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Tell npower your top tips and ideas for enjoying the summer school holidays - you could win a £300 Love2Shop voucher NOW CLOSED

(233 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 28-Jul-15 16:36:23

The team at npower would love to hear about your top tips and ideas for enjoying the summer holidays.

npower say "We know that the summer holidays can often be stressful and finding activities to keep your children busy can be a challenge so we’d love to hear your hints and tips for a fun-filled stress-free summer. We can’t wait to hear your great creative ideas for getting through those 6 weeks come rain or shine."

With 6 weeks or more off in the summer, finding ways to keep your DCs entertained can sometimes be a challenge. So, what are your top tips for planning summer holiday activities? Do you like to do some research and advanced planning? Or do you prefer to be spontaneous? Does the weather affect your plans at all? What top tips do you have for having fun whatever the weather?

Please note, your comments may be used - anonymously of course - by npower on their social media channels, website and possibly elsewhere, Please only post if you're happy with this.

Everyone who posts on the thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £300 Love2Shop voucher!

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Thanks and good luck


kierie Tue 28-Jul-15 20:56:20

Join in with the local children's centre and library. Get groups of friends together and take it in turns to host a play date. Play out in the street with scooters and bikes. Go to the park. Walk in the woods. Go on a number, letter, shape, flower, minibeast hunt.

clopper Tue 28-Jul-15 21:33:20

We always do the reading challenge at the library and you can often find out about free things going on in the local towns and villages. Swimming is cheap and fun and also bike rides and picnics.

mugglingalong Wed 29-Jul-15 17:22:39

We do a mixture of holiday, playing with friends and then we have the boredom jar. It is full of suggestions of things that they can do together, some I stole acquired from MN, others the dc have suggested. It includes things like treasure hunts, stop motion animation, baking a cake etc. They pick one at random to do.

colouringinagain Wed 29-Jul-15 17:22:54

Meet up with a load of classmates at a local playground. Take a picnic lunch plus some footballs, Frisbees and bubbles and you can easily spend most of the day there!

CopperPan Wed 29-Jul-15 17:32:51

We have lots of activities on offer as we're in London. I follow a few organisations on Twitter and FB and that keeps me up to date with what's going on - Time Out, Londonist, my local council and the various galleries and museums. There is always something interesting going on and a lot of it is free!

Pixi2 Wed 29-Jul-15 18:00:39

'It's ok to be bored. It's ok to play with your siblings toys, it's even nicer if you can play together nicely, and don't forget there is a sand pit, trampoline and swings in the back garden.'

Little adventures can be as much fun as big expensive days out. We love going to a little area near us wand watching the tadpoles grow, having a little paddle in the stream, or exploring in the woods. Check out what is happening locally too. Although we rarely use the library we do buy a new book a week for them to read.

My DC love learning to cook and bake too.

If all else fails and everything turns into a struggle - play doh followed by chocolate cake and DVDs.

MakeTeaNotWar Wed 29-Jul-15 18:56:14

Lots of play dates, trips to the park and we are doing the summer reading challenge. We both work so the kids also go to a summer camp which we enjoy and they get to spend more time with their beloved grandparents

Cerealchanger Wed 29-Jul-15 20:03:25

We like lots of picnics and walks. A DVD a night but no computers or TV during the day. If we spend all day outside, they don't miss it. I like to build dens and dams and anything muddy really. We do a lot of baking. It takes time and gives us lovely things for the picnics.
Bedtime is moved back in an attempt to give us a lie in. Sometimes it works, sometimes not!

MomeRath Wed 29-Jul-15 20:41:31

We plan our days out together, making sure we have at least one each week (if we are not away).

We tackle the problem of "I'm bored" by having a rainy day jar. We have different activities written on scraps of paper in the jar, build a den, have a carpet picnic, bake fairy cakes, play with lego. Knex etc.

chairmeoh Wed 29-Jul-15 21:05:15

DD spends most of each week at holiday club while I'm at work.
But I follow lots of organisations on Facebook to find out about events, clubs etc.
our council runs quite a few free outdoor activities whcich are great and lots of her school mates go too.
Churches often have activities.
At home, there is always a card to be made for an upcoming birthday or relative who is ill etc. and we love baking, playing board games, doing gardening together etc.
I'd forgotten about den building (indoor and out) and will suggest this next time we have some spare time.

flamingtoaster Wed 29-Jul-15 22:16:07

Prepare a box with folded pieces of paper that have a chore written on each. Any child who utters the words "I'm bored" has to pick out a piece of paper and do the chore on it. This ensures boredom levels rapidly drop!

Check local papers for free events, visit places of interest in your area imagining you are a tourist - we often ignore things which are right under our noses.

Have a list of activities to cheer up a wet day - e.g. have an indoor picnic, build an indoor den, etc.

starlight36 Wed 29-Jul-15 22:16:53

Lots of time spent outdoors to avoid the inevitable conflict of TV / other screen demands when we spend more time at home. I plan at least one adventure a week - we live in London so museums / arts centres often run free or low cost activities. Similarly the libraries run a range of art activities. We also try to have at least one play date a week. Lots of craft at home and home baking which helps to provide lots of treats!
The stash of half-used activity books and pages from magazines get used up on rainy days.
I'm loving the idea of a boredom jar and may resort to that as the weeks go on.

Dolallytats Wed 29-Jul-15 22:18:15

Parks or garden as the kids love them and they don't cost anything. A picnic ans a football is all you need.

Board games, baking and DVD's for the rainy days-or just being allowed to jump on mum and dad's bed!!

VelmaD Wed 29-Jul-15 22:43:38

we plan some days from the beginning - we have to with a child with ASD. they do 2 mornings a week at a playscheme. one day a week is spent with friends or family. one day is spent usjng our english heritage card or local museums and castles. the other days, well theyre lazy days. the kind of days you might not get dressed till lunch. you might just walk to the library. or take a short bike ride. or play with toys.

FeelingSmurfy Wed 29-Jul-15 22:54:26

Make a jar of suggestions and when they are bored they go pick one at random, it can be anything eg washing the car, taking the dog for a walk, cooking, getting popcorn and duvets and watching DVDs, design a new board game....

ZetaPu Thu 30-Jul-15 08:45:36

We spend lots of time outdoors too. I try to get mine outdoors once a day no matter what the weather.
I'll check if there are any good free activities in the area or it's parks, garden or day trip.
If it's raining then we do spend more time at home.
At home, we do baking (they love to bake bread and biscuits with icing and sprinkles), Lego and toys, computer time/Xbox time and a film or TV most nights.
They also do the reading challenge at the library.

WarmHugs Thu 30-Jul-15 08:59:15

There's a lot to be said for having days doing nothing. They might say they are bored at first, but will soon learn to use their imagination to amuse themselves.

And if all else fails, stick them in water. I've had the paddling pool in the living room in bad weather before now!

Smcgettigan79 Thu 30-Jul-15 08:59:47

Boredom jar is a great idea!

If it is hot (AS IT SHOULD BE IN JULY BTW!! GRRR!) then the sprinkler can entertain my two for hours. Just nakedness and water and they are happy as!

CheeseEMouse Thu 30-Jul-15 15:50:54

We spend a lot of time at the park - but we also go early to avoid it being mega busy. That way the toddler can sit on the swing for as long as she wants!

We have also done things like buy a sandpit for the back garden which keeps them entertained for an hour at a time. A great buy. I get to have a tea and watch!

daisydalrymple Thu 30-Jul-15 20:08:22

I have a list of local parks and beaches that we can visit, enough for a different one of each every week, so that's two days sorted. Library once a week, visit mum once a week, and a list of local activities for the other day, mostly that are free (local adventure woods, mountain walks, farms etc).

I also have two at home lists, one for different outdoor activities in the garden, tents, treasure hunts, washing things with bowls of soapy water and hose pipe, chalks, obstacle course etc.
And the other list is indoor activities for rainy days, - dens under beds, spy's, board games, Lego, writing postcards, scrapbooks etc.

Different list for the weekend of days out with dh, eg zoo, steam train, castle visit etc.

Makes me sound incredibly organised [huge sigh] if only... Dcs are 8, 6 and 9 months. If I didn't list things we would do the same thing day in day out. It's handy to look at my scrawled out list when dc3 is cranky and needs a nap and think ah yes, let's walk there or, oh yes, I'll do them a picnic on the rug it's raining etc.

And we are very lucky in that we live on the coast and by mountains, so lots of walks and free activities on our doorstep, I can get to the beach, park and up a child size mountain without getting in the car smile

MissSmiley Thu 30-Jul-15 20:26:43

I went for an interview today for a full time job. Summer holidays are so stressful! With any luck they might ask me to start before September!

ButterflyOfFreedom Thu 30-Jul-15 21:32:38

If the weather is decent then it seems easier to entertain the little ones - park, woodland walks, zoo, farm, picnics, garden etc. A lot of which are free (big bonus!).
Wet weather activities include play doh, baking, reading / library, museum, meal out as a treat, play dates with friends, visiting family etc.

I'm a bit of a planner so do like some things booked in though it is nice to have the odd 'free' day so we can be spontaneous or just see how we feel on the day.

And we don't mind quiet days in doing not very much - maybe snuggle up to watch a film, do jigsaws together, play with the millions of toys around!

And it's also worth looking into what local activities are going on - often there are free events in libraries, churches, city centres etc.

AGnu Fri 31-Jul-15 01:24:44

We went to the beach the other day & DS1 has been obsessed with fishing ever since - I cut out some fish shapes, attached a paper clip to each & tied a magnet (from a magnetic door lock that wasn't worth the money) to a coat hanger with a long string. DS1 has loved "fishing" ever since! Easy & completely free activity! smile

Catsgowoof Fri 31-Jul-15 07:04:13

Collect all the fliers for library, community, sure start events and mark anything that looks good on the calendar.

I have littler kids and always try and get places early, I find the bigger kids tend to arrive later- I assume they don't bounce out of bed at 6am

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