Dads Round-up: Summer holidays & back to school

The summer holidays are over and for those of us with school-age children it’s time to send them through the gates to start another academic year. How have my fellow dads whiled away those long summer days and kept the kids entertained? And how do they feel about the new school year? Let’s find out.

I know what we did this summer …

It’s said that you can never start kids travelling too young. Two of our three children flew to Australia before their first birthdays. Which is, admittedly, a bit extreme but there are lots of experiences babies can be introduced to closer to home. Stephen (NomadiDaddy) took his baby son Atlas to the Barefoot Festival in Leicestershire and vlogged about it. Stuart (Father-Hood) went to Tenerife with his 18-month-old son and reflected on the nine most important lessons he learned from the experience, including the virtues of tablets (the iPad variety, not pills) and breaking free of the usual routines.

The British weather being what it is, we can never be sure how long summer will last. Which makes it all the more important to take advantage of the great outdoors whenever the occasion arises. David (Potty Adventures) tried out hammock camping in the wild for the first time with his 3-year-old son Jesse. You’re a braver man than I am, David!

On a more conventional note, summer holiday activities ranged from both domestic days out – such as Darren’s (Photalife) trip to Welsh Mountain Zoo or Phil’s (Corporate Dad) family day out to The Printworks in Manchester – to Gareth’s (That Marketing Punk) trip to Primorsko, Bulgaria to visit the in-laws. I wonder if Gareth checked out Benny’s (Daddy Poppins) truths about flying with kids before heading to the airport?

Leigh (DadGeek) wrote a series of blog posts about his family holiday to Wales and also offered a list of five movies to help kids get through to the end of the holidays. How many have you and your children seen? (Ours have watched four out of five.)

And as Michael (This Real Life Dad) discovered, something as apparently straightforward as taking two under-threes for a day at the beach is frequently anything but, especially when you’re feeling under the weather yourself.

Back to school

When you work from home. school holidays can be quite challenging and those three little words ‘back to school’ can seem like a blessed relief. Tom (Diary of the Dad) for one welcomed a return to something resembling a normal routine

For others, however, the return of packed lunches and school run mayhem is less welcome. Especially when you have kids who seem determined to do everything at the last minute – or, indeed, five minutes later than ‘the last minute’ – which, let’s face it, is pretty much all of us. Nigel (DIY Daddy) is vowing to stay calm between 8 and 8:30 every weekday morning. Let us know how long that lasts, Nige …

Finally, it’s easy for those of us with a few years of first-days-of-school under our belts to be a bit jaded every time early September rolls around. But every year there are thousands of parents who experience that heady mix of excitement and utter dread as their child enters school for the first time. It’s a feeling that Andrew (MadDadSkillz) captures perfectly. We look forward to hearing about how both father and son coped with the experience – we’re right there with you. It will be the Christmas break before you know it!

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About Tim Liew

Tim, also known as @thatchamdad, is a blogger, a podcaster, a father of three (aged 11, 9 and 7) and a master of none. By his own admission he’s forever stuck somewhere in the mid-1980s, probably a Thursday. In between bouts of nostalgia, complaining about his aching joints and compiling endless music playlists, he has been writing about his experiences as a working dad on his blog Slouching towards Thatcham since 2008.