Mumsnet’s 10 top tips for summer holidays survival

1. Keep up a semblance of a routine. Normal mealtimes and waking up at some point before midday usually lead to calmer moods all round, and help grown-ups feel they’re keeping some sort of grip on things.

2. Plan one or two big, exciting days out to give the kids something to focus on (but make sure you take advantage of any ‘kids go free’ offers).

3. Keep an eye out locally for free events at local parks and libraries, or subsidised holiday playschemes.

4. A good tiring bike ride, long walk to the pick-your-own farm, or a session at a swimming pool usually guarantees you a few hours of peace afterwards.

5. If you have friends in the same boat, make an informal timetable of playdates, so you all get a few mornings or afternoons off to lie down in a dark room.

6. Get a big box of crafting materials together for mid-afternoon flash points. It’s amazing how much children can be diverted by 12 kitchen roll tubes and a container of glitter.

7. Get the children involved in meal prep. Let them choose a few dishes and make them together, then have an indoor picnic with a rug on the living room floor.

8. Encourage them to learn something new – the more time-consuming the better. Knitting, hula-hooping, card games and loom bands would all work.

9. Even if you’re usually pretty strict about screens, summer holidays could be the time to relax the rules and allow them to watch all seven Harry Potter films (with an eye on guidance about age appropriateness, obviously).

10. Don’t be tempted to relax rules about cleaning up, though. Make sure they tidy away the previous activity before they start on a new one.

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