Smart holidaying

Monks used to wash their habits here. Ned and Nell just raced across.

Holidays still make me tired! I’m not sure if other families feel this way, but when my children were babies I found holidays away from home exhausting. It’s quite physical (not to mention tiring) looking after little ones but at home at least you’ve got everything in the right place.

But if your chidlren are very little or bigger but you can’t afford a holiday at the moment then at least make a day at home (or longer) holiday special by ignoring some of the relentless domestic tasks and just treating today as a virtual holiday. This post is by Nicola Baird, also see www.homemadekids.co.uk

Fuelled by strawberries Ned, 10, crossed the stepping stones in 2 secs.

I love having children around, and so usually eat meals at the same time as my kids, and also spend a lot of time with them – including holidays. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of keeping an eye on another family’s children while their parents were busy with office tasks. We weren’t at our home – but we were at my friends’ home, so a stop over feels more like a home from home. And as I wasn’t working much (or at any rate can pick my own hours) took the hire car over the hills for a walk at Cover Bridge in the Yorkshire Dales with Nell, 9; Ned, 10 and George, 16 plus various dogs. I really think a picnic in a beauty spot, by a river (regardless of rain) is a hard to beat pleasure. And just in case it wasn’t we then went on to an ice cream parlour selling 100s of flavours in a tearoom by the cattle shed. If you are in north Yorkshire, near Jervaux Abbey, do have a look at Brymor ice cream rooms. It’s old fashioned, but very memorable.

If you’re not yet sure about ways to make a day special, just try eating outside. You and the baby can just go to the greengrocer (or the fruit aisle of your nearest supermarket) and pick out the tastiest looking fruit for a picnic rug feast. August is the month for wasps which can ruin picnics for a lot of people. The trick to keep them away is apparently to avoid wearing sweet scents or deodorants. You can also create a jam jar wasp trap (not nice!) or aim for rainier times as wasps seem to prefer dry weather. Many cold weather and gift-making supplies can be found online; use this Sears coupon code for savings.

What do you love doing that costs pennies and your children love to do too? We also find house swaps works brilliantly. But I’m look forward to finding out your suggestions. Nicola x

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