Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here
nav-left cat-right
cat-right

Having a Fun Summer Without Breaking the Bank

Even if you are not going on holiday, creating a summer holiday that will leave great memories and happy children can, quickly, become expensive. A trip to the cinema, an outing to the zoo, a day out at a theme park- these cost a lot of money. But, a great summer does not have to cost the earth to create. One outlay I have made was to purchase Historic Scotland membership. This gives us all free entry into all the Historic Scotland sites. And since many of them are within an easy drive we can have lots of days out, at a fraction of the cost that it would be to pay entry into each one individually. There are other organisations that have membership schemes that provide free entry into their properties. The National Trust is another favourite with many families. Family membership is also something relatives could give as a family Christmas present. Obvious places to go for outings is the beach, forests, botanical gardens, hillwalking and parks. These can be the sources of many adventures. Consider building a camp fire, toasting marshmallows and having an evening picnic. By inviting friends to join you, then their is the perfect recipe for fun and great memories. It goes without saying that you first make sure you light any fires in a place where they are permitted, and do so safely, especially if it has been very dry. Or what about a disposable BBQ on the beach? For wet days many museums and art galleries are free. You can also have a movie day, or a baking day. Also look out for special summer holiday deals on swimming pools. More and more local authorities are offering free child swimming over the holidays. Local councils often have free sports activities as well, it is worth phoning a few leisure centres to see if there is anything on offer. Many churches also offer holiday clubs for a week of the school holidays. All my children (besides Thomas, who has not yet been old enough) have loved attending a local church club. Throughout the years our family have had some wonderful happy days through the summer. The days which have left the best memories have been the free days. My children still talk about building a camp fire in a wood with friends; playing in a burn (small stream) in the hills, on a very hot day (yes, they do sometimes happen in Scotland); and an unplanned trip to a beach. We also save money by doing lots of picnics. Each child has...

How to encourage learning through the summer?

Here in Scotland summer holiday’s tend to be around 6 weeks. Some think that is too long not to be learning. I have fond memories of the long summer break. And as a homeschooler I find the summer break refreshing, as well as needed to prepare for the year ahead! However, I also think it beneficial that young minds still do some work! The challenge is to provide learning opportunities that do not feel like “school”. Here are a few ideas: 1. A Summer Journal I bought cheap notebooks, covered them with blank paper. The children decorated them, and they can write about things they have done through the summer, that they have enjoyed. I find writing exercises that involve them writing about themselves are always a bit of a hit! 2. Summer Reading Challenge Libraries often run these through the summer. Children are encouraged to read 6 books over the summer months. If your library does not run one you can devise your own family reading challenge, with sticker charts and certificates at the end. 3. Summer Art Projects With spare time, this is a good idea for a wet day. Consider looking at an artist, or a art style. We had a look at Vincent Van Gough, then drew a flower picture along that theme. I like we website Art Projects for Kids for inspiration (art is not my strong point!) 4. Go on a mini-beast hunt! This can be done in the garden, a local park, or near by wood. The nature detectives website offers a free mini-beast hunt sheet to print off. 5. Educational Trips Trips to castles, museums, farms, etc are all fun family activities in the summer, but all have an educational element to them. 6. Learn a new craft Again with time to spare this could be a good time to teach a new craft, like sewing, knitting, or woodcraft. Learning a useful skill can provide a child with hours of fun, and entertainment, and may lead to a more serious hobby. But above all, education is about instilling a love of learning. Play and adventure is learning. So although a long break may not look like learning, children are learning all the time. And it is so important there are times of play and good simple fun! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Picnics, Streams, Fishing…. a Recipe for a Great Day Out...

In the blistering heat of a summer’s day we were looking for a place, with the children, to go where we could cool off. We went into the hills, and found a quiet stream in a valley. The gentle breeze, and the cool waters were very refreshing, just what we all wanted. A picnic, some fishing rods, a ball and the children were happy for hours. They all stripped off, and cooled off in the stream. The Jedi Boy, even managed to catch a small fish! On the drive through the valley we passed families camping, which made me think what a wonderful idea… perhaps for another year when I no longer have a toddler! It made me think of the vast sums of money we can spend on entertainment for children, and yet the simplest of days out, planned on the hop can provide the best fun, and create the most lasting memories. So on a hot summer’s day… head to the hills! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Homeschooling Mum on Summer Holiday!??

Summer holiday time always takes me a little by surprise. After a long year of doing school, the children are in need of a break… but so am I! I have notions of sitting relaxing with a good book and a cup of tea, as children play beautifully in the other room. Then we wake up on the first day on school holiday’s! I feel justified that I have earned my break! But the inevitable happens: “mum what are we doing today?”, “mum can we go somewhere?”, and then before long the whiny sound of: “I’M BORED!” At that moment I realise we may be on holiday from school, but there are still four children in need of activity and stimulation. What is needed is a plan! One of the first things we do is make a large poster- a summer bucket list- on the poster each child can chose two activities they want to do through the summer. These have to be sensible… going off for a fortnight’s holiday on an aeroplane will not make the list! These are spaced throughout the summer, and are generally things that can make a day trip somewhere. Secondly everyday have a vague idea what you will do. Have some kind of planned activity for the children. My kids need to know something will happen, something they can look forward too! These need not be fancy, or expensive! Easy Summer Holiday Activities 1. Visit the library. Many libraries offer summer reading schemes, or have some sort of free activities, so it is worth having a look. 2. A picnic in a park you have never visited before. 3. Invite friends around you have not seen in a while. 4. Go fishing. Even if you do not have proper rod and tackle, young children love a gentle stream and a fishing net! 5. Visit a beach. 6. Go hiking. 7. Go to a wild and beautiful place you have never visited before. 8. A bike ride 9. Bake new recipes. 10. Geocaching– this is when you use your smart phone’s GPS to locate a hidden container, called a geocache. Just download the app! A bit like a modern day treasure hunt… without the gold! Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
%d bloggers like this: