Thursday 26 July 2018

Simple ideas for the summer holidays

With this being my first of four weeks with Ethan over the summer holidays, spread out with a couple of weeks at work in the middle, I have been planning out what we would like to do and how everything will come together so we fit days out and time at home in without feeling too frantic - or too bored. It's also not pay day until Friday, so finding some cost-effective, or free, things to keep Ethan entertained is a bonus.

So far, our summer holidays have looked like this:

  • We've set up a reward chart for Ethan where he can gain a sticker for completing certain activities each day - such as getting dressed himself, reading a book, writing a sentence, doing an activity etc. - and if he gets at least five completed, he can pick something out of a lucky dip. So far, this has been sticker packs for his sticker albums, but I'll pop to Poundland and pick up a few other things for the next few weeks.

  • We've also got a holiday planner up on the wall so Ethan can see how many days there are of the holidays and how long until the next big thing will be.

  • We're trying to look at a different book from his collection every day, as he has amassed so many and it's quite fun to rediscover an old favourite or find one that he hasn't really looked at before.

  • We cleared out his toy boxes at the weekend, ready for a fresh start for summer. We didn't get rid of much, just rubbish and pens that had dried out, but we did sort through things and the space he has in our units in the lounge has been halved but having a proper look through everything. Play figures are all together, vehicles are in another box, his arts and crafts things in another cupboard and we found a surprising amount of Lego dotted around, so that's in one place now too. It's freed up space for us and for when baby arrives, so was well worth doing - and Ethan gets a sticker for tidying each day, so he's been keeping on top of it too.

  • The local playground is a good bet, especially first thing in the morning as we've had it all to ourselves, before it gets too hot.

  • The library in town is big, with lots to explore including a roof garden and runs special events, so is another spot on our list.

  • At home, Ethan really enjoys playing with his teddies and toys, so we had an indoor picnic that he spent much of the morning preparing for, deciding who would come and where they would all sit. Really simple, but telling him the big plan for the day in the morning helps set expectations and gives him something to look forward to.

  • On Saturday, Ethan's Uncle and Auntie had booked tickets for him to see Dippy the dinosaur on tour, so he had a fun afternoon at the museum.

  • We recently got Ethan a scrapbook as he enjoys collecting things from our days out, including leaves and feathers, and thinks of himself as an explorer. For Summer, we have a specific scrapbook where each day, he's adding something to it, even if it's just a drawing or a written sentence about something he has done or enjoyed. This in itself is another daily activity, and Ethan looks forward to it.

Aside from all this, I've been ploughing through the laundry which is in itself very rewarding, and planning a mini dining room makeover.

Not bad for the first week of the hols I'd say!


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