The Lazy Mum’s guide to Summer Holiday activites for when you run out of ideas (and money)

The Lazy Mum’s guide to Summer Holiday activites for when you run out of ideas (and money)

I’m running out of steam for the summer holidays now, it’s getting desperate here. I do still work over the summer, but less than normal, and I have less time to myself. More time with my children of course, which is nice sometimes and we have built lasting memories together, hopefully some of them without me shouting or saying ‘For Gods Sake!’ at them. Here are some ideas for when you have run out of inspiration, when your friends are on holiday, you’re fed up of the park and the funds are getting low.

Get them to wash the car

This went down better than expected and was actually my son’s suggestion, he saw the neighbour doing it and wanted to sit in the boot and have me spray water at the window. They both loved it. Serve them a snack or lunch in the boot and it’s like a picnic without having to go anywhere. Plus, you get a clean car for free.

A Beginners guide to meal and snack prep for families. You don't have to do vast amounts of prep to make a big difference to stress levels.

Picnic in the Garden

Even the most boring or sparse of lunches will go down well when it’s a picnic. No picnic blanket? Use a towel or normal blanket. Involve the teddies and they may extend the play to beyond lunch.

Duvet Day

If it’s not remotely sunny and you’re feeling ill/tired/just done a night shift, proclaim it a duvet day. Make popcorn (in the microwave), watch films, TV, generally slob about. Maybe not even get dressed.

The Library

They have books – not just books, but story sacks, audio books and often activities to complete in the holidays, all for free. If you’re lucky, there’s free parking somewhere near.

The local Museum

Again, a free activity, they usually have activity sheets to complete, resist the cafe and gift shop, take a picnic and eat it in the grounds and it’ll take up a big chunk of the day.

Get them to pack a suitcase

Give them a small suitcase, let them pack and re-pack it for the holiday  – or Grandma’s house if you’re not going anywhere – if you’ve no Grandma then you truly have my sympathies.

Pop up Sandpit

Use a storage box or several washing up bowls to make a sandpit. If you have a few washing up bowls, use 2 for sand and one for water – instant sand and water ‘table’ (except it’s on the ground). Throw in a few plastic cups and spoons and you don’t even need toys.


Jumbo Chalk

If you have a drive or outside path somewhere, let them draw and doodle what they like outside and it will all wash away in the rain.


Ordinary Things Treasure Hunt

OK this one requires a little bit of planning, but think everyday objects already in the house and it reduces the amount you have to do, you can knock up a list very quickly. Make a list of items like this for each child and keep one yourself to tick off the things:

Toy car


Wooden spoon

T shirt

Teletubby book

Changing Mat





….You get the idea – if you have more than one child to keep amused, make sure there are duplicate amounts of the items you choose to save arguments and so they can easily do it, but not too easy that it’s over with quickly! Give prizes for the winner and a runner up special. Bonus is, you get a minute’s peace while they’re off searching.

Home Salon

Get them to brush and style your hair, do your make up, paint your nails and do face paint on you. Boys can do it to, of course, if they want. They enjoy the role play, you get a dodgy makeover and may even feel like you’ve been to the spa for five minutes.

Run a bath

Not just for bedtime, have a bath altogether or one by one, lots of bubbles and toys and splashing about. Put a chair in the bathroom and sit down. If it’s not too wet, take your phone in and keep half an eye on the bath so they don’t drown.

Water the Garden

If they’re old enough, let them take the hose and water the plants, they’ll enjoy helping, the responsibility and they love the hose.

What are your tips for staying sane over the summer?

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  1. Jane
    August 17, 2016 / 9:10 pm

    Lovely ideas Jenny. Painting the fence is also a good idea. They do it with water and a large decorating paint brush. If you’re really lucky it will be a hot sunny day and the beginning of the fence dries off before they get to the end so they have to start all over again!

    • Midwife and Life
      August 17, 2016 / 9:11 pm


  2. August 17, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    Fantastic ideas….I am at that point in the holidays where we’re skint and running out of ideas.
    This is so helpful x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Sunday Trifles!My Profile

    • Midwife and Life
      August 17, 2016 / 11:36 pm

      Exactly where I am at this point!

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