Portrait of smiling family with children at beach in carWe’re on a countdown in our house – just 5 more school days till summer vacation! The kids are excited but my heart is churning. With three kids, a one year old dog and two parents that are currently working from home, how will we all survive the Summer?

The upside is that things around the house get a little bit ‘looser’. We don’t have to be somewhere at a certain time and the kids can get up when they want,  but it’s not all sunshine and roses. Inevitably there will be cries of “I’m bored”, “I’m hungry”, “Can I have $5 for the store”, etc., and voices will rise to match levels of frustration!

We’ll check off all the usual suspects of course; playing outside with friends, the odd trip to the cinema, park, beach, library and challenges to see who can make the best family dinner. But when the going gets tough, I plan on pulling these little beauties out of the bag!

  1. I’ll take a leaf out of my friends book and get the kids to come up with their own “Summer Bucket List”.
  2. When the car needs a wash, I’ll pay them to do it – but I’ll prime myself before handing out the bucket and sponges because there will inevitably be a water fight, mess and tears. They won’t get paid until the job is 100% done and every watery footstep is cleaned up!
  3. I’ve already been inspired by Mumsnet’s and stocked up on a few cheap terracotta plant pots. We’ve lots of different paints about the house that the kids can use (outside) to decorate them, and even the odd few sparkly gems that they can stick on! Our blooms will be blingin!
  4. I’ll get them to design their own obstacle course and then run competitions with their neighbourhood friends to see who completes it in the fastest time – ice pops all round for the participants!
  5. I’ll challenge them to put on a neighbourhood show or to make a movie using some of great app’s like those suggested by iGameMom. Our eldest (11) recently made her own music video using Video FX Live and it was great (not only because it kept all the kids quiet for hours but because the app also allows you to insert effects like cartoon balloons, color filters, kaleidoscope and rainbow affects).
  6. I’ll set them the task of choosing a famous painting (Familyshare), and then trying to replicate it using whatever we’ve got in the house.
  7. We’ll try some Geocaching! This one’s new to me but highly recommended by a lovely cab driver on a recent journey. Apparently it’s like a global treasure hunt, with 2 million cache’s to find all over the world!
  8. Finally, when we’re into our last week of ‘vacation’, we’ll buy a scrap book and spend an afternoon filling it with all the memories (good and bad) of our Summer of ’17! The music we loved, the places we went, the photo’s, people and all the memories. I hope it’s a good one!

Embrace the madness & have a great summer.

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