This is the first year, since my own student days, that I have had to concern myself with "school summer holidays". Little R, my 4 year old daughter, has just finished at the preschool attached to the primary school she will attend in September - "big school", as she calls it.
How to fill those six weeks? Well, we have planned the usual activities - library visits, visits to the park, splashing about in the paddling pool, pottering around the house, TV/DVD/iPad/toys, museum/farm/PYO/gallery trips. We've already spent a week on the Suffolk coast. But I see the holidays as an opportunity for little R to try new things.
My daughter does gymnastics and multiskills classes twice a week after school during term time and loves them. These activities have boosted her physical confidence and strength, which she needs because she was never a child to climb shelves and jump from the top of a climbing frame; she never even liked to ride a scooter or bike on her own. So gym and multiskills have been essential for her physical development. But she loves dancing and singing too, and she is constantly acting out various roles in her own games of make believe. So I thought the long holiday would be a great opportunity for her to develop these skills.
As of today, she is starting a week of ballet. A couple of weeks later, she will try drama. A week after that, she'll take a singing workshop. In between, she'll also spend a week with Grandma (and me) in Shropshire and many, many days playing with friends, pottering about at home and storming around the garden/museums/parks. She'll get time with friends, time with us and time to potter by herself. A good balance.
And I will still be able to get some vital writing time in.