The summer can be very long, especially if the children in your care are school-age and have an extended period at home. Six weeks without routine can seem daunting, and you might worry about your children getting bored halfway through. Here are some things that you can do to keep everyone entertained.
If you are fostering in Edinburgh or another big city, there are bound to be plenty of things to do and see in your local area. Try to plan and book things in advance to help you get organised and save money and to prepare the children in your care, who might be anxious about going to tourist attractions or other busy places.
Book a Holiday
Holidays are a fantastic way to break up the long summer. Even if you only go away for a few nights and stay relatively close to home, a change of scenery and new places to explore can give you all something to look forward to. Just make sure you get permission before taking a foster child away from your home.
Look for Free Local Events and Activities
A long summer holiday can quickly get very expensive. Days out, tickets to attractions, holidays, transport and even food while you are out will quickly add up to a large expense. The good news is there are often plenty of free museums, galleries and other events to enjoy. Even an afternoon in your local park with a picnic is a great way to spend your time.
Spread Things Out
The last thing that you want to do is fill the first few weeks of the holiday with trips and activities, only to find there’s nothing left, and you are over budget halfway through the holiday. Instead, try to space things out with an activity, a park day, and days doing things at home every week.
Make the Most of Days at Home
Days at home don’t have to be boring. Spend time baking, building dens, reading, playing on game consoles, and watching movies.
Ditch the Guilt
Many parents and carers feel guilty if they aren’t always out doing things with their children. But this can be expensive and exhausting. Instead, enjoy the rest days at home. A few days with more screen time so that everyone can relax isn’t going to hurt.
Try New Things
Having a foster child living with you is an excellent opportunity to see your local area and even your home through new eyes. Ask them what they’d like to do and try as many new things as possible, but remember, they don’t all have to be big. Walking a new route, trying a new recipe, and watching a new movie can all be adventurous.
Learn New Skills
Why not set a family challenge to learn something new together over the summer? Things like growing fruit and veg can be ideal.
Prepare for the Year Ahead
If your foster children are school age, make sure you use some of the summer to plan and prepare for the year ahead, talking to them about school, making sure they know what to expect, and getting their uniform ready so that there’s no September stress.
A long summer break can seem daunting but try to see it as an opportunity to learn new things, visit new places, catch up on some rest, and get to know each other. Summer is a fantastic time to relax and make some fun memories.