Schools out for summer…

How I remember the last few days of term. The feeling of walking through sticky, thick treacle desperately trying to reach the finishing line called the summer holidays!

Teacher’s literally count the seconds until they can switch off the early morning alarm, remind their family and friends they exist and actually remember what it is like to have a life for a few short weeks.

This, however is a different story for many parents. Six weeks of finding cover for your children while you still go to work. Six weeks of finding activities that won’t bankrupt you. Six weeks of trying to keep your own business going while occupying the offspring. Six weeks of arguments, dodgy weather, packing for the family holiday and shopping for new uniforms are amongst the things you can look forward to.  And then when the six weeks is finally over and you can pack the kids back off to school they don’t want to go!  Tears, tantrums, nightmares (and that is just the teachers) can take over.

So what can you do to avoid this?

Encourage your children to read something every day
Story books, magazines, comics, notice boards in the playground, information in museums, it doesn’t matter what.  Anything to keep them engaged in language. Remember trying to learn a second language? The more you read, the more you understood but leave it for even a couple of weeks and words and phrases get forgotten. It’s the same for children.
Most local libraries have some kind of activities on during the holidays. The same goes for bookshops. Lots of shopping centres are also doing all they can to encourage reading with reading trees and reading zones.
And there are also other events that encourage books/reading (here goes with the shameful plug). Every Tuesday and Wednesday of the holidays Little Lamb Tales is providing FREE storytelling based around different themes at The Bridge Chapel Centre in Garston, Liverpool. They also have FREE softplay for 4 year olds and under.

Encourage your children to do some writing every day. The hands are full of muscles and if they don’t get used, they get tired easily. The first few days back at school can be exhausting enough without your hands screaming at the thought of holding a pen. Send postcards, ask them to write your shopping list, let them write invites to their friends if they are coming for tea, send letters! Make it fun!
Making up treasure hunts with clues is another great way to encourage writing. And in the garden or outdoors there are endless opportunities to keep those hand muscles in tip top shape…
water guns, pegging out the washing, drawing with chalk, water bottles to spray on a wall, a large old sheet and crayola pens (these wash out so you can start a new picture or story each time). The choices are endless really.

Keep talking about school. Keep a fun count down to show going back to school dates. Remind children how much they enjoy seeing their friends every day, how much they love playing in the playground, how they love their teacher. If school is seen as a positive thing to look forward to that first morning back in September won’t be so bad.

And if you are already pulling your hair out and see the next 5 weeks stretching out for eternity try a little escapism with our weekly free storyblog. Sometimes five minutes peace is enough!

Happy holidays everyone!

For more information about storytelling, phonics, reading, creative writing or Little Lamb in general please visit

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