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What are your tips for surviving the school holidays with 6yo and nearly 2yo?

(9 Posts)
cornflakegirl Wed 01-Jun-11 15:23:24

DH is a SAHD, looking after DS1 (6) and DS2 (1.9). Both of us find the boys quite hard work when it's just one of us looking after both of them. They can play nicely together, but obviously the age gap means that they often want to do different things and it can be hard to give them both the attention they want.

DH is already dreading the summer holidays, so I'm after some tips on how to keep it manageable, please.

jasminder1 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:04:50

Hi, have you thought about summercamps such as supercamps or camp beaulmont? - we have one near us and you have an option to put them in weekly, on a 3 day pass or just a day pass. I was thinking of putting my older DS on a day pass not every week but spread out over the holiday period just to break things up and give me a break. The day pass isn't too expensive - half the price we pay for a day at nursery for our DD!. Also might be worth checking out what the the local sports centre/clubs have running, ours are running swimming courses for various ages throughout the hols (each a week long) along with other activities - all fairly reasonable but have to be booked in advance. As for free stuff, cycling trails if you have bikes, older one can ride on his own whilst younger with you or in trike etc or walks in woods (bug hunting), picnics - always works for me.

PestoCaffeinisto Fri 24-Jun-11 17:10:54

Play dates
expeditions (walks under another guise wink)
lego competitions
play-dough (or Fimo if you want to cook the stuff and keep the models)
Put a tent up in the garden
Paddling pool

for starters
HTH smile

cece Fri 24-Jun-11 17:11:56

Not sure I have ever thought of 'surviving' the school holidays, as I love them, but this is what I intend to do with my three (aged 10, 7 and 2). However, I always run out of time and never do half of the stuff on my list.

Park with friends
Beach with friends
Play in garden
Visit local museum
Visit local art gallery
Get tickets fo child friendly show at a local theatre
Family holiday with DH
PJ day, watching DVD
Library reading challenge
Visit local NT properties (I am a new member, so not been to any yet)
Pop over for couple of hours to Legoland/Thorpe Park and Chessington as I have Merlin passes
Local secondary school sports camp for an afternoon
Tesco/FA free football training camp
Have friends around to play
Send mine around to their friends houses to play
Bike rides along canal
Cooking and baking at home
Catch train into London and do a sight or two.

That's all I can think of off of the top of my head but there is usually loads more to do..

PestoCaffeinisto Fri 24-Jun-11 17:13:11

forgot to add

fruit picking

cece Fri 24-Jun-11 22:05:13

Ah yes we love to go fruit picking smile

cornflakegirl Mon 04-Jul-11 13:32:38

Thanks for all your suggestions - only just seen that this thread has had replies.

The problem isn't so much ideas for things to do (as there are loads of threads on here with great ideas), as the fact that trying to do "stuff" with them both at the same time is quite tricky. So bike rides work well, and going to the park or playing in the garden. But craft tends to be quite stressful - mainly stopping DS2 from eating the pens and destroying his brother's work.

Doing anything specifically with / for DS1 can be quite hard. He likes board games, but they're only really safe when DS2 is asleep. A theatre trip would be no-go because I don't think DS2 would sit still and be quiet, and museum trips become about stopping DS2 from running off rather than helping DS1 engage with the exhibits.

So basically lots of stuff that is eminently doable when we're both around becomes really hard when it's just DH by himself. So I'm after coping strategies so that they can all enjoy themselves, without just plugging DS1 into the Wii for the whole holiday.

MovingAndScared Mon 04-Jul-11 14:02:10

Hi - I am in a similar situation - mine are 5.6 and 17 months so not disimilar age gap and board games and crafts also difficult except for nap times
any chance of arrange a few days where DH only have one child - eg visit to GP or other relatives for older one - or does DS1 have friends he could go round - and maybe your DH could over to have a friend round sometimes - I find 2 5 years old much easier as they tend to occupy each other
also sometimes there are activities eg swimming/sports that are not expensive for the older one and occupy a few hours
I am also going to do a plan for most days
I think to go out somewhere or see someone every day - even if its just the park - and try and do stuff with older one at nap times as well
but also don't worry about a bit of TV/Wii it is the holidays after all

theheart123 Thu 28-Jul-11 14:02:40

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

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