As much as we’ve loved spending time as a family, the six weeks can definitely start to drag. Its a pretty long time to be finding constant entertainment for the little ones (especially given how temperamental our British summers can be).
So, it’s been fun, but we can’t say we’re too gutted to have the kids back at school. Just think about all the free time that you’ll have - which would normally have been spent cooking, cleaning, playing and 24-hour-childminding.
What will you treat yourself to during these new-found leisure hours?
For some parents, it’s natural to feel a little daunted but the idea of an empty home. As much as we joke about the relief of having them out of our hair for a bit, we always miss the kids when they’re gone.
In fact, for many stay-at-home parents, trying to decide how to fill these extra hours will have been pretty challenging.
For any parents who are nervous about the start of the back to school season, or are generally a bit stuck for fun ideas, this blog is written with you in mind.
Read on to find our 15 favourite ways to entertain yourself (and get stuck into some home improvement jobs) while the kids are back at school.
1. Enjoy your independenceOk, so this first one isn’t really an activity as such. But, it’s such an important point to make. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself. Relish your independence and savour this bit of alone time (it won’t last long, after all!).
2. Store cupboard stock rotationOur store cupboards have been long-neglected over the summer. When we’re busy, we tend to just shove things in, so that we can move on to the next task.
So now, we’d recommend emptying out your cupboards and sorting what’s inside. Remove anything that’s out of date, bring the opened stuff forwards and put the brand new stuff to the back, so that you can rotate everything.
3. Organise a spice rackSpices will make a world of difference to your cooking. So, while you’ve got the chance, invest in a spice rack, then organise all of your kitchen spices in an easy-to-use way. Then, come dinner time, you’ll have everything on hand.
4. Label your pantry essentials
Because how many times have we mistaken flour for icing sugar?
Create some labels to stick on your pantry essentials. These include baking ingredients like plain flour, self raising flour, bread flour, icing sugar, yeast bicarbonate of soda and baking powder, as well as things like salt, grains, pulses, rice, pasta, and anything else that you use regularly. Trust us, you’ll be so satisfied with the results.
5. Set up a FridgeCam
A FridgeCam will totally revolutionise the way that you use your kitchen. With it, you can improve the organisation of your food shops, reduce your food waste and generally keep on top of what you’ve got in stock.
It’s super easy to install - just fit it into your fridge or cupboards, plug it in and you’re all set!
6. Try bakingBaking is such a soothing and rewarding skill, so use this time to perfect your baking ability.
If you want some recipe ideas to get you started, check out our No Bake Key Lime Pie and Morning Matcha Cake blog posts.
7. Meal prepUse this chance to save yourself stress during the evenings. During the day, meal prep for the kids’ lunches and your evening meals. You can do this by chopping veg ready, getting the ingredients set to go, or even cooking the full meal in advance (which is a lot more fun when the kitchen’s quiet!).
8. Discover new meal recipesIf you’re guilty of just sticking to the same go-to recipes for dinners, try shaking it up a bit.
Browse the web for meal inspiration and try your hand at a new dish or cooking technique.
9. Clean those hard to reach placesIt’s so satisfying when your whole house feels totally spick and span.
While your kids aren’t getting in the way, try cleaning neglected areas like underneath the cabinets, on top of the wardrobes, or under the sofa cushions (to give you a few starting points).
10. Defrost the freezerWe almost NEVER get the chance to do this when we’re busy. But it’s such an important job! So, dedicate a day to emptying and defrosting the freezer. Then, use up the food that’s in there for your week’s meals.
11. Re-paint a roomThis is a full-day job, but you’ll be so pleased you did it! And it’ll be so much faster to get it done while you’re home-alone, too.
12. Touch up any scuffs on the wallsOr, if you don’t fancy tackling a whole room, going over scuffs, marks and stains is a great way to breathe new life into your home. Simply paint over them with a small paintbrush and one coat of your wall paint. You’ll be amazed how much cleaner and neater it looks.
13. Get ahead on the laundryThis is another job that’s infinitely easier when no one else is around. Plus, it’ll give you more free time in the evening to spend with your family.
14. Start growing some new plantersTest out your gardening abilities by adding some new planters to your garden. Or, you could add some personality to your kitchen by growing a few windowsill plants there - you can even use the herbs in your cooking, too!
15. Improve your home hot drinksBy setting up the iKettle when you’ve got a spare moment, you’ll save yourself endless time during those busy mornings - your future self will thank you!
With the iKettle, you can automate your hot drink-making, and get the kettle boiled with just a few taps on your phone. It’s never been easier to make a morning cuppa on a hectic school day.
We hope that our list has given you plenty of inspiration - and the chance to enjoy your well-deserved breaks!
One of the quickest and yet most impressive ways to spark new life into your home is creating your own smart kitchen.
Not only are they one of the top modern kitchen design trends, but smart kitchens are unbelievably useful. Trust us when we say that, once you’ve created one, you’ll never look back.
Our innovative collection of smart kitchen devices allow you to transform your kitchen, using modern technology to totally evolve your daily routine.
To get started on your kitchen transformation, visit our online shop (you can even set it all up during a school day to surprise the kids when they get back, boy will they be impressed!).
Written by Josephine Walbank