Are you ready for the long school holidays? Have you worked out how you will get things done in the kids summer holidays – or are you planning on just doing your best and keeping your fingers crossed? Whether you work, have time booked off, or are at home – the holidays can be a tough time to balance having fun, getting things done, and all the other things we expect of ourselves when we think of those 6-7 weeks stretching ahead. If you’re worried about how to get things done in the kids summer holidays then this is the perfect read for you (and includes a fantastic school holiday planner template to use as well!) I will take you step by step through how to create a plan that works for you and your families’ needs specifically – so you don’t go crazy with trying to get things done without losing the fun and relaxation that the summer should also bring.
We’ve all been there – the kids break up and we have great plans to have a fantastic and memorable holiday time with them – after all, they’re only young for a short time.
But we DO still have the day to day stuff to plough through – not to mention if we are also trying to balance childcare and work throughout as well….
So – what’s the answer to how to get things done in the kids summer holidays without losing your mind in the process?
One word – planning.
Please bear with me, because although planning isn’t fun in itself, it ensures that you can make the most of your time – so you can see ahead and ensure time is filled with a great balance of things – and maybe even have space to tackle a few projects that you’ve been putting off.
I hope so!
So, let’s go through the step by step process that I use each summer to ensure we all feel like we’ve had a fantastic time, AND things have got done as well.
It’s truly a win-win for everyone involved, and I hope it helps you to have an amazing time this summer – whatever you end up doing!
HOW TO GET THINGS DONE IN THE KIDS SUMMER HOLIDAYS
STEP #1 – START WITH A BLANK OVERVIEW
As with all good plans – we have to start with a clean slate.
I use my very own Holiday Planner – and you’re more than welcome to download a copy as it’s free! – you can find it in the Printables Library.
Of course – feel free to make your own if you prefer!
What you just need to remember is to have everything on one page – so you can clearly see everything at a glance – as this will be the perfect way to plan, AND can then be put on the wall so that everyone can see the overview.
STEP #2 – KNOW WHAT DAYS YOU HAVE ALREADY BOOKED, AND MARK THEM IN
These are likely to be: –
- Your main summer holiday as that will have been booked well in advance
- Any clubs the kids may be doing
- Any events/visits that have already been booked in advance.
- Work plans if you are working over the holidays at set times, or you are sharing the childcare with your hubby or another family member/friend so you know where you all are at any given time.
They are the non – moveables – so have to go in first!
STEP #3 – BRAINSTORM WHAT YOU AND THE FAMILY WANT TO DO OVER THE HOLIDAYS
Take a sheet of paper and go mad with ideas! – it’s a great idea to get everyone involved, because then they all feel like they have a part in the plans. This should mean that once the plan has been sorted, they will feel more included and more inclined to go with it!
I did a post a while back on creating a THINGS TO DO jar with the kids which could be used here – OR could be used for those days when you have no real plans and boredom may be setting in! Much better to plan a few extra ideas in advance!
Things that are likely to end up on this list would be as follows: –
- Time at home (PJ days, Films to watch, Games to play etc..)
- Errands & Shopping
- Visiting family
- Seeing friends
- Work (that can be done in your own set time)
- Home projects you’ve saved for the longer holidays
- School prep
- Short breaks
- Days out / Places to visit, such as zoo / park / beach
STEP #4 – DECIDE ON HOW YOU ALL FUNCTION BEST
By this I mean that some families prefer to do chunks of days at a time focusing on one thing, and others prefer to do a little of everything each day/week.
The holidays are meant to be fun – so the process of planning everything at a time that suits you will work wonders!
After all – do you want to be left with a week of having nothing to do, or weeks of being too busy to take a step back? Probably not.
Think of what will work best for you – and go for it!
For example – I like to do something different each day, and have a little of everything each week. This means that there isn’t long between fun things, but chores and errands are still kept on top of. There’s room for relaxing, room for work, and less chance of getting bored!
STEP #5 – CAN YOU DOUBLE UP ON THINGS?
You don’t have to just plan one thing at a time for your days – because there are multiple opportunities to double up and this is a great way to get things done in the holidays without losing your mind!.
Here are some examples to think about: –
- When the kids are in a class for the day, or at a friends, can you use this time to do some work for yourself, or do some errands, or even relax? Depending on how old your kids are, do something with this time that you wouldn’t be able to do when the kids were around – that way you’ll feel like you used the time wisely and are less likely to get stressed by getting behind on things.
- Instead of using time to do food shopping with the kids in tow – what about ordering food online and using the time saved to do more fun stuff with them? (You can do the same for any shopping if you do it online…).
- Mix fitness with fun… I found a park with a great (and safe) loop that my daughter loved to bike around for hours at a time. To make the most of this time, I would run the same loop. This meant that she had as much time as she liked, we kept lapping each other and making it fun – AND I sorted my fitness for the day without it affecting our time together. Win-Win!
- Can you visit several people in the same couple of days? This would mean some good planning, but may well save you time in the car overall.
- Have a cooking day with the kids, and get your own food prep done at the same time. Kids love cooking and baking – so depending on their age you may let them do something themselves – or get them involved in whatever you’re doing. Use this time together to get some batch cooking done, or some baking that you can freeze etc… They have fun, and you get jobs done which will save cooking time later in the holidays.
STEP #6 – GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK
All the best intentions in the world may create a VERY full calendar – after all, having a stretch of x weeks off feels really long! but remember that it’s just as important to plan in some relaxing time as well.
Maybe take one day a week as a free day – where you can decide to let the kids simply run around and relax – and you can take a step back. It will really re-charge you!
Also – if you work for yourself, then try and ease back on the work over these weeks if at all possible…
Lastly – don’t worry about taking some of your more usual tasks OFF the table during the holidays. Cleaning the house may go to the back of the queue as it will be getting used more and more with the kids at home, for example (it may feel like a losing battle at times!).
STEP #7 – SLOT EVERYTHING INTO YOUR PLAN WITH THE PREVIOUS STEPS IN MIND
Now comes the fun part – trying to fit things in so you can enjoy the holidays while STILL getting things done and having fun along the way.
I do this as follows (just as inspiration for you!): –
- My daughter LOVES classes – and as an only child we encourage this because she gets to play with lots of other kids at the same time. As such we usually see if she wants to book in one or two days a week for a club/class like tennis club or a great club at our gym where they do loads of different activities all day.
- Because I work for myself, I simply try and fit work around what we are doing. I do work harder before the holidays so I have to do less during this time (because it can be a cause of stress to try and work all the time, and it’s not fair on her). So – while she does a class, I do my work as this is something I really can’t do when she’s around. I also plan to work in the evenings when she’s in bed so things can tick along nicely.
- Each week we plan to do a day of something fun – out and about. This could be visiting friends or family, going to the zoo, or just going for a walk somewhere. No jobs, no work, just precious time together.
- The other 2-3 days are usually a mix of jobs and errands in the mornings, and fun stuff such as projects together or a visit to the park.
- I also try and invite her friends over for a day each week, as that allows me to do a few projects of my own while still around the house for them (but as they are 10 now they don’t want me actually with them lol). The other advantage is that sometimes she will get an invite to her friends – which frees up some extra time to get things done as well.
The hope is that by the time the holidays have finished, we are all happy that we’ve had fun, we’ve made some great memories, but we’ve also got things done – so it’s a great mix.
… doing it this ways also allows my daughter to see that we DO have to balance work with play, but because the work/chores aspect isn’t too overwhelming in any week – she’s OK with helping with chores when we DO plan to do them – and that can only be a good thing too!
STEP #8 – DOES THE PLAN WORK?
By now you should be looking at your draft plan for the holidays – so the last step is to sense check it.
Take a look through it day by day and decide if it REALLY works for you or not.
Doing this now makes it easier to change things around if needed.
For instance, If you’re travelling to friends one day, and have planned an early start for a kids club and work the next day then this may be too much – especially if you’re likely to travel back late the night before. Better to plan a day at home for the following day and split up the longer days…
Or what if you need to book in holiday club for one of the kids, but there are only a few places left on the days you wanted? Make sure you book in what you need in order of priority – just in case you can’t get the days you want…
Think about tiredness (you and the kids), stress levels, relaxation time etc… – so you can hopefully get the balance right.
These steps really will help you get things done in the kids summer holidays with ease..
Because things are planned, everyone can see what’s coming up. Everyone can see that they have been thought about and that there is a good balance of fun and chores – and no-one feels hard done by or put upon.
I really hope that this method works for you too, and don’t forget to grab your copy of the free printable for planning your holidays HERE.