It’s that time again. Summer holidays are upon us, and for parents, all around the country, that means it’s time to brace yourselves, stock up on a few kid-friendly essentials put on your imagination hat, and smile widely!

Don’t feel you have to spend loads of money to give the kids a great summer holiday. Turn off the screens, take a picnic outside, and show them how to really have fun. Popular games like football, rounders, cricket and tennis can turn out to be lifelong passions that started during the school holidays.

In the kitchen, try ice lolly making as a simple and effective idea. Whether you use fruit juice or flavoured water, having a constant supply of icy snacks in the fridge is a great way to keep them hydrated as well as creative.

Meanwhile back outside, how about some good old-fashioned den building. Especially if you live near some woods, it’s an educational way to spend a few hours designing and building a makeshift shelter using natural materials. If you have a large group of children to cater to, you could even have a competition. But having the adults involved is a definite motivator for the kids, so make sure you get excited about it too. Teaming up with other parents is a great way to share the joy (and burden!) of the summer holidays. The park is a good bet, or you could take the chance to try out some waterside boating activities, Swallows and Amazons style.

More studious children might enjoy a word-based project to get their teeth into over the summer. Depending on your child, that might be the challenge to write a short fiction book, and ‘publish’ it with a computer and printer. Or how about the idea of creating a board game. You might unlock some hidden talents in your little ones this summer.

If you do have a rainy day these summer holidays, the chances are it’ll be warm. Grab a kid’s umbrella or two, and enjoy it while it lasts. It could be a refreshing, amusing few hours, and a great time to find out how successful the den-building was after all!

These days don’t last forever, so remember, it doesn’t matter if they’re bored sometimes (it can be a good thing!) and you need to make sure you take care of yourself as well. So keep morale up, pace yourself, and with any luck, this year’s summer holidays will be the summer holidays you always remember.