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to think its better to leave the holidays mostly unplanned?

(31 Posts)
watchforthesnail Wed 24-Jul-13 19:00:17

everyone i know seems to have endless lists of ' activities' to keep their child entertained. All very nice and all, and we will do a few things... but mostly i sort of think its ' down time' and they should be allowed to do what they want to do?

DD got up, got dressed and has been outside all day with next doors boy. Dens have been built, clubs organised and rules witten. Weeding has happened!!! water fights and trainging the dog for the circus... They have plans of what they want to do tomorrow and the next day and im quite happy to leave them to it. Shes 7.

I just remember being younger and having the feeling of not having to do anything, or go anywhere and having all the time in the world. I think its nice...

or, am i just a lazy parent?

HeySoulSister Wed 24-Jul-13 19:02:01

you aren't lazy at all!! I think your approach is the best one

i'm doing similar....but with teens who need to be at work etc,we stil have some structure

Imnotaslimjim Wed 24-Jul-13 19:03:59

That is how I do it too! I'm only home with them for 8 days before I go back to work, and other than going to the local museum, we have no plans made

watchforthesnail Wed 24-Jul-13 19:04:48

we have some structure, i still have to work, we are going out with other family members for lunch tommorrow.... but the thought of dragging ourselves all over the place for ' activites' that last an hour, is a bit too much for me.

we will do stuff but it just depends on how we feel and what the weathers doing. Half her class are being booked into council run ' classes' all over the place. DD just wants some sheets for den building.

Shellywelly1973 Wed 24-Jul-13 19:06:31

That would be my ideal for the summer holidays but a Ds with ASD & ADHD means otherwise.

I used to enjoy holidays that were easy going & unplanned. Now i need structure as much as Ds!!

Each to their own.

BoysRule Wed 24-Jul-13 19:09:52

You are lucky that you have neighbours she gets on with and can play nicely and imaginatively all day and is happy to do that. I did that as a child and loved it. I think it is what all children should be doing as it teaches them so much.

However, not all people have like minded children nearby and need to organise to see people or catch up with friends who aren't nearby. My oldest is only 3 (due to start school in September) and has only recently got to the point where he will play in the garden imaginatively by himself. I have to plan activities for an hour or so a day to get us out and seeing other people.

When he is older I would hope he is like your DD.

LadyIsabellaWrotham Wed 24-Jul-13 19:09:53

It depends. There are so many nice things to do and some of them only run on a Tuesday, or are only worth doing if the weather is good, or involve being with friends who are on holiday for the second and third week of August, so I have to plan things out a bit. This week has been a really really chilled week to decompress after the end of term, but after that I've sketched plans in for stuff to do, otherwise we'll get to the last week and they'll be climbing the walls.

watchforthesnail Wed 24-Jul-13 19:12:40

a few plans are good.... its just the mad scheduling of ' this on this tuesday at this time, this on tuesday afternoon, this at 9am on the wednesday etc, etc, etc.

its mad. they need some down time.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 24-Jul-13 19:15:16

What we do is get together all the info we can about what is going on locally, pick one or 2 things a week (paws in the park dog show for instance - no cost) that we ALL want to do and then go with the flow for the rest -

maybe picking up something else from the on-locally list, maybe getting a coach somewhere else that takes our fancy, maybe just chilling in the garden or on the PS3 or round the park with friends, or inviting friends for a sleepover etc..

Maryann1975 Wed 24-Jul-13 20:08:03

I've got a list of things we can do at home. Craft type things. So I can pick something when everything starts to get a bit daft and calm things down/change the way the day is going. We don't have neighbours with children a similar age to ours. I did as a child and it was lovely. I also have a fair idea of what is going on locally. I don't like the pressure of too many groups/events/activities but they do have a place to stop every day becoming the same as the last.

SaucyJack Wed 24-Jul-13 20:10:48

I think six weeks is a bloody long time to spend pottering about in the garden tbh. I like having places to go, never mind the kids.

SummerHoliDidi Wed 24-Jul-13 20:12:44

I have a long list of things to do over the holidays, but that's for me, the kids can do what they want. Like I need to clean the house (a 3 week project, minimum) but while I'm doing that I assume dd1 will be in her room reading (geek) and dd2 will probably be playing with every toy she owns in the living room or the garden, along with ndn.

We will meet up with people and go out for days, but most of that will be spur of the moment stuff.

Debs75 Wed 24-Jul-13 20:51:26

We have a few things planned such as visiting cousins each week and half price swimming another day and one set day trip to Flamingo Land and then another couple of beach trips which will be if the day is nice.
We have just moved house so I have loads of things to do and not much money to do it. Plus I am on call for four weeks from next Monday (am volunteer Doula) so we have had to cram stuff into this week and the last week of the holiday.
I thin k for the next four weeks we will be lazing around at home. Will have to have a few tv free days as they would all just veg out if I left them

Alisvolatpropiis Wed 24-Jul-13 20:53:04


I book the time off work and see what happens. At worst I've had time off work and not gone anywhere. None of this planning months in advance for me!

HystericalParoxysm Wed 24-Jul-13 20:54:13

I love unstructured days! Sadly my DC who has special needs doesn't, so they have a timetable of activities planned but the rest of us will play it by ear as much as we can.

PoppyWearer Wed 24-Jul-13 20:56:04


I am a bit pissed off about all of the frenzy in the school playground about arranging play dates. I am looking forward to some time with my DC1 that will last a day but most of all we all need a good rest.

redskyatnight Wed 24-Jul-13 20:57:22

I like your idea in principle.

However unless you have a SAHP you basically have to organise at least 90% of it.
Between holiday clubs and child swaps with other parents and our holiday away there aren't many days left and some of them will have to be spent doing dull things like shopping for shoes. Plus the DC like .to see their friends and none live close enough to accidently happen upon so that's more things organised

BackforGood Wed 24-Jul-13 21:00:23

YANBU - that's how we roll.
I mean, there are things that have always had to be done - school shoe shopping, dentist appts, optician appts etc., and then we used to try to plan a couple of big trips into the holidays, but generally we'd get up before deciding what the plan was for the day.

My dd1 had a friend that we just gave up calling in the end (to see if she wanted to come round and play) as you had to 'book' her weeks in advance. I used to be exhausted just thinking about it. We're much more laid back, and spontaneous.

marriedinwhiteagain Wed 24-Jul-13 21:01:12

I used to like planning in a bit of unstructured time but I had to have a limit to unstructured time -because I am a control freak-

Cravingdairy Wed 24-Jul-13 21:02:06

Better for you. Everyone is different.

wildspinning Wed 24-Jul-13 21:02:14

Well, we live in an flat on the first floor and the only children in the block are 2 and 3 (DS is 9), so we would go absolutely mental without some planning!

The only thing DS (or any child IMHO) needs in the holidays is other children to play with, so I plan lots of outdoor trips on my days off to nearby woods/countryside with other families so that DS can climb trees, den-build, explore etc with other children and I have people to chat to. I am extremely pro-active about contacting other parents and note everything on my calendar. The alternative is us both sitting in a flat on a sunny day with no-one to talk to!

The rest of the time I'm at work and DS is in the holiday club, playing with other children.

Spidder Wed 24-Jul-13 21:07:18

I had an unstructured day with the dcs (3 and 1) on Monday. It was shit.
Tuesday I stuck them in nursery and went to see work colleagues. There was wine. It was nice.

Today I planned the fuck out of the day. I am exhausted, my children were filthy and the drive is covered in chalk drawling of volcanoes and swimming pools for ants. But I had a better day. grin

I am now giving up on my idealistic view of me and teh dcs wafting about as a little unit all summer, and making damn sure I go to play with someone everyday. There will only be craft if it pisses down.

ZingWidge Wed 24-Jul-13 21:19:01

We tend to laze around in the mornings and do something in the afternoons such as go out for a walk or have friends over.

I don't like it highly structured but I prefer some plans.

mine have almost 6 weeks holidays

this week : tomorrow nothing ( bar last music lessons), Friday I look after a friend's DC

week 1 (next week) - boys go camping with DH, so it's just me and DD. I can't wait!wink

week 2 & 3 - have some plans, but mainly for afternoons, seeing friends or having sleepovers (not every day)

week 4 - all of us on holiday, away

week 5 - no plans

week 6 - only 2 day, we'll be getting ready for school

weekends are planned as we have birthday parties, sleepovers, swimming etc.

plenty of time to relax, but I'm determined to get 4 oldest kids to help me for 30mins every morning in the 3 weeks we are home - tidy up, sort books, clothes, toys etc.
we shall see grin

Emilythornesbff Wed 24-Jul-13 22:23:40

I think the age of the DCs makes a big difference (as well as childcare tbh)
I do love the idea of DCs having that free time to play and explore or just rest but as mine are only 2.7 and 6 mo I think we're a long way off.
Tbh if I don't do some pretty robust planning for our days the fun doesn't lat long. [grim]
Actually I am desperately trying to think of something for tomorrow rather than steaming and freezing batches of carrots and apples blush

theoriginalandbestrookie Wed 24-Jul-13 22:33:10

Great in theory but what happens when the next door neighbours go on holiday taking your DC's playmate away with them and leaving only their b*st*rd cat howling under your window in the middle of the night.

Left on his own DS will happily play on his computer all day long so my day is spent telling him to switch it off and thinking of alternative activities. Much better to be out of the house, or have someone over for him to play with.

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