It is two days before my kids finish school for the Summer – from this week I will have them home for 7 weeks until they go back (I know this seems early but here in Scotland our kids are off from the end of June till the beginning of August).
Now I’ve got two boys – two pretty active boys with the challenge that there are a whole 7 years between them. Makes arranging “cool” things to do with boys of different ages (and on a budget) a perennial headache.
I live in dread of the plaintive “Muuuuuummmmm!!! I’m bored” moment . Not that I don’t think kids SHOULD be bored on occasion, in fact I am all for it. I think that “over-scheduling” our kid’s time stifles their creativity – a healthy dose of boredom motivates kids to amuse themselves wonderfully.
Or maybe I am just a Bad Mummy!!! LOL
But I am aware that this is “their holiday” and we should really do some cool stuff together.
So here is a solution that I have employed that I hope you might like to employ.
We have two large jars in our kitchen that for the last few months we have used to collect ideas of things we would like to do.
One jar collects slips of paper with “FREE” stuff on them. (Note there are tons of things do do that don’t require money.) Stuff like:
- Baking Day – where they make and eat all their favourite treats
- Camping Day – inside or out (Scottish weather remember LOL)
- Picnic in the Park Day – usually a different park from our local one, change of swings and a change of playmates
- Beach – always a favourite on a sunny day
- Museum – loads around here that are free and have great summer exhibits on
- Movie Day – Mega Movie marathons – Star Wars or Harry Potter, popcorn and juice
Every night after dinner the kids will take it in turns to draw a slip of paper from the jar to choose what we get to do the next day. Makes it easier for me if they draw it the night before, as I can check the weather report, pack suitable clothing and food and be ready to go first thing.
Every Tuesday night I draw out one of the slips from the second jar – which contains slips for things we want to do that costs a little money. Things like:
- Picking fruit – at the local Pick Your Own farm
- Going out for a creamy cake – there is a great (but pricey) baker in our village
- Bookshop Trip – where they each get to choose a new reading book (I have vouchers already – Yay!!!!)
- Local Animal Park – you pay to go in but can take a picnic and make a whole day of it
- Cinema/ Theatre – well, there are usually some great kids’ things on in the holidays and I figure I am training the toddler how to be “grown up and sit still” – at least for a little while. Of course, we bring our own snacks and drinks.
Yes!!! – Wednesday is our “going out” day as a family.
The kids don’t need to be amused ALL day EVERY day – but it does help keep the mood of the whole house lighter if they have something to look forward to the next day.