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School is coming to an end and the summer holidays are looming! Here are some tips from organised parents to get summer off to a good start


School is about to end and many of us will be sending our children to stay with their grandparents or looking for summer camps and other activities in the neighbourhood to keep them occupied. Here are some tips from organised parents to get summer off to a good start.

The list…

Baptiste shows us his list of things to remember when he is preparing for his son to go and stay with his parents. “We wrote one list of everything he needs to bring and that way we are sure to remember everything. I also wrote a little guide to a typical day for my mother. That way, I’m relaxed and she is too. I understand that minding a baby can be pretty stressful!”

The activities!

Use apps like Mum in town with good ideas and tips for finding activities in your area, or group together to organise activities each week. “We are four families and our children get on well together. We co-organise the first two weeks in July and one Mum or Dad takes a day off to do one activity: a walk, the swimming pool, games… nothing complicated. It saves us taking them to activities that can be far away or expensive” explains Julie. This is a great example of co-organisation and mutual assistance at a local level. We can draw inspiration from it to break the routine of the childminder or day camp and organise a day or half-day out during the week.


What’s up Doc?

“I take my children to see our family GP for a check-up before they leave on holiday. That way, no hidden ear infections or other booboos will spoil things a week after they leave. I make the most of the visit to stock up on advice and preventive medicine. One of my children has asthma and it’s easy to handle if he has his medicine when an attack comes on; if not things can become catastrophic very quickly. I do prefer that they see the same doctor all the time rather than taking them to see someone I don’t know.”

Contacts ?

Buy bracelets for emergency contact numbers. “My younger son is a terror; he runs away if you take your eyes off him for a second. My aunt is minding him this summer, and I’m reassured if he has her and my contact details on the bracelet that he will be wearing for the entire stay.”

Equipment ?

Each child has his or her own suitcase and think useful, not varied. “I used to pack huge suitcases, but in the end they always wear the same things. So I have turned into a minimalist, but with the essential equipment: sun screen/sun hat/2 swimsuits so that 1 is always dry/ flip flops for the sand… I think practically first and foremost so that the person minding the children has the right things rather than too many outfits. And I ask the minder to do a wash before putting everything back into the suitcase: my daughters go to their father’s house afterwards and it’s better that they arrive with everything clean.” OK, I’ll add a wash to the list. That’s a good idea. After all, the person minding them is on holidays, not me! Practical !

Okay now go on holidays !

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