Parenting | Five things we’ve learned so far this summer


It’s the summer holiday halfway point and what have we learned so far? Mainly that parenting in the school holidays isn’t easy!

It was more fun when it was hot

Yes, the constant sunscreen application and the sleepless nights were a ball ache, but we’d take that over glumly looking out of the window and wearing socks. Plus trying to dry a tent when the forecast is non-stop rain? Stuff of nightmares.

Top rainy day activities attempted so far include:

Making stuff using ultra-light clay (kind of a cross between slime and Plasticine). Telling the kids off for making clay willies. Finding all 24 pots of clay with lids off in a half-dried state. Super affordable fun – 24 pots for £8.59.

Beasts of Balance is a ruddy awesome game that we might be loving as much as the kids (okay, maybe we love it more than they do). It’s like Jenga crossed with Pokemon – you stack the interactive animals on a plinth linked to your iPhone or iPad, then cross-breed and migrate those creatures for maximum points. Our top score so far is 152… What’s yours? Not that we’re incredibly competitive or anything.

Japanese candy sushi doesn’t seem like the kind of thing kids can successfully attempt to make solo. But it’s possible!

This brilliant kit contains everything you need to measure, mix and make itty bitty salmon roe maki, tuna sashimi and egg sushi rice. You even get to pretend you’re Heston Blumenthal while fashioning the roe using a pipette. Doesn’t taste amazing but you can’t win ‘em all.
Kracie Popin’ Cookin! DIY Sushi Kit – £2.98.

No activity seems to last very long at all

Do these children have no staying power? Everything is tackled at 100mph and abandoned just as quickly. No wonder TV and screens are such a seductive mistress for parents – what else guarantees us enough time to listen to the radio and cook some oven chips without a child needing something?

All three summer family films out now have the same evil plot

Wait, what? It’s true. The Incredibles 2, Hotel Transylvania 3 AND Teen Titans Go! To The Movies all feature evil characters able to manipulate the good guys into doing bad stuff using mind control and hypnosis. Could this be a comment on the state of US politics, hmmmm? Either way, it’s a good excuse to sit in a dark room for a few hours, indulge in a massive ice blast and possibly have a cheeky nap.

They don’t stop eating, do they?

Kids are a maddening combination of a. always hungry, b. quite picky, and c. happy to survive on sweets and ice cream. The latter is the biggest issue, tbh, as we’re quite happy with that, too. But we must parent and parent well! And we’d rather not suffer the stern looks of the dentist (again). As well as a whopping fruit bowl, ways to combat the ‘I’m hungry’ refrain include throwing Babybels and yoghurt tubes into a dedicated snack box in the fridge, and breadsticks and boxes of raisins into one in the cupboard. Help yourselves kids!

Kids are actually pretty good company

We’re gonna miss them when they go back to school.


More school holiday fun!

10 summer holiday ideas for kids by kids

Summer Reading Challenge

School holiday hacks (by and for real parents)