I realised today I have only two full weeks left of school days before the end of term. That means some serious planning – which probably should have been done a while back – now needs to take place.
I’m discovering just how quickly time turns now both children are well established in the school system. At that late May half term, the seven weeks before summer stretch out into the distance, and sports days and school trips seem a very long way off.
But June has raced by, and now I have two sports days and two school picnics hurtling towards me, and I’ve already got two school trips in the bag (one in blistering heat, and one in a day-long downpour – the Great British Summer).
It really is time to plan ahead now, and file upcoming projects into the small, neat windows of work I have created with a few days of holiday clubs here and there throughout the summer break. It’s just not cost effective for me to do more than that, so conversely that leaves me with wide open spaces of time to fill for two small boys who have boundless energy – and who start every morning with “What are we doing today, then?”
In my quest to find new ways to keep them entertained, I have been delighted and astonished to discover that some places want to put on free entertainment for children on their premises, presumably with the artful aim of enticing you to part with money once in there. Both Pets at Home and Hobbycraft are hosting multiple pet and craft workshops (respectively – I think crossovers would get messy, especially if the hamsters got into the glue and glitter). So we got booked onto some of those sharpish, thanks to the fabulous mums on my WhatsApp group who keep their ears to the ground on these matters.
The Right Weather
I am also hoping that we don’t experience a summer like last year. It was just too much. The boys were floppy with the heat, but still full of twitchy energy, and it was too hot each and every day to go outside for very long. So we had the worst of all worlds: bored children who are also irritable and overheated.
This year I’d like nice, balmy temperatures in the early twenties – I have rosy visions of carefree cycle rides to local parks, wasp-free picnics, and definitely no-one tripping over, getting their sandal caught in the bike frame, or tumbling into the brambles. And on the very occasional rainy days (which we’ll need for the good of the garden, of course – this is Britain, after all), happy trips to the library for the summer reading challenge, where we will all sit round merrily enjoying a story together, and no-one will be moaning every couple of pages that it’s their turn to have a go in the wooden fire engine.
There’s also this fabulous list of local activities that I’ve had the pleasure of compiling for Mum to Mum for the last few years – and we will definitely be falling back on some of these ideas: https://mumtomumuk.com/milton-keynes/blog/posts/summer-community-events-and-activities-2019
Please don’t let it rain every day as soon as we hit August.