Tom Daley knit his gold medal an Olympic cosy and it’s the most wholesome thing you’ll see all day
Tom Daley knit his gold medal an Olympic cosy and it’s the most wholesome thing...

Sarah Finnan

Only four women have ever won Olympic medals for Ireland, but four more joined the list last night
Only four women have ever won Olympic medals for Ireland, but four more joined the...

Lauren Heskin

6 brilliant Netflix picks that you NEED to binge-watch in August
6 brilliant Netflix picks that you NEED to binge-watch in August

Jennifer McShane

The best affordable bridal outfits for your big day
The best affordable bridal outfits for your big day

Sarah Finnan

‘I was still doing it for other people’: Simone Biles put her mental health first – and it should be applauded
‘I was still doing it for other people’: Simone Biles put her mental health first...

Jennifer McShane

Will filter free images be a legacy of the pandemic?
Will filter free images be a legacy of the pandemic?

Rose Mary Roche

Morning of the wedding: 9 dos and don’ts for the bridal party
Morning of the wedding: 9 dos and don’ts for the bridal party

Geraldine Carton

What to eat this week: Goat’s cheese and pickled beetroot melt
What to eat this week: Goat’s cheese and pickled beetroot melt

Meg Walker

The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far

Sarah Finnan

11 Irish women with the coolest jobs outside Ireland
11 Irish women with the coolest jobs outside Ireland

Geraldine Carton

Image / Editorial

The ultimate guide to surviving the summer holidays at home with children


by Amanda Cassidy
01st Aug 2019

Are we there yet? Are we there yet? We’ve officially reached the halfway point of keeping the children entertained for the holidays, but at what cost, asks a bedraggled Amanda Cassidy.


Day one of the summer holidays, we were uber organised; camps were booked, resort holidays reserved and we were even ahead of ourselves with our own waxing and tanning appointments. In other words, parents everywhere were killing it.

And then…

Holidays were had. We remembered that being together, as lovely as it is, is also extremely exhausting (EXHAUSTING). Ice-creams every day isn’t without consequences, ditto 10pm bedtimes, chips for almost every meal and there is only so much suncream you can put on a wiggling child every day, five times for two weeks without losing your mind. Lovely memories, now pass me the rosé.

Related: How to dress for summer in the city when you are not used to weather like this

But hallelujah for camps. It’s like school, only way more expensive and instead of maths and Irish, they learn how to make slime and jump on bouncy castles. Everyone is happy…for a bit. Until you realise you still have to make, gasp, sandwiches. And ferry them there and back. But it is a small price to pay for 3 hours of relative quiet so you can unpack the suitcases and unleash the mountain of laundry that inevitably explodes out of them.

And they are not cheap. A recent survey found that it costs around €1400 to keep a child entertained through the summer holidays. I’ve got three and yes, most of that has gone on ice-cream.

Downtime

But now we are approaching The Lull – the time you mentally boxed off to ‘give them a break’ without cajoling them along to the next thing, the next thing all the time. But it is a myth. Your children are not programmed for downtime. You’ve confused them with yourself. You picture afternoons at the park, laughing and feeding the ducks. Quality time.

The reality is rain, kids complaining because of your newly-imposed ice-cream ban (they are part vanilla, part chocolate swirl at this stage), and somebody (there is always one) who ends up needing to pee at the most inopportune moment.

Instead, you surrender to Netflix and scrolling and vow that tomorrow’s plan of visiting the beach or zoo will work, even though all they want to do anyway is jump on the godforsaken trampoline and make a base in your flowerbeds (while eating snacks).

Can we talk about snacks for a moment? My summer has been one long snackfest. It’s been all about doling food (as healthy as I can, of course) to your hungry little ducklings all day long. My children literally finish their lunch and get up and ask to make cereal. The fruit bowl only lasts about an hour. Yes, they are growing fast and it is lovely to see but seriously, where are they putting it?

Now we are nearing the countdown to new uniforms, covering the books, cleaning out the schoolbags. So instead of tearing your hair out, try these tips for entertaining your brood over the next few weeks.

Get creative

My guys love cutting up old Christmas cards and re-sticking the bits onto new cards. Just think anything with glitter (but do it outside) stickers, paint, glue – let them get creative and it will keep them busy for hours.

Imagination

Currently, my children are working on their ‘book’. It usually gets rolled out five minutes before bedtime so I’m not sure how committed they really are. It involves them writing a line or two about the adventures of a little boy and his dog and spending hours doing the pictures under it. In fairness, it is already about 15 pages long. If they finish this book before I start mine, I’ll have to seriously question my own commitment to the cause!

Treasure hunting

While I’m no Don Conroy, putting together a treasure hunt is relatively simple and keeps them busy and active. Or try Geocaching. It is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS and the treasure is contained in the geocache (container) hidden at a certain location and you replace the treats in it after you get them. You will have to take part too for obvious reasons but it is an afternoon very well spent. Check out www.geocaching.com for details

Discovering

Pick a town you haven’t been to or a place that interests you and help your children research all about it. And then go. There are plenty of free activities and attractions that you otherwise might never visit, right on your doorstep. New things are also distracting for everyone and you might learn a thing or two yourself.

Balance

The summer isn’t just for martyrs – make sure to plan some nice things for yourself too – a cinema date, a lazy lunch, a wild night with the girls, a weekend away. Once you plan ahead well in advance and rope in some of those who love you to help, you can make it happen.

Enjoy the sunshine, make the most of the home-work free evenings and enjoy those little ones before they turn into big ones who are too sullen to even want you around. Snack?

Image via Unsplash.com

Read more: How to raise happy, confident kids

Read more: The sinister side of YouTube kids

Read more: The best Dublin salads on a sunny, balmy day

Also Read

EDITORIAL
The Howth train attack represents a lawlessness that makes me fear for my daughters

I fear the true fallout of Covid on our cities is just getting started, writes Amanda Cassidy As the pandemic...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
Emerging after the pandemic: ‘There’s an awkwardness to my interactions, like I’ve forgotten how to socialise’

In just a few months, human contact became one of the most feared gestures. Being around people we loved was...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
Laura Whitmore’s baby name retaliation is about so much more than double standards

The Love Island presenter has divided social media after she singled out a journalist trying to confirm the name of...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
‘Suddenly alive again’: The heartbreaking joy of finding a deceased loved one on Google Maps street view

“I look at my mum’s old house on Google maps street view, the house where I grew up. It says...

By Amanda Cassidy

EDITORIAL
‘We went to the zoo today – and life felt deliciously normal’

What’s seldom is truly wonderful, writes Amanda Cassidy Dublin Zoo has been the backdrop to our children’s lives – birthday...

By Amanda Cassidy

Sleep cycle during Covid-19
EDITORIAL
How to get your sleep schedule back on track during lockdown, according to a sleep technologist

Many of us are struggling to maintain a healthy sleep cycle during Covid-19, explains sleep technologist Breege Leddy. But there are...

By Katie Byrne