The Workingmums' guide to how to survive the summer
2. Get crafty. Now is the perfect time for the kids to make perfumes and other foul-smelling potential gifts for parents and other assorted old people for Christmas. Get a bunch of old clothes and get them to design recycled outfits, using the sleeves of one shirt with the body of another. Then put on a fashion parade. Get them to do family portraits or run an Apprentice style competition. Who knows, they might come up with a really good idea and you might be able to retire in a couple of years' time.
3. Get lists of potential activities in your area from the free kids' magazines they hand out in libraries and in your child's schoolbag which you normally only find about six months later along with the bill for keyboard lessons which they "forgot" to give you. Many of these are free or subsidised. Visit local parks. Pack a picnic [get the kids to design their own sandwich - the more outlandish the ingredients the better] and act out fairy stories or even Biff and Chip stories. Ideal if you have a dog.
4. Get them to put on a play. Suggest they write it themselves. It could take them days to rehearse, during which time you can get lots of other things done. Suggest they also design the costumes...and the scenery.
5. If childcare is a nightmare and, like most of the rest of us, you've left it to the last minute hoping someone might volunteer or you might win the Lottery in the meantime, get on the phone to your friends and organise a virtuous circle of favours. You volunteer to have their kids for a day in return for them having yours. The more friends you can rope in the better. You could end up just having to do one day in a fortnight, although this may mean you end up with a house full of 35 kids on that day. Still, 35 kids will probably mainly entertain themselves. See Number Four for suggestions of what they could do. Some sort of Greek tragedy might be entirely appropriate, given the Olympian summer theme. Good luck!