frustrated mum and feeling that we’ve wasted the 6 weeks unproductively.
So this year I have put a plan into place early! We are now 3 weeks into this plan and it’s working brilliantly so I thought i’d share what we’ve done incase you find it useful for your family too!
Step 1 – Create a visual holiday planner.
I wanted my planner to show just the 6 weeks of the school holidays specifically and all on one page.
As the holidays are over two months my regular calendar broke the weeks up onto different pages which meant we couldn’t view the holidays overall as a whole.
You’ll see i’ve put Monday – Sunday across the top of my page and the week numbers down the side of my page.
I made mine using a large piece of white card I bought in a pack from Hobbycraft for £2 but you can use any size or type of paper or card you wish! You can get really creative or keep things as basic as you wish! I used coloured felt tip markers to make mine look a bit more visually appealing bit essentially I’ve kept it very basic.
*MONEY SAVING TIP* you can pick up sample pieces of wallpaper roll, free, in most DIY stores and use the back to create a large planner without buying paper or card specifically!
Step 2 – Fill in any planned dates.
If you have any pre planned events / appointments / activities / playdates already planned then pop them on your calendar first of all!
If you have preschool age children its a good idea to add some kind of visual graphic to go alongside your writing for them to recognise. You don’t need to be an artist so long as you explain to them what the graphic represents. For example you could tell your child that a heart symbol means you are going to be visiting someone that day! This means your child can look ahead and see when things are going to be happening. This lets them know what to expect, gives them things to look forward to & also helps them learn about different days of the week. Its really helps Elle to be able to see visually that she has something on “not tomorrow but the next day” rather than it just being something that is happening at some point in the future, which to a preschooler can feel like a lifetime away!
*TIP* Don’t forget to schedule in things like shopping for new school uniform or back to school supplies!
Step 3 – work together to create a summer bucket list!
This is a really fun, inclusive, activity where everyone in the family gets a chance to suggest ideas of how they’d like to spend the holidays together! I would suggest you keep your list realistic and not too over ambitious or you will end up feeling like you haven’t achieved anything all holidays! Think of things YOUR own family enjoys, however small! This list is for YOUR family only and doesn’t need to resemble a Pinterest board or be instagram worthy! If your family enjoys making mudpies then add that to your list and put aside an afternoon for muddy fun!!
The activities on your bucket list don’t need to cost money or be anything out of the ordinary they just need to create fun summer memories!
Step 4 – start filling in your planner!
Once you have completed your bucket list, use the ideas to start filling in your planner! An example from our family bucket list is to go to a safari park not too far from where we live so we’ve planned that activity ahead of time on our planner so it’s something to look forward to and I also know I have one less day to fill that week! If i have a particularly quiet week on the calendar i can start to fill some of those days with playdates or errands that need done to keep our week nice and busy!
Step 5 – Document each day as it happens.
Often unplanned events will occur like a friend might pop over for a coffee and a playdate or we might decide to go to the park on a whim. These things wont be on our planner since they weren’t planned ahead of time but i’ll still write them on the planner afterwards along with some kind of graphic to represent what we did so that we can look back and be reminded of all the fun things we have done! Elle loves going over each week and talking about all the fun things we did according to the pictures.
Step 6 – Have fun!!
Most importantly, make sure to enjoy the holidays! It can feel like a daunting task to keep your kids amused for 6 weeks, or sometimes more depending on where you live, but try to enjoy the change of routine! Make the most of the change of pace and have late nights or lazy mornings when you feel like it! Have picnic dinners when you cant be bothered cooking and let the kids wear whatever they like without the battle of telling then they cant dress as batman for school!
Ditch the parent guilt that your not doing enough / doing too much, the kids have been out in the sun too long / watching tv inside too long and just go with the flow a little more than is possible in term time!
I hope you found this helpful! If you did why not share it with your friends!
You can also watch the video I’ve made on my channel below: