On 24 July I was invited back to BBC Radio. This time to talk about entertaining the kids during the summer holidays. Together with BBC Radio host Tulip Mazumdar and bloggers Nilly Dahlia and Daddy Daze UK, we shared tips on what to do with kids come rain or shine. For me, it’s also about looking after yourself as a grown-up during the summer holidays – we need to be entertained too! The below tricks can also help you to feel more confident about what you can do together and what’s manageable.
You can listen to the radio show here on BBC iPlayer until 23 August 2017 – move to 1h13 for our bit.
Here’s a round-up of my 7 top tips for keeping the kids out of trouble and staying sane as a parent or carer.
- Work out your budget – Think about where you want to spend your money on activities or outings. Is there somewhere you’d love to go with the kids which means spending less on other activities? Do 2 lists – one for free activities and ones that cost money. Don’t forget to factor in any travel costs. Some of the free activities on our list are treasure hunts in the park, water fountain fun or camping in the garden.
- Pop some dates in the diary – Going with the flow each week can be good but it’s nice to have plans lined up. Seeing dates up on the calendar can make the summer break feel more manageable. Chat to your friends and organise cheap play dates or picnics (indoors if it’s raining!). Play dates hopefully mean that you benefit from some grown-up catching up too. You don’t have to plan something for each day but one plan a week can help.
- Museum love – In many places, museums are free. You can spend hours in museums and they always have fun activities for the kids. Check out @milkatthemuseum for more museum ideas and museum know-how. Local museums are just as fun as the ones in your nearest city.
- Take your packed lunches – Unless you have lunch planned at a mate’s house, packed lunches can save you money. Plan ahead what the kids can eat for lunch each day. Prepare any bits of the packed lunch the night before if you can.
- Turn recycling into art – I’m a big fan of being arty. Don’t worry about the mess and let the kids make stuff with things you have lying around. Throughout the week collect cardboard boxes, water bottles, kitchen towel rolls…you never know when you might need to keep the kids busy indoors.
- Disco time – One of my favourite activities with and without the kids. Have a lounge disco. Music is really good for our wellbeing. Pop on the tune, clear the floor for those crazy kid dance moves. Let the kids jump around and choose the tunes they know well (even if it means the same song on loop!). You can buy cheap disco lights online for less than a fiver. You may even sneak in a little workout whilst dancing.
- Plan your own time out – This is super important. Yes you need play-dates too! Looking after the kids all week long can be tiring and stressful. So organise you’re own time out so you can recharge or do something you enjoy. Plan an evening out with friends – even if it’s just for dessert and a drink for an hour! If you feel like you’re close to burning out from all of the holiday fun, think about how you can look after yourself too. It’s also about being social and having kiddy-free time. There are lots of Lucky Things events for women coming up – you can can check them out here.
Thanks to the BBC Asian Network crew for having us in their studio at BBC New Broadcasting House.
What are some of your tricks for entertaining the kids and looking after yourself over the summer holidays? Leave a comment below. Catch up again soon.