The school summer holidays in Scotland start just before the end of June and run until almost the middle of August. Around 6.5-7 weeks for children. This would be OK if we got the nice weather to match. Unfortunately these days can often be a bit of a washout and at times we can have beautiful sunny weather when we waken up, only for it to be pouring down by lunch time. It makes for beautiful green scenery and lovely lochs but it can make it really hard to plan anything in advance. When you have three very active children who love to be outdoors, endless days of rain can be very hard to deal with.
In our house we try to ensure we get out as often as we possibly can and we don’t let a little bit of rain stop us most of the time. Just as well, since I could count on one hand the full days of sunshine we’ve had this summer break.
In the interest of making the most of things, we decided to head to the seaside yesterday. It wasn’t a nice sunny day, it was a bit overcast, but it was dry. I packed some sandwiches and snacks for the kids, a change of clothes and shoes (as J always ends up in the sea), the buckets and spades and some light rainproof jackets. We all piled into the car and set off for Troon, which is around an hour’s drive away and is one of our favourite beaches to visit. The beach is long and sandy, there’s a path along the back and there’s a good children’s play park nearby.
As we drove toward our destination we could see the clouds getting a little darker and we drove through some heavy showers. Still hoping for the best, we could see some breaks in the clouds. When we arrived we decided to get some fish & chips (an essential activity on any seaside outing!) which we ate in the car looking out to sea.
As we got ready to head out to the beach we noticed that the tide was very far in and there was very little beach! This would be fine, if we didn’t have a child obsessed with water who loves to run chest-high into any body of water he comes across. It was a good day for windsurfing and kite surfing and there were quite a few people out doing this, with the kids enjoyed looking at. Thankfully we were able to head straight for the play park, where J was happy to be lifted into a swing. It was not the most pleasant visit we’ve had to this park. There was a good breeze and a slight drizzle of rain by this point!
As you can see, the kids enjoyed themselves and didn’t seem too bothered that it wasn’t a beautiful day. After the swings the boys headed off to play on the pirate ship until the rain became too heavy and we were forced to head back to the car! We stayed in the car for a bit to see if the rain would go off again but eventually called it a day and headed off home. If nothing else, the kids enjoyed the car journey and it at least got us out of the house for a while. They got some fresh air and J got his much-loved play on the swings. The crashing waves outside and the sound of the rain on the window is something I love (from the safety and warmth of the inside of the car!)
This made me think about how we get through these days, especially when they seem to go on and on. Partly you just need to be adventurous and brave the adverse weather conditions at times. Other than that, you need to be well prepared!
Here are my key things for surviving our summers when the weather is bad:
- Always invest in lightweight rain jackets. (The jackets we have for our boys are: Regatta Lightweight Waterproof Hooded Jacket) Just because it’s raining doesn’t make it cold and they are more likely to keep these on.
- Pack a change of clothes in case an unexpected downpour catches you out and you get soaked!
- Don’t head too far away, an hour’s journey is more than enough if you will only be able to stay for a short time.
- Have some back-up plans or activities; such as knowing/researching nearby indoor attractions or soft play centres at your destination, in case you can’t get out at all. (This site is good for finding/searching activities, it covers all over the UK too: Days Out With Kids)
- Have some craft or fun activities at home that you can fall back on if you have to head home early or if you aren’t able to head out at all. My favourites are: paints (B prefers to use a paint pallette – Anker Paint PalletteEdit), cake mix, play dough (ours is-Peppa Pig Dough Case) and colouring/sticker books. B always love stamps or stencils too.
The links relating to jackets, paint and play dough on this page are affiliate links, which can help to support the site. The items are items which we actually own and use, they were not selected to suit affiliate links. All opinions and ideas are my own.