Six weeks, 42 days or 1008 hours.
That's the length of time, over the summer holidays, that many parents have to keep their mini-mes entertained.
Whether you consider it daunting or delightful, most parents will be thinking how they can occupy their children's time and reduce tears and tantrums.
There is a plethora of summer kid's activities to choose from including many that are free. The challenge for any parent is finding the right ones for your children.
Last month parents involved with our Family Blogger Network, were busily planning and finding pockets of fun in every corner of the UK. We thought we’d share their expert advice on tips for keeping the family busy during the holidays.
Getting back to nature is always educational, occasionally muddy and, with the right attitude, plenty of fun.
Pets plus kids equals memorable family time, according to Melanie Hunt. She has found that “taking the dog for long walks”, is a great way to have “the best chats and singsongs” with her family. Alternatively, you could consider exercising your green fingers by 'starting a vegetable garden' like Gemma Mills.
Palaces and pillow forts
Have you ever wondered how the royals live? Rosalind Sargent’s family do. She suggests “taking a beautiful stroll around Hampton Court Palace”. In the heart of Surrey, the palace has a rich tapestry of information about its historic royal residents. Better yet, children under five get in free!
An alternative to leaving the house, you could grab the duvets, pillows and torches and “try the camping experience indoors”, says Nichola Crowe. How about a Pillow Fort? “Set up the kids’ tent, make a picnic and let them sleep downstairs for the night".
Nope, we don’t mean doing the laundry! Give your children a specialist skill this holiday: What about poi? The Maori word for "ball" on a cord. “Make poi and learn how to spin them (videos are online)”, advises Hazel Rea, but hide the lamps, “you can make soft ones to use indoors”.
If you’re still feeling inspired by last summer’s major sporting events, visit one of the UK’s velodromes. There is one in Manchester, Newport and Herne Hill, or “cycle to the country park” and hit the cycle paths like Susan Freeman and her nephew.
The land of make believe
Hold “a family dance in the living room” like Rebecca Foster, or make “fancy dress from old boxes, bags, ribbons and gift wrap”, like Rachel. It could do wonders for your little one's imagination.
Even babies can get in on the act, says Emma Jane Ann Nelson, who commented: "Filling the bathtub up with bubbles, plastic pots, pans and turning the bubble machine on makes my little man’s day!"
From egg painting to “pom pom animals” with Helen Swales, it's time to raid the reliable artbox and get crafty.
However, if you become glitter saturated, why not try junk modelling! Alex Telford has been re-fashioning items since he was young - “We managed to get a big box to make a car and we’re going to paint it, with five paper plates for wheels and a steering wheel”.
A final few fill up the 42+ days…
Whatever the weather, activities abound! Fancy dress, blowing bubbles and baking cakes are British pastimes you can appreciate again and again. Remember, when it comes to British history, beauty and wildlife, there’s always something new to discover.
Get online and search for opportunities in your area. Find something that captures their imagination and your little ones will be busy for hours!
This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.