As always, we’re counting down the days to the Summer Holidays this year (19 sleeps for us) and we can’t wait for the freedom that the holidays always bring – no early mornings for the kids, no school, no homework, no early nights and even better than all of that is the three weeks holiday I have coming up!
I don’t know about you but in the past we’ve tried to fit so much in to our time off that we’ve been exhausted rather than refreshed by the time September comes around! Last year was a bit different for us though as we tried to have a bit of a lazy Summer which meant that, although we did fit a lot in, we didn’t feel the need to fill all of our days with planned activities and days out and it was so much better. We also saved money which was an added bonus. 😉
We’re doing the same this year so there’ll be lots of time spent at home and I’m looking forward to that even more than the days out that we’re planning. I’m not even going to write about planning your perfect Summer Holidays because the post I wrote this time last year pretty much covers everything I would write anyway. You can find the ultimate guide to having an amazing Summer here if you want to have a read….
What I did want to share today are my top tips for having an organised Summer because no matter how you decide to spend your time, a bit of organisation and forward planning will not only mean you’ll have more fun, it also means you’ll save money.
Spend some time planning what you’re going to get up to.
There’s a couple of links in the post above sharing how I plan our Summer Holidays so I won’t go into too much detail but I do think it helps massively to plan your days so you can spread out the ‘big’ trips throughout the six weeks. It’s also a nice idea to have a visual display so last year we printed out six weeks worth of planners and stuck them on the bag of the kitchen door so we could all see what we were doing each day. You could use our free downloadable week’s worth of fun activity planner for this. 😉
Have a Summer Bag in the boot of your car.
We visit the pound shop just before the start of the Summer and buy things like badminton rackets, buckets and spades (you’re never too old), frisbees and other outdoor toys. They all live in a big bag in the back of my car along with some other bits and bobs like spare hats, a towel, and some spare change (for parking and ice cream). We call it the Summer bag and it will stay in the boot where the scooters are also permanently stored in the Summer until the kids go back to school in September.
Be prepared for the ‘I’m Bored’ moments.
Although I do think it does children good to be bored occasionally as it encourages them to find their own entertainment, it does drive me mad when I hear one of my two say it. They have so much to do and I can never understand why they would ever be bore! Anyway, to stop them being bored as much as possible they each have a bored jar – you can find our regular bored jar here and the bored jar I made for Miss Frugal which is ideal for older children is here. We also have a print out of the picture below on our fridge (you can print out the A4 version yourself here)….
Pinterest is also an amazing resource for things to do with the kids over the Summer. You can find my ‘Family Fun on a Budget’ board on there and there are so many others too so do stick around and have a nosey….
Make sure the children know what’s expected of them.
I’m a mean mum and won’t let my two do anything if their bedrooms aren’t tidy and they’ve left things lying around downstairs. They both know that it only takes five minutes before bed to tidy their things away on a night so everything is clear the next morning and they also both know that if their friends come to call for them the next day, they won’t be allowed out until this is done so they’ve got into the routine of tidying up their things before bed.
Know your limits and make sure your children know them too.
The older your children get, the more they want to push your boundaries and the further afield they want to go. I’ve always found the Summer Holidays to be a period where they push my limits more than usual as they think they’re automatically older and more responsible because they’re going up a year in school. It’s a good idea to decide just how far you’re happy with them going and make sure they know – this will cut down on the conversations where the beg you in front of their friends and you either give in and let them go then worry or say no and then feel bad. I’m quite laid back about this but my two know just how far I will let them go and if they ask more than once if they can go further then they come in.
Make sure your children have a way to keep in touch or a means of telling the time so they can come home when you tell them to.
I might have quite relaxed rules about where they go but I do make sure that I know exactly where they are at all times and that I’m clear about what time they will come back home. Miss Frugal has a phone and Master Frugal uses a watch and they both check in regularly with me and always let me know when they’re going somewhere different.
Stock up on snacks and treats
I always make sure I have ice lollies in the freezer and sweets in the sweet jar as well as keeping my drinks dispenser filled with cold water. I also have a full fruit bowl but ice lollies trump fruit in the Summer apparently. I bought some cheap plastic cups so during the day, I have the drinks dispenser on the counter with the cups and some juices next to it so anyone who comes in can just help themselves. 😉
Can you think of any other organising tips to help make the Summer Holidays go as smoothly (and cheaply) as possible?
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