The schools six-week holidays are creeping towards us! Recently remembering the days when my children were younger, I thought (although I’m no parenting expert!) I may have some useful advice for local parents. I recall the mixed feelings with regard to the impending school summer holidays. I was excited and looking forward to that quality time with my two daughters, I couldn’t wait to make the most of every single day. On the other hand, I felt fear and dread! How am I going to entertain them for six full weeks? What if the weathers bad? Where do I look for things to do? Most importantly, am I going to be able to afford six weeks of fun?
I was lucky as when my girls were young, I was a student at university and so I had the whole summer off to spend with them. However, that came at a price… since I was a student (and a single parent) I was on a very tight budget!
Remembering all that fun we had over those few summers I wanted to share the experience in hopes that it just might inspire and support other local families to prepare for the holidays. I put meticulous planning into preparing for those six weeks. Being a bit of a perfectionist and annoyingly organized planner, I spent weeks running up to July gathering information and planning for our ‘holidays from home’. I would draw up a six-week plan, putting in all the free of charge and low-cost activities first (so I wouldn’t miss an opportunity for free entertainment) and then adding other things in around them. Since I began writing for Filey Bay Today, I have seen and heard of many events in the community and met some of the people that organize them, and I hate to waste an opportunity! Therefore, I’m offering my organizational skills up on a plate. This is the first of a three-part series in Filey Bay Today magazine working towards planning the perfect (and perfectly affordable) summer holidays.
Of course, not everyone will have time off in the summer, however something I did when I returned to work was share care with friends who had children of a similar age. The summer plan worked a treat for this as I never got stuck at home with nothing to do, it was always there to refer to. As we know, being a parent can be hectic, I found it eased a lot of stress by having the plan laid out (on my fridge) so that at a quick glance I could see what was on offer. It also enabled me to make the most of my days off with the children. If your children are going to grandparents/family/friends to be cared for while you work, then that information is readily available for them to make use of too.
Part Two will have details of upcoming events and advice on getting prepared including a survival ‘kit list’ and essential ‘just in case’ items. There will be some hints and tips on making a little money go a long way and activity cards for you to cut out and keep for your own plan.
Finally, Part Three will have your own pull-out plan with events highlighted for you. There will be details on where to get further information and a survival guide.
I’m getting excited already… summer is coming!!
As promised, here’s more information on getting ready to step into summer with your little ones. I have been working away researching what is going to be available in the local community this summer to save you a job, because let’s face it parents… you have enough to do. Many exciting and fun activities and events are being prepared ready for your family to make the most of the summer. Believe me, you will not be bored!
The activities I have been looking into have been bringing back beautiful memories of when I’d take the children down to the beach, they’d be so happy playing in the sand, paddling and running around. I’d pack us up, usually the night before, with a picnic, toys, towels, bucket and spade in my pull along shopping trolley. Yes, I had a shopper on wheels, it was perfect, I could transport everything we need for the day without being weighed down. I would take enough food and drinks for the entire day. Some days the only money I would spend would be on an ice cream for each of us on the walk back up from the beach. This worked wonders as a little reward for ‘best behaviour’. I recall the feeling on an evening when I had put the girls to bed after their bath and story, with a cuppa (or glass of wine) in hand… such perfect blissful exhaustion.
Survival kit list!
There are a few things that I could not have managed without when my girls were younger and we were going on day trips. As we all know money is tight at the minute, the cost of living is going up and we’re all struggling. Some of these items you’ll have around already, however I find that car boot / table top sales and charity shops are treasure troves for affordable essentials.
Stock up on: Baking essentials ‘Cheap cakes for happy smiles’
Arts & Crafts – pencils, paper etc.
Games – boardgames, outdoor activities
Spending Money- start saving some change here and there for ice creams and incidentals
And of course, sun cream and sun hats! Grown-ups don’t forget yours!
There are some ‘ideas’ cards for you to cut out and keep to go with your summer planner. On each side is an activity, one for sunny days and another for rainy days. Just a thought, it might be fun to pop them in a jar/bag and pick them out for surprise activities. We will put some resources on to our website as well, including blank cards to make your own.
Details of some of the upcoming events can be found in the events diary towards the back of the magazine. These events, and more, will be placed on the pull-out calendar in next month’s issue, don’t miss it!
Download your Activity Cards here: