Like many other parents this summer, I’ve got big plans which center around Keeping the kids Entertained. Yes, it deserves a title of its own. With three children all at such different stages of development, I’m well aware that they all need different types of stimulation. That requires me splitting myself into three pieces on an hourly basis over most weekends, so the summer holidays are already- at day two- looking a little daunting.

Before I begin, this is not a post where I moan about having the children around me all day for six weeks. I already have two of them around me all day every day as it is and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Having The Big One at home for the summer is a blessing and I want to make sure we spend our days being happy. That said, summer holidays can  be stressful and it’s a well known fact that a five month old can’t do all the same things as a two year old, who in turn can’t do all the same things as a seven year old. So…

The ‘I’m Bored!’ jar

I downloaded the rather fantastic Frugal and Fun- enjoying the school holidays the thrifty way ebook with a view to getting myself organised for the six weeks ahead. Ok, so I’m a little late to the game here. I was supposed to read this little gem a week before the holidays started as there is a chapter specifically on organisation. My first thought here was that I had failed at the first hurdle, but actually, one of the best things about this book is that the suggested tasks are all  so easy to accomplish. They are also suggestions, so I’ve decided not to do some of the tasks the authors recommend, although they are all very sensible ideas. One thing I have done though is to make some lists.

The Big One and I have written a list of 50 things we can do if we get bored. These have been placed into a jar marked ‘I’m Bored!’ and should the dreaded phrase be uttered, whatever is pulled from the jar has to be done. I can’t wait until she gets the tidy her bedroom one…

These are the other lists we’ve made:

three new places to visit

three new things to try

ten things we definitely want to do

We’ve also taken up the idea of a holiday planner, although we are working week by week. So far so good. But today has gone a little bit wrong.

Yesterday we started the holidays with a trip to the hospital for The Toddler’s blood tests. From there we went straight to the park to meet Minty and Grace and then to the cafe for lunch. From the cafe we whipped straight away to the pet shop and garden centre, where we stayed for two hours browsing and chatting. From the pet shop we ambled home for dinner and finished our day with a walk. Lovely. But like I said, today went a little wrong.

The planner said swimming but The Big One didn’t want to swim. Fair enough, playing with neighbours is just as good an activity but once she’d gone I realised why yesterday had gone so well. The Big One is an essential tool in keeping baby or toddler amused while the other is being tended to. A visit from Minty and Grace provided a brief respite in the chaos but the truth has to be said: today I let myself down.

I can’t potty train whilst breastfeeding a teething/ cranky baby. I can’t get either toddler or baby to nap whilst the other one is shrieking. I can’t leave the house for walks or drives because The Big One might come home and not know where I am. Where is my back up plan? Oh, that’s right. I don’t have one.

The next chapters in the e-book are dedicated to each week of the holidays. The first week is all about the Olympics and tomorrow we are having a craft morning to try out the ideas in the book. But before that, I’m going to read through the chapter on organisation again…

I will update you, dear reader, as we work our way through the book this summer. But before I sign off to sit in a dark room for a while, I thought I would leave you with this tip: take as many photos as you can this summer. Looking at the photographic evidence, it seems it hasn’t been such a write-off so far after all. We’ve made meatballs and jelly worms. We’ve played on swings and we’ve been laughing. Bring on tomorrow!

 

 

I did receive a copy of Fun and Frugal- enjoying the summer holidays the thrifty way for review purposes. However, I also paid for and downloaded a copy for my Kindle as it is such a fab book. And I don’t know how to add PDF files to my Kindle. But anyway, no other payment has been made and all thoughts are my own.