Summer Saver series: How and when to prepare for the summer holidays

kids in the summer
Pelena Cosme

Digital Content Producer

The countdown to the six-week summer holiday has begun fellow summer saver. Here’s how I get ready for the holidays with two kids. 

First, I remind myself that the summer break is a well-deserved reward for my children’s hard work from September to July. They need this time to rest and be carefree after a year of structured schedules. It’s easy to forget how stressful school can be with daily homework, commutes in bad weather, heavy workloads, friendship dynamics, and emotional highs and lows. They all deserve a break! Plus, we should celebrate the progress they’ve made and the tough subjects they’ve conquered.

Mental preparation

The holidays are also a much-needed break for their hard working teachers and a chance for parents/​carers to spend quality time with their children and young relatives. Reflecting on why the six-week holiday exists helps me approach it positively, despite the extra expenses, disrupted sleep, and the need to keep the kids occupied.

Here are a few strategies that have helped me over the years:

  • Let them be bored: It’s not my job to entertain my kids every minute. Giving them space to create their own fun is essential.

  • Home days: We don’t need to go out every single day. Staying home and enjoying our space helps us relax.

  • Being spontaneous: I plan with a loose structure to leave room for unplanned fun.

So summer saver, do you think you could potentially apply any of these strategies to your summer plans?

Physical preparation

In the lead-up to summer, I stick to routines because they’ll soon fly out the window! Maintaining regular dinner and bedtime routines helps me enjoy the last bit of normalcy. I also gather arts and crafts, games, and other resources to keep the kids engaged, although their interests change yearly.

Food is a big one—my kids’ appetites always grow in the summer (we’ll cover more ideas for this later in our Summer Saver series!) I stock up on snacks and cupboard staples when I find good deals, budget permitting. I also plan my solo time, knowing summer means more time with the kids and fewer moments for myself. Preparing for this in advance helps me maintain my well-being amid the summer chaos.


Practical preparation

Summer savers can never be too prepared for the spontaneous moments of summer. Here are my go-to sources for finding fun, new activities:

  • Council website: Local councils often list free and paid events suitable for all ages.

  • Church: Many local churches offer family activities during the summer. Check their websites or speak to someone in person.

  • Social media/​word of mouth: The internet is great for finding events. Companies and brands often collaborate on activities, and friends can also share hidden gems. You can search for things to do with kids in your area as a starting point. I’ve recently found art exhibitions and pop up events simply because it kept appearing on my social media feed and genuinely looked fun.

  • Shopping centres: Large shopping centres often host summer events. Check their websites or social media pages for details.

  • Local libraries: Can offer engaging activities such as author visits or creative writing time. Once again official websites can provide all the essential details of their summer events.

I often remind myself to search on official websites to stay safe and avoid online scams. There is a vast amount of information on the internet when it comes to family content so I make it a note to be careful where I get my ideas to explore from — especially if a small payment/​deposit is needed to book a space. I tend to then save screenshots or notes of activities my kids might enjoy, gathering all the information I get from different sources, creating a loose itinerary on my notes app. Since plans can change with the weather, I absolutely avoid announcing activities to my children too early to prevent disappointment.

With less than six weeks until the summer holiday begins, how will you prepare for all the food your children will eat and the fun they’ll have? Remember, they’ve worked hard all school year—it’s time to decompress, have fun, and enjoy family and friends. Let’s all try and embrace the summer with a positive perspective.

Join us on our summer saver series

This article is the first of our Summer Saver series, where here at CAP we want to provide you a fellow summer saver with tools and information to make the upcoming summer holidays more positive for your entire family. So keep an eye out for our next piece on the series!