We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

How to relax in the school holidays

We know that life can be stressful sometimes and that too few of us make time for ourselves. Add in the challenge of entertaining young children through the endless weeks of the summer holidays and you’re on the fast track to a tension headache.

Children running on towpath Children running on towpath

But fear not. Help is at hand with our top tips for how to relax in the school holidays.

1. Channel their energies

Focus in the key word here. To tire them out is the ultimate aim. It’s all very well decamping to the park, but without something to focus on it’s all too easy for our little darlings to create their own entertainment - namely driving you and each other up the wall. Could your bright young thing become a junior lock keeper at Foxton Locks? Could you book your brood onto a canoeing course? Could they try their luck at geocaching (aka treasure hunting)? The older ones can be in charge of ‘technology’, the younger ones can be in charge of running around trying to find the cache. Ahem, if you don’t actually have any ‘older ones’ then maybe you don’t even need a proper cache…

2. There’s safety in numbers

It’s strange but it’s true; the more children there are, the less they tend to pester. Invite your children’s friends round. Better, invite your friends’ children round (ideally with Mum or Dad in tow).

3. Make a day of it

For millions of people their local canal or river provides space where they can step out of the pressures of the modern world and experience some real quality time with their loved ones. Pack a picnic, pack the suncream and make a day of it. Check out our tried and tested Places to visit for the best family days out in your area.

4. Indulge the kids

Have a film day – and we don’t just mean allow them to watch one DVD. For this to truly work you need to go the whole hog. Draw the curtains, turn off the lights and transform your living room into a cinema. Make some popcorn, curl up on the sofa and let the good times roll. If the guilt gets too much there’s always the option for educational debate afterwards. Ask them to make up an alternative ending, act out the story or draw it out as a comic strip.  

And if none of that works, you could just resort to the failsafe plan of hiding behind a cupboard eating chocolate. Works for me every time. They will be back at school soon!

Last date edited: 13 August 2015