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Routine or relax over the summer?

I really enjoyed watching this clip the other day.

It's about whether you stuff your children's summer holidays with activities or just go with the flow and just chill. It's an interesting subject and it got me thinking about where I stand on this as a mother.

As Perform provides drama holiday courses for over a thousand children every summer, I get to see first-hand the huge benefits children derive from taking part in specialised activities. And I also want my kids to have the chance to enjoy organised activities too. I believe it's really valuable having proper time to commit to something and make non-school-related friends.

I really remember as a child going on week-long dance courses. Starting on Day 1 knowing no-one and coming out on Day 5 with new best friends. It was amazing for my confidence and I got proper time to work at something I loved without having school commitments going on at the same time. The fact that I remember these courses that I did over 20 years ago, shows how much of an impact they must have had on me.

However, I also appreciate the value of going where the day takes you. There's nothing better than waking up in the morning with nothing to do and the whole day stretching out ahead of you. Putting on your sun-hat (if it's sunny) or your wellies (if it's rainy) and going to the park. Or if it's really hot, getting the hose-pipe and paddling pool out. Having no set routine can be a wonderful and refreshing change from the term-time stresses and strains of the school run/dash to work etc.

One of the mums in the video said that being bored can lead to creativity and there's a lot of truth in that. I remember making up games in the back garden with my friends as a child because we were bored of playing all our normal games. We'd have to use our imaginations instead. I'm sure that, if we'd been doing stimulated activities, we'd have never made that amazing den in the sally rhubarbs which I'll remember forever.

So where do you stand in this debate? Have you got every week in the summer holidays planned out? Holidays/ trips/courses booked in the whole time? Do you have to get your diary out if someone asks you over for a playdate? Or is the summer for you a huge long chill where anything goes?

With my own children I think I fall somewhere in between - though probably slightly more on the side of organised activities because I do like a plan and want my kids to experience all the amazing things that are out there. But I do try not to overbook because I appreciate the value of letting them just ?be' and make their own entertainment.

Either way, I'd be really keen to hear your comments.

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