Holiday Tips for Parents to Survive the Summer Break
July 14, 2021

It feels like the schools have barely been open for five minutes and the kids are on holiday yet again! With the prospect of jetting off abroad this summer out of the question for most of us, you might be having panicked flashbacks to lockdown, school closures and bored children saying your name every five minutes and constantly asking for a snack. Ok, we can’t promise there won’t be days like that because we’re pretty sure that’s how children are programmed but we can arm you with some top holiday tips for parents, including activity inspiration to keep everyone sane. Our guide below should help no end.

1. Plan ahead and give everyone something to look forward to

Use a wall planner or calendar to highlight some of the fun activities and outings you have in store, so the whole family can get excited about what’s on the agenda. Use highlighters or coloured stickers to brighten it up and flag up important dates each week. The kids can get involved too, which is already one fun activity under your belt (only 29.5 days to go…). It can also help you stay on top of things and plan accordingly because it’s not easy being working parents during school holidays! We also know children have memories that could give Rain Man a run for his money at times and you never live it down when you forget something!


On a side note, never be afraid of using this as bribery or a way of encouraging good behaviour if you need to. There’s nothing like a visual countdown to a favourite event or activity, hanging up for all to see, to bring out their inner angel.

2. Burn off some energy in the safety of your own garden

Garden games are a great way of tiring them out and mean you don’t even have to venture to a park. And don’t let the trauma of your school sports day put you off. Decades later, this could be your moment to finally beat a seven-year old child at rounders  or in an egg and spoon race! Alternatively, you could set yourself up as the ultimate spectator with a cup of tea or your laptop and let the junior Olympics commence, complete with such classic sporting events as giant dominoes , giant four-in-a-row, and boules. We also have everything you need to create a homemade obstacle course that could keep them entertained for hours! Take your pick from Charlles Bentley cones and training markers, pop-up play tunnels to crawl through, and even a giant garden tower block set.

For those on a bigger budget and with more space to play with, we also have a great selection of inflatable bouncy play centres, including the Happy Hop Adventure Combo with slide and ball pit.

3. Getting their hands (and probably everything else) dirty

You wonder why they come home with their uniforms covered in mystery stains at the end of the day. Paint, chalk, mud, whatever they had for lunch, pen ink – you name it, and you’ve probably used stain remover to get it out at some point. Actually, good point, make sure you’ve stocked up on your laundry weapon of choice, whether it's Vanish Oxi Action spray or Stain Devils for ink.

Now it’s time to embrace your inner ‘fun parent’ and let them get stuck in! The Plum Discovery Create and Paint Children's Easel is a dream for kids: the easel features a built-in planter so they can create their own mini potted garden and learn about growing plants. To top it off, there’s also a cute bamboo wind chime for added sensory fun. Another fantastic all-in-one product for all things sensory is the Liberty House Toys 5-in-1 activity play table, which can be used for water and sand play, eating, drawing and, if you flip the top over, you’ll find a construction tabletop that is perfect for building and is compatible with all leading brick brands. It also offers every parent’s favourite word, ‘storage’, so you can happily tuck any toys and bits away inside and pretend they don’t exist. 

4. Creative (and quiet) fun

When you need something calm and quiet to keep them occupied and give your ears a rest, one of our top holiday tips for parents is to get them crafting or building to keep their busy minds buzzing but treat everyone else in the house to a bit of peace and quiet. This is also a great one for those days when the British weather just doesn’t play ball.


We have a fantastic selection of playroom furniture and activity tables, including the really versatile Liberty House Toys round table, with construction tabletop or smooth surface, plus really handy drawers underneath to keep the mess to a minimum. 

Keep their hands busy and encourage their inner Picasso with some good quality Steadtler colouring pencils or the Liberty House Toys adjustable blackboard and easel.

5. Fun with water

There’s nothing like rising temperatures and frayed tempers to get everyone hot and bothered, so keep cool and have fun with water play this summer.


Of course, don’t forget the much-needed paddling pool for cooling down on those hot days. The Bestway inflatable family pool is perfect for the whole family. 


For something a bit different the Plum Discovery water run is ideal for interactive, sensory water play and little ones can have endless fun racing objects down the bamboo chutes.  

For those really looking to commit to the theme, look no further than the ultimate garden water experience, with Happy Hop’s inflatable double water slide. With the price of tickets to theme parks and waterparks these days, think of this as a wise investment and the chance to avoid queuing next to strangers in swimwear.  You’re welcome.

And, while we’re talking inflatables, why should kids have all the fun? There’s nothing to say you can’t arm yourself with a drink, plonk yourself on an inflatable unicorn or on a lounger and pretend you’re sipping cocktails somewhere sunny and child-free.

6. Embrace the boredom

Some experts suggest it’s good for children to be bored and left to their own devices sometimes to give their imagination a bit of a workout. Great in theory but if your kids need a gentle nudge to get those creative juices flowing, maybe suggest they build a blanket fort, or send them off into a fantasy land with our selection of fun play tents. They’re available in a variety of themes, including space, castle, princess, supermarket, unicorn, fire engine, fire station, and pink playhouse. The best bit is that these handy space savers can also be disassembled or folded flat and put away when playtime has finished. 

If your little ones love nothing more than a bit of dressing up, then treat them to a dressing rail, so their costumes can have a dedicated home and provide easy access to any outfit or character your budding young thespians have in mind at any time. Definitely more inspiring than you being roped in to dig through an overflowing fancy dress box to find a missing mask/wand/shoe/tail/sword. There’s even a matching dressing table and stool set if they need an area to get ready. These living room productions take a lot of work you know!

7. Sleep under the stars at Camp Dyas

If you feel like you spend every waking minute planning meals and feeding people at the moment, mix it up and take to the barbecue or, better still, lay out those blankets or rugs and have a picnic. If you want to take it up a notch and create your own staycation, then why not let the kids play at camping? This is also a legitimate reason to make your kids sleep out in the garden…although there may be some rules about accompanying adults. 

Pitch your 4-person or 6-person tent, ramp up the comfort level with a self-inflating mat and pillow - because no one should have to sleep on the cold, hard floor these days - arm yourself with this nifty LED collapsible camping lantern, some food and marshmallows for the grill, and get ready for an adventure in your own back garden. For added peace and quiet – not to mention the all-important educational factor – let the kids dabble in a spot of star gazing with this aptly-named Discovery Adventures Explorer Telescope, while you sip something nice and cold.


If you don’t have a garden or it’s too wet to head outside, don’t let that stop you. This novelty VW camper-style pop-up tent, with a few sleeping bags, means you can transform any room indoors into your very own imaginary – but more comfortable – campsite. 


If sleeping is the last thing on anyone’s mind and the kids still have energy to burn, then just go with it, crank up the music and turn your living room camp out into a lounge disco. You should all fall into an exhausted heap by the end of it and have fun in the meantime.

8. Outdoor cinema

Another of our holiday tips for parents is to create your very own outdoor cinema. There are plenty of venues doing drive-in movies this summer to aid social distancing but, before you splurge on costly tickets just to sit in your own car, why not save some money and do it at home? Invest in some fabulous portable home projector equipment, like the Philips Neo Ultra and you could make this a weekly event, giving the kids (and you) something to look forward to. It’s also a great social event to invite friends over to, particularly as we are all still paying heed to the Government slogan; hands, face, space, fresh air.

Set the scene with strings of outdoor lights and lanterns. Put those picnic rugs to good use again with some comfy beanbags or bring the VIP experience with designated seating and keep your blankets handy to snuggle up under if you get chilly. Kids will also love the novelty of having their own pocket torch to help them find their seat.


Don’t forget a picnic basket packed full of goodies, keep drinks chilled in this Bestway inflatable cooler and make it even more authentic with your own mobile popcorn maker and refreshments on tap. Keep it Covid-friendly with little bottles of sanitiser on hand for everyone and individual picnic bowls for snacking to avoid lots of hands dipping into the popcorn. Lights down, roll film!

‘What about the parents?’ you ask. We haven’t forgotten you…

For a mini survival kit to help you recharge after a hard day, may we recommend noise cancelling headphones, a pair of stylish gin glasses  and a foot spa.

And, if all else fails, just get a shed and hide in it – we’d advise taking the gin and foot spa with you. They might not think to look in there when they are on the hunt for you because they are hungry/bored/tired/need money/can’t find something/are too lazy or young to do a job themselves (delete as appropriate). 


We’re sure some of the tips in our handy guide will help you parents out during the school holidays. With a few of these activities you’ll be well on your way to summer holiday success!