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to be feeling slightly panicky about 7 weeks of summer holds to fill?

(24 Posts)
carocaro Wed 06-Jul-11 09:48:22

With no holiday and little cash? Two boys aged 4 and 9.

And yes we can go to the park/feed the ducks/make tents in the back garden/paint/crafts/have friends over/free museums etc etc etc - I am good at that sort of thing. But am quite frankly bored of that.

And that friggin Mark Warner advert on MN constantly popping up gets on my tits. Great if you have £3,000 for a holiday.

I would just like a holiday, not had one in five years. Yes yes yes, I get it, moan moan wo is me selfy pity party blah blah blah. But I do like like I have let me children down especially when they their mates going off and doing stuff.

hugeleyoutnumbered Wed 06-Jul-11 09:55:28

camping? the kids will love it we just go for a few days at a time so they have something to look forward to all summer, also fits better with work cheep and cheerful too.

LindyHemming Wed 06-Jul-11 09:59:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

superv1xen Wed 06-Jul-11 10:00:45

oh god OP i feel your pain. i am DREADING it.

dc aged 2 and 5 here, so eagerly watching thread for ideas....

merryberry Wed 06-Jul-11 10:04:00

Dear OP, this software will help with trying adverts at least

LindyHemming Wed 06-Jul-11 10:04:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

merryberry Wed 06-Jul-11 10:05:14

arrange a mumsnet house swap, so you at least get different parks, ducks and museums?

mummytime Wed 06-Jul-11 10:08:55

Go and visit different parks? Some are really interesting.
Do a toss the coin walk? You leave the front door and then toss the coin heads means left, tails means right, and so on at every junction.
If you have a TI office, do the tourist trails.
Have a pj day
See if any local churches or other organisations have a cheap holiday club or activities?
Look after other peoples pets? And earn money.
Make a flow chart of who is away when, so you know who it is worth calling when.
Youth Hostelling?
Library reading trails?
Does your sports centre do a summer challenge? Can make skipping for 1/2 hour more interesting if its to sign off your physical activity for the day.

Sorry but I've always loved the holidays!
But I would try to get away if only somewhere very cheap for a few days, it doesn't even have to be far.

Oakmaiden Wed 06-Jul-11 10:13:42

I have been known to take my children camping in my parents' garden during the holidays. Think we will be doing it again this year. Has the massive bonus of being able to use their kitchen and bathroom!

Also have people coming to visit us. Desperately hoping the weather is OK, so we can have lots of picnics, beach trips, cycle rides etc.

We also have a Family and Friends Railcard and YHA membership - so I might take the children away for a couple of nights somewhere different... maybe London, cos there are lots of free things to do there...

Catsu Wed 06-Jul-11 10:22:26

I am a bit nervous about the hols too!
I've got a 5 yo and a 3 yo and am due to give birth bang in the middle of the summer hols! Got 3 weeks to entertain while huge and knackered with spd and then 3 or 4 weeks more to entertain them plus look after a newborn! At least will have some help for the first week or two after baby is born which is something.

stealthsquiggle Wed 06-Jul-11 10:25:09

Any relatives you could go and stay with, just to be able to say you did have a holiday? (including camping in gardens if required)

Also, if you can face it, holiday diaries (with photos, leaflets, etc, etc) can help to dispel the feeling of "we didn't do anything" at the end of the hols when all their friends come back and report their holidays - my DM did that with us in years when we didn't go away (and in some years when we did).

Cleverything Wed 06-Jul-11 10:29:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fennel Wed 06-Jul-11 10:33:46

The yha is doing a fantastic offer this summer, Summer Sizzler, £29 for a family room in lots of good locations, for up to 6 people. That's about 1/3 or less of what we normally pay for 5 of us.

My dc love camping, to them it's as good a holiday as anything more expensive. Even if it's not THAT great for an adult who isn't already a keen camper, it will thrill the kids.

MooMooFarm Wed 06-Jul-11 10:38:54

Sorry but YABU! I love the summer holidays. I will still be working for a couple of weeks of it, but love the break from the whole school routine, no making packed lunches, ironing uniforms and being able to relax about bedtimes, homework, etc....

I don't understand how some people panic about having to 'fill' all their childrens holidays with activities - I certainly don't. Life is generally so busy that I love the chance to relax and just be at home. My DCs are generally happy being in the garden or indoors playing with their toys and games without me 'directing' them.

I honestly don't understand why people get their knickers in a twist trying to plan out each day of holidays. I really believe it's good for children to learn to entertain themselves. Otherwise when do they ever get the chance to play with all the things they get for Christmas & birthdays, etc? I think it's a shame we all run around like headless chickens working to provide nice homes and toys for our DCs then never just sit back and let them (and ourselves) enjoy them!

Not that we don't ever go out - just that I don't feel it necessary to do so every day.

Adversecamber Wed 06-Jul-11 10:45:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pramsgalore4 Wed 06-Jul-11 11:03:13

i dread the summer holidays, i have 4 dcs one with asd, they argue, fight, it is hell, so i try and make sure we go out loads, we don't have alot of spare cash, so most of the days out have to be free. 3 weeks of the hols is now taken up with sis and her kids coming down to me and camping, one week us going up there and staying with family, and 1 week camping, so 4 weeks left of having to go out on walks and playgrounds, it can be boring but the kids are amused. i take a picnic with me and treat the kids to an ice cream sometimes but i don't go to the icecream truck when we are out, i nip into supermarket and get a box of 4 lollies or icecream much cheaper and many a parent has asked where the icecream truck is and then nipped off to copy me so much cheaper, i also save my tesco vouchers and exchange them for days out vouchers so we get 2 days out at somewhere like the zoo for free. We do live at the seaside so we can go to the beach and play in the sand, but if you live in the country i bet there are some lovely walks to be done. If you have to go into town walk it, take a picnic and make a day of it. go cycling you can pick up cheap trailers off ebay, or child seats for your bike. i have a tricycle with 2 seats on. get a paddling pool for the back garden kids will spend ages playing with water and you can sit back in the garden chair. have a making day. visit friends, my trick to survive is to try and stay out of the house :0 , if it is raining i am stuffed sad and hell breaks out, it is so much easier when they are at school grin

stealthsquiggle Wed 06-Jul-11 11:10:31

I have to say there do seem to be loads of free / v. low cost things going on round here - I keep spotting things and thinking that if I wasn't working and the DC therefore in holiday clubs for most of the holidays then they (and I) would enjoy going to them sad.

Not that my DC won't have a whale of a time at holiday club, they will, but I actually wish I had the option of them having more "unstructured" holiday time. Not that I am in a position to complain, really, since we are going away for the last 2 weeks of the holiday.

Oakmaiden Wed 06-Jul-11 11:15:26

I also would like to point out that it is good for children to be allowed to get bored. There may be a lot of irritating "but I'm sooo bored mum..." complaining to start with - but then they will go and find something to amuse themselves. Something they will never learn if not given the opportunity to just hang round with nobody creating activities for them to do.

I tell my children - "being bored is good for you - it encourages creative thought and self sufficiency. Go away and find something to do".

Fennel Wed 06-Jul-11 11:45:22

I'm not sure about the being bored, 2 of mine could always amuse themselves, from babies, and still can. the third just can't and still gets bored very easily. And all of them like lots of activities, holiday clubs, etc, so we do tend to go out a LOT. I prefer it to them spending much time on tv or computer.

We do a lot of the free council things, or things like Animation Week at local art gallery, or Playday in the Park, or WWF Free Bug Day, etc. Especially at the moment cos I think all these will go when the cuts kick in.

Helenagrace Wed 06-Jul-11 12:08:05

I trawl the websites of every council, park, nature reserve and visitor attraction in my area and draw up a spreadsheet of all the free and cheap activities. Last year we were out nearly every day and almost everything we did was free or really cheap. We did a bug hunt and a fungi walk with a nature reserve, built a mini raft and sailed it on the local river, watched a puppet show in the local museum, did loads of trails in museums, went to the really cheap children's movie deal every week, had a cricket tournament, went wild swimming, held a mini olympics in the park, built dens in the wood and lots more I can't recall now. When you start looking it's incredible how much stuff there is to do.

I think I spent about £60 all holiday on entry fees.

I go out with a group of mums and have a couple of other friends who work from home. We sometimes go out as a group and sometimes take it in turns to take each other's children out to give us each some time to work. We have a meeting in Starbucks three weeks before the holiday starts and work out what we're doing and who is organising it. That goes on the master spreadsheet and I email it out. Going out with a group is so much easier. Even if you just do a couple of outings a week it helps.

We take picnics wherever we go. Eating at venues is invariably expensive and poor quality and it's always packed and there's never a table when your DCs are hungry. If possible we get deals online and use tesco and nectar points.

carocaro Wed 06-Jul-11 13:36:58

Thanks all - except moomoofarm, who sounds extrmely smug and superior.

"I honestly don't understand why people get their knickers in a twist trying to plan out each day of holidays" Did I say I was trying to plan/fill everyday? No. READ THE POST.

fernier Wed 06-Jul-11 13:43:24

I have 4 who are 6,4,2 and 1. In some ways I love the holidays mainly because I hate school runs! But the children seem to go slightly insane as soon as they are at home for a few days. Added to that I have pretty bad morning sickness at the moment so the though of a wonderful day out (using buses etc) is not exactly appealing to me!

I have started a box of summer things that I plan to dip into when they start looking like the crazies are coming so far in the shed i have - a sand and water playtable (I love home and bargains!) a few different ball games, a paddling pool and my masterstroke a new set of playmobil that was reduced from £75-35!
See this make me sound a bit well bloggerish but the plan is I can get out one of these activities then sit quietly in a corner with a sick bowl (I can't leave them alone too long to go the bathroom to puke even sad ).

Fun times ahead this summer!

GilbonzoTheSecretPsychoDuck Wed 06-Jul-11 13:43:29

I'm on day 3 of a 10 week summer holiday with a 2yr old who will be 3 next week and a 4yr old who'll be 5 at the end of August. So that's 2 parties to do and a vast gaping vacuous butt clenchingly boring lot of weeks to fill in between. Like you we're skint and I tend to do art, games, camps, etc most weekends so they're not exactly new and exciting attention grabbers.

<wonders where chunks of hair in clenched fists have come from>

MooMooFarm Wed 06-Jul-11 13:44:45

Ooh I love a good telling off grin

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