Monday, 3 August 2015

Looking At Clouds

The lovely Hilary from Thinking of you and me blog  is my guest poster today ! over to Hilary !



Hi, my turn to guest post while Ninjakillercat is on her holidays. So, how to cause carnage while she is away? I thought I would do a School Holiday post (well, she is a TA), and it is the School Holidays.

I loved the School Holidays, all of them. When my boys were pre-schoolers, it meant that I got them back again for the whole day, I wasn’t limited to being home for collection time, on nice days we would lay on our backs and look at the clouds.

When the boys were at School it was different, they met friends, had friends round, as they got older they had opportunities to go away with Cubs, then Scouts. They would go off on bike rides or just chill on a beach (we lived in the New Forest by then). They had days where they didn’t want to do stuff, just watch TV and I was happy with that, it gave me an opportunity to catch up with other stuff. I taught them to cook, we gardened, we visited relatives, had relatives to visit us. They loved their Nanny Pat (OH’s mum) coming to stay for a week or so. When they became young adults, well, it all seemed to go pear-shaped and nothing suited, so I left them to their own devices and got gradually crosser and crosser – which did nobody any good.

I know that for many parents (working and non-working) the holidays are a massive headache requiring organisational skills that any CEO would be delighted to have on his side. I also know that many parents rely on Grandparents to help out (No, I have siblings with grandchildren, friends with grandchildren – but I am not old enough – do you hear me boys??) I also know that teachers and TAs need to recharge their batteries.

Yet, reading my Twitter/ Facebook timeline, every time there is a School Holiday something takes people by surprise! It is perfectly obvious to me that it will rain at some point during the School Holiday no matter how long or short it is. It is perfectly obvious to me that soft play centres, theme parks, swimming pools will be hell on earth at these times as well. Why go there?
So here are a couple of rainy day ideas for you:
Buy (or rent from the library) a couple of DVDs that the children haven’t seen (why not go retro and get a film you loved? The Goonies is a firm favourite in our house even now, for older ones how about The Blues Brothers?), have a cinema afternoon and let them make the popcorn (older ones) younger ones could make tickets. Sit with your children and relax, the dust will still be there tomorrow. The washing can sit in the machine a bit longer.

Take the children outside. Most places have a park, canal, wood, nearby. Put the wellies and raincoats on and go out. Jump in puddles, walk through the mud.  If you can relax and have fun in the rain the children will too, (tip: if the boots are really muddy? Find a puddle to wash them in, great fun swooshing boots). Remember riding a bike in the rain? I do, I loved making tracks.  I remember taking a group of 6-8 year olds on a walk just after it had rained (they had been putting up tents in a hall while it was raining) and I was amazed at the number of children who had NEVER jumped in a puddle!!! Even today I jump in puddles (I make a much bigger splash now). Of course, you can always race raindrops down a windowpane if you can’t get out.

Most children love to bake. Be prepared for it to take three times as long as you would take, help but don’t take over, and get them to help clean up the mess afterwards. Older children (say 8 upwards can learn how to cook a meal – ask what their favourite is and teach them how to cook it)
Have a games day (ssshh, I can hear the groans!), get them all out, make sure they are all in one piece then decide to play Snakes and Ladders with the Monopoly tokens – or Buckaroo with the Mousetrap bits. Why not get a  ‘new to you game’? Go to a charity shop and see what they have in stock or swap with a friend?


Happy School Holidays….. I loved them, why not share what worked for your family? You never know you could save another family from holiday meltdown!

24 comments:

  1. When mine were younger I'd plan something to do on each day - we just had to get out of the house or they'd go stir crazy and take me with them. But once they were both out of the Primary School stage they were much more open to chilling out at home and doing things like baking, watching TV, playing on the trampoline and general pottering about. I much prefer this... we are all more relaxed!

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  2. We're really enjoying the summer holidays. We've baked (both girls have birthdays at the start of August so they've each made the other a birthday cake), had movie afternoons, been to play in the shallow river at Hubbard's Hills, had game nights and afternoons and some days done nothing but lounge around watching tv.
    Heaven!

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  3. Great post. We love baking and watching movies when the weather is typically British. You can't peat a but of puddle splashing too. Love the school holidays! x

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  4. Great post. The weather hasn't been very kind to us in Scotland this "summer" but when we went away on holiday to Berwick we had a beautiful week of sunshine.
    We have played board games, been out walks in the wooded area with our dog, splashed in puddles, soft play, the local country park and swimming. Cant let the weather stop us lol x

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  5. We do cooking as well and number and letter worksheets when little miss needs intellectual stimulation, recently we had a movie night with sweeties and staying up late, it all went down a treat!xx

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  6. We are having a more relaxed holidays this year, but I do find the juggle really hard. I am trying to be a No Man and a yes mum!

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  7. We have had more downtime this year - we do normally pack it all in. I like the idea of watching an old favourite film - H is interested in watching Ghostbusters so maybe we should do that.

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  8. We certainly need to jump in more puddles and get out more not just in the summer but all the time i think!

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  9. We are lucky in that where we live we get lots of visitors coming to stay so the kids are chocka the whole holidays. Mich x

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  10. Oh I just love the holidays, we love to just get out to the local park or National Trust place, we spent ages just lying looking at the clouds and making shoes on our last visit :)

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  11. I have t admit that I love the school holidays because I can get a seat on the bus to work ha x

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  12. My two are currently scooting up and down our drive. Got to love the nice evenings when you can stay outside for longer.

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  13. Lovely post, we are having a quietish summer and just going with the flow which is nice but also trying to get a lot of outdoor time too.

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  14. Great post. We are loving the mixed weather (dare I say it!). Mainly because it means we always have something different to do. I know Max can get bored if we visit the park too much so to switch it up and have a duvet day is a great thing!

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  15. I love the school holidays and we are lucky that where we live has so much free stuff to do - dragging the teen out id proving more difficult though

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  16. The summer holiday stress for me has now gone - my boy is a teen, finished his GCSEs and doesn't need mum any more to entertain him over the long break! But I remember those long summer holidays well, and there are fab ideas here to have fun - no matter what the weather!

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  17. When we were kids we always took things to do with us, like a craft kit for me and a book to read.

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  18. i feel like i have done nothing this summer yet , its a shame but i rememebr last year was the same until our last few weeks

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  19. My youngest is 12 now and when we're at home in the school holidays (we're away travelling a lot of the time) it's fine to let the kids potter at home and hang out with friends for much of the time, interspersed with trips out to various places.

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  20. It's always a summer holiday in our house as we home educate so the forest and the beach are our classroom and we are out in all weather.

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  21. I've a calendar filled with free activities. That way there is always something to do! Our local library runs lots of activities, crafts and of course the book challenge. If it's raining the library is also a great resource for a DVD and they are normally a £1 or £2 for overnight rent!

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  22. My husband specialises in retro, lol! Thanks to him my son knows all the words to Singin in the Rain!

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  23. Yes I know come the first week of the summer holidays it will rain. Great post

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