I hate the park. I hate doing crafts. I hate baking. I hate the soft play centre.
However, I do these things (Angel Delight counts as baking, right?) because it makes my children happy and I love them being happy but I still don’t really enjoy doing the actual thing.
So when I find something that make the kids happy AND doesn’t bore me shitless it really is the best thing ever..
Here are seven things I really like doing with my kids:
1) PLAYING BOARD GAMES – BY MY RULES
While I would be the first to admit that playing board games with small children can be annoying and tantrum-filled there is a way to make things more bearable.
Lie and cheat. This is the only way to avoid the meltdowns and never-ending cycle of tedious arguments – like this
For example…tell them if they lose the game they get a biscuit – so everyone’s a winner really.
Or, try telling them moaning or whinging during Monopoly result in the culprit being thrown in jail. And in my version of Snakes and Ladder we can go up a snake OR a ladder. You get the idea.
2) THE LIBRARY
I am almost three weeks into the summer holidays so it is great to take my kids to a place where someone other than me can tell them off.
Because my children are noisy.. so noisy.
I must say ‘stop shouting’ or ‘do it quietly!’ and ‘SHUT IT, YOU ARE GIVING ME A BLOODY HEAD ACHE ‘ at least ten times a day but in the library it is somebody else’s job to do this.
But also, I am a total book geek and love libraries.
Most of them have free activities and reading challenges for kids during the holidays so it means you can sneak a look at the grown up books while the kids are distracted (or getting their arses kicked by the librarians).
3) SCHOOL HOLIDAY CLUBS
Ok, this isn’t strictly with the kids but at this point in the summer holidays you probably all need a break from each other… If you check out your local council website they often have outreach projects during the school holidays that include drama, dancing, sport or dance.
The best thing is that they are so much cheaper then childcare – you can basically get rid of the kids for as little as around £12 a day!
My 6-year-old daughter is at currently at the Pals Performing Arts Academy which is less than half the price of a childminder and she absolutely loves it. It is a great way for her to experience new things and meet new people.
4) LONDON BABY
If you are not based in the capital under 5s can travel on the train for free – which for my children is almost as fun as the trip itself!
So if you book your ticket in advance, a visit to the city can be a cheap family day out. The good thing about London is there is so much FREE stuff to do.
From the street theatre of Covent Garden to the wonder of the Natural History and Science Museums – you can easily amuse the kids (and yourself) for a few days without having to break the bank.
5) THE PUB (SORT OF)
When I say pub, what I mean is – the chance to get a bit tipsy with your parent mates while the kids amuse each other.
I have been largely at home with the kids this summer so three weeks in and I am craving some grown up company!
I would love to just ‘pop down the pub’ but sadly – it is not that easy these days!
But if you can’t go to the pub then bring the pub to you… Stick fish fingers in the oven for the kids, wine in the fridge for you and sit back and enjoy some possibly poor-quality and certainly interrupted conversation with your friends.
6) STAYCATION WITH FAMILY
While it can be expensive to go on a family holiday during the summer – sometimes you really do need a change of scenery.
One good option is to stay with any (bearable) extended family. Maybe you have a cousin in the Cotswolds or a sister by the sea or friends in a city you’d love to visit? If so, ask if they fancy a visit? They might be busy (or hate you!) but there is a strong chance they will also really pleased to spend some time with you in person rather than just liking your pictures on Facebook.
If you have saved a bit of money and fancy doing something different I would reccommend Snozone – an actual indoor ski slope with real snow . We had an hour-long family ski lesson at the one in Milton Keynes followed by sledging and it was brilliant!