Summer Holiday Survival Tips

Its summer holiday time, whilst we want a break from the relentless school summer term, summer holidays have their own difficulties. Here is my top :

Summer holiday Survival Tips:

1. Get Organized

Six weeks of unstructured holiday time can be problematic and if you work together, you know I like planning and planners. You can use your dairy and just two sheets of paper or alternatively  you can download one I made here:

Bristol Child Parent Support Family Fun Summer Planner

You can divide into two columns, one for free activities and the other column for costs. This is a great topic for a family meeting, you don’t always have to be the one that makes suggestions. Giving children the space to feel they are included and they have a voice for what they may wish for, it also encourages co-operation and teamwork. In addition, it prevents them asking you 10 times a day for something that cannot be arranged and prevent any guilty feelings. Don’t worry if you are on a budget, not all activities need to cost something.

Work out what activities are a priority. It’s good practice for older children to have the budget and practice working out the cost of activities. Remember to allow them to be creative and any suggestion goes.
Examples of questions to ask:

  • Are there any places you would like to visit?
  • Would you like to learn anything?
  • What are your favourite activities you would like to do at home?
  • If we had no money left, what would you like to do?
  • If you had the choice, who would like to do those activities with?

2. Ensure Separate Special Time for everyone!

At your planning meeting, you could offer time with each child and ask them what they would like to do. This tactic may prevent rivalrous feelings when each child knows they are going to spend some quality time with mum/dad. It’s just as important for you to have some time to yourself too, it’s good for children to learn that parents are individuals and have needs too. Take time for you!

3. Create for less!:

Here are my favourite ideas:

Build a scrap junk sculpture and a den

All you need is lots of boxes, tins, plastic bottles, some glue, and wire. you may be scared of the wire but you may be surprised that children can use pliers. Children get so much joy from creating. You could set it up in the garden, do post me your creations and I will put them on my facebook page, children love to see the appreciation.

Summer time Survival tipsBuild a den or tippee it will cost nothing and children love it, get outdoors it has so many positive effects. This is a tippee built at Westonbirt!

Make some Play-Doh

Summer Holiday survival TipsThis does not replace clay but is great for younger children where it provides different sensations for touch and older ones too who may make a figure that hardens and then they can paint. Here is my trusted recipe:

4 cups Flour

2 cups Salt

1 cup water

2tbs of oil

Food colouring of your own taste!


Mix the salt and flour. Mix the water. oil and coloring separately. Gradually add the rest of the liquid slowly. It keeps for a long time in an airtight bag, please do post your creations to me!

Have fun with water

Water is so soothing, you can put some bowls in the garden or have a washing up bowl with some fairy liquid. Toddlers will stand for hours, have some bowls where they can pour and wash.

4. Plan and discuss clear Rules and Boundaries

Travelling can be hard especially if you are with friends and relatives. Be clear about your expectations of behaviour. Family Rules should remain, what are yours? talk to your children prior to leaving or on the first day, It may prevent some meltdowns!

Work out what you are going to tolerate, some children get very anxious away from home and find transitions difficult. Talk this through with them. One family I worked with brought their pop up tent and their daughter knew that if she needed to calm down she had a safe place to retreat too. You could even try one room in a villa.

10 ways to help my child calm down

Take with you their self-soothe kit to enable them to calm down, go to my other blog to find out how.

d out how to make one for them.

5. Make traveling fun

We traveled on many long-haul flights. Many Airlines have activity bags for children and films they can watch. I used to buy some cheap pens, little gifts for pound stores and wrap them up. Your children could open one when they are getting a little fractious, especially near the end of the flight. Tell them where they are going and what they are traveling on. Read the books with planes, or cars. Have ideas on how to stop car bickering such as setting up rewards for those who are cooperating and not moaning.

Wishing you all a fantastic break, for more creative parenting ideas, attend my positive discipline workshop and contact me for a consultation if you would like me to work with your child and family. Please do post and your creations on my Facebook Page and be so great if you like it too, I spend a lot of time creating this for you for free. With Love Catherine