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Apparently Fear Of the Summer Holidays (FOSH) is a thing, but the folks at Hoop reckon they can help
Max Jennings, founder of the Hoop app that pulls together tons of family activities offers his top tips for dads entertaining their kids in the summer break.
FOSH (Fear of the School Holidays) is sweeping the nation. Hoop spoke to parents across the UK, and found that 1 in 4 dread the summer holidays.
As this six-week summer school holiday gets underway, the panic and pressure on parents is building. Childcare costs, filling the time with entertainment for the kids, managing an even more hectic work/ life balance, keeping kids off screens and travelling with kids contribute to FOSH. In fact for some parents, the fear of the summer holidays are worse than a flying, needles, snakes and enclosed spaces.
Our research found that the biggest struggles for parents include keeping the kids entertained, balancing childcare with work, and money concerns – which affects over 66% of parents in the summer – 59% of Dads in particular.
This summer, we’ve got 3 million minutes of free kids activities happening on Hoop to help parents navigate the summer holidays this year. Whatever your kids love to do, or perhaps they don’t know they love it yet because there’s something new to try, you’ll be surprised at what’s available in your area that’s affordable too.
For dads on childcare duty at any point this summer, here are some tips to navigate the holidays and keep FOSH at bay!
1. Money saving starts before you leave the house!
When planning a day out, avoid wasting money at over-priced cafes or concession stalls. Invest in good tupperware and remember to pack a lunch and lots of snacks for the whole family. Most families end up spending more on snacks and lunch than the activity they attend.
2. Get organised and plan ahead.
Use Hoop’s search by date functionality or the Free Activities search to find the free and affordable things happening near where you live. Some of the best free activities are on a first-come, first-served basis.
3. If your child has a passion for arts and crafts, then you’ll be amazed how many free classes and events take place at local museums and galleries.
From the British Museum in London to the Baltic Art Gallery in Gateshead, most museums and galleries run regular family events and programmes that build on their adult programme of shows and exhibitions. Typically ran by experts, they are an affordable and educational way to spend the day.
4. Saturday mornings are the best time to take your kids to the cinema.
This is when the big cinema chains run special kids screenings of recent family favourites. These kids club screenings are a bargain, costing just a couple of pounds for both adults and children.
5. Over 40% of families worried about their kids not doing enough activity over the holiday period.
Getting your kids active over the holidays doesn’t have to involve structured sports classes and camps, but if you’re looking for something organised there’s thousands of fun activities to get your child into the habit of staying active.
Junior Park Run is a free fun run that children aged 4-14yrs can take part each week across the country. The 2km run events are well organised and are a free, effective way to get your kids thinking about healthy habits.
6. When was the last time you visited your local library?
Not only are local libraries a great way to get your kids into reading, they’re also home to family activities from book readings and lego play to coding classes all for free.
7. City farms are a wonderful and free way to kids your kids a taste of the countryside.
Typically free to visit, kids can get face to face with pigs, sheep, cows, rabbits and more. Many city farms also run hands-on programmes for kids to learn about nature and help with the day-to-day running of the farm.
8. You’ll be surprised how many of your favourite stores run regular free kids activities.
Good examples of free events at nationwide chains include the Apple Stores free coding camps, Cass Art’s art classes and Pets at Home, that runs small animal workshops throughout the year.
9. Have you checked out your local adventure playground?
Specially designed playgrounds for slightly older children (7yrs+), these are great places for kids to climb, explore and play. Ran by local authorities they may have a nominal fee to enter, and unlike playgrounds in your local park, they have specific opening times so always check hours of access before visiting.
10. Check Hoop for all the summer festivals, fêtes, family days and carnivals near you.
Summer is the time when local councils, community centres and fire stations host their annual family friendly festivals and open days. From huge events like London’s Notting Hill Carnival to small local community parties, these are guaranteed to be a fun family day out.