The Summer Holiday Survival Guide

Wednesday, 17th July 2019

Karbon customer Kerrie Ann, a mum of four from Newcastle, shares a few of her summer holiday hacks to help keep your family smiling right through to September.

Ah the lazy, hazy days of the summer holidays. Lie-ins, no work and endless days of doing whatever your heart desires. For the kids that is! It’s sometimes a different story for parents who worry about how to fill and fund six weeks (or even more) of school holidays.

Pace yourself and budget

Don’t be tempted to use up all of your good ideas and budget in the first week. I find that by being open with my children about the cost of things not only helps them understand the value of money but also helps to manage their expectations.

Get outside and run off their energy

Explore different parks and waterways. We’ve so many great coastal areas, lakes and rivers and many can be reached easily by public transport. My children love pond dipping and rock pooling to see what creatures they can find. Try walks in different places – keep mixing it up so there are plenty of new things to discover. Ask other parents where they like to walk to get new ideas.

Checkout council websites for good quality and low-cost activities

Museums, galleries and libraries also have plenty of special activities on over the holidays
and they’re usually free.

Be ready for rain

Have some ideas in your back pocket ready for the inevitable rainy days. We like to create a den or a secret corner of the house where the children can go to read, draw, play board games and enter competitions (like on page 22). It’s also good to have bits and pieces at the ready for a crafty corner. Keep buttons and bows, trimmings, wrapping paper, old magazines and catalogues ready for your imagination station.

Remember, a child’s home is their castle

It’s easy to feel pressured to fill the days with endless entertainment but part of the fun of the holidays is for children to simply enjoy playing at home.

Make the most of family friendly tickets

Some family tickets offer excellent value for money – especially for larger families like ours. A
National Trust ticket costs £10.50 per month for a family including up to ten children/grandchildren
so this works out really reasonable if you use it once a week. Take a picnic to keep costs down and
parking is free.

Cook, bake and eat together

You can make a whole day of making food together, once you factor in a trip to the shop
and eating the results! At our church there are 22 different nationalities so I ask for ideas from other
families and the children love trying new flavours. The free magazines you get at the supermarket are also great for summer recipes like ice lollies.

It’s not bad to be bored

Every minute of every day doesn’t need to be filled with activities. In fact, I’ve even read that it can
be good for children to feel ‘bored’ because that’s when they get creative and start to explore what
interests them. I find that children need space from technology to get to this point.

As told to at home

About Kerrie Ann
Born near Sydney in Australia, Kerrie Ann moved to the North East of England in 2003 after
a visit to explore her family history led her to put her own roots here. She is married with four
children, Lakemfa, 11, Timiebi, 8, Tahlia, 7 and Elicia, 6. She works full-time as a
compliance officer.