01 August 2016

Lazy days of Summer

School's out and thousands of children (as well as the odd teacher perhaps!) are celebrating the start of the summer break. 

Six weeks of fun and games, no homework, spelling tests or school uniform to worry about.  Time to unwind, enjoy long summer days and make the most of seeing friends and family. 

For parents too there's lots to be thankful for, not least a break from  dashing out the house for the school run or the daily preparation of packed lunches. 

But for many families the summer holidays present their own challenges: organising childcare, planning activities and trying to keep the costs down, can all prove daunting.  We want our kids to enjoy their summer break but this is balanced with the demands of our working lives, time and budget.

So how can the next six weeks be a memorable time for both children and parents and not cause a whole heap of additional stress?   Family Lives have some excellent advice, with ideas for days out as well as creative ways to enjoy spending time at home.

From picnics, to playing favourite childhood games or checking out free exhibitions at local galleries or museums, there's something to keep every child amused. Their best suggestion though: "Don't try and fill every minute of every day. Encourage your children's imagination and independence - let them play in their rooms or the garden."  They need space to do their own thing and follow their own interests too!

For parents facing childcare issues, The Daycare Trust (now part of the Family Childcare Trust) offers information and support for parents.  Their recent Holiday Childcare Costs Survey 2013, revealed that prices have risen by almost 10% in the past year so finding solutions to ensure children are well looked after is tougher than ever.  

So exploring a whole host of options is essential from flexible working during the 6 weeks, finding playschemes to sharing arrangements with other parents.

Hopefully the 42 days before the start of the autumn term need not be full of fractious kids and parents pulling their hair out as they count down the days!  Instead let it be a time of memorable experiences for the whole family as you enjoy a break from routine and time together.

Whether you're a parent or family worker, let us know what you have planned for the holidays and your top tips for making it a great, stress-free (almost!) summer break.


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