School’s out and the Summer holidays are in full swing. Here, mum and blogger Lottie Storey, from the blog Oyster & Pearl, shares her tips for keeping little ones entertained over the long vacation.
‘Muuuuuuuuuum! We’re BORED!’
The familiar cry of the Summer holidays strikes again. Far from being neglected, my kids have been to the park, to the pool and to the zoo. They’ve done trampolining and cardboard art workshops. We’ve baked cakes and made pizza from scratch. Visited friends. Been to the beach. It’s hardly boring, is it?
And yet there are times, often towards the end of the day, when they just can’t make it to bedtime without an injection of imagination. A boredom-buster.
My favourite Summer holiday saviour is the sleepover. Now, sleepovers with friends’ kids don’t often involve a huge amount of sleep. But when it’s just the two of them? Things are a bit calmer.
First, we build a den. The armchairs swivel round to create a high-walled retreat. Sheepskin rugs form a furry floor, cushions are scattered all around. White muslin curtains, throws and blankets are draped across, making for a secret hideaway. Hastily written NO ENTRY sign and easy-to-guess password optional.
Next, it’s into pyjamas. I don’t care whether it’s midday or midnight, den-dwellers have to be comfortable. A pair of soft, jersey cotton pyjamas are just the ticket. Plus, it adds something of a thrill, the kind kids and adults alike get from laughing in the face of routine.
Onto the guest list. Much-loved cuddly toys are mandatory, sitting in a circle and waiting patiently for a story. Later, they’ll be snuggled to within an inch of their furry lives as heavy lids flutter shut.
And, lastly, the menu. Interpret the ‘midnight’ in midnight feast loosely, instead opting for silly snacks that work at any time of day or night. Favourites include the sprinkle sandwich – hundreds and thousands between slices of buttered white bread and cut into stars using cookie cutters – and egg cups filled with tiny delights like jelly beans, yoghurt raisins or chocolate buttons. To drink, nothing beats a hot chocolate (even in Summer it seems) topped with mini marshmallows.
Then it’s over to them.
‘Can we sleep here tonight?’
I’ll take snoring over boring any day of the week.
Summer sleepovers: Lottie’s two boys, aged 6 and 9, enjoying a Summer holiday sleepover in their homemade den
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Lottie Storey is a writer and blogger from Bristol. Oyster & Pearl, her blog, covers family, travel, home and food and she writes freelance for beautiful magazines and websites. Find her on Twitter and Instagram as @lottie_storey.