Oliver Duff

i Editor's Letter: Keeping the kids entertained over the summer

 

Share

“Are we nearly there?”

“No, we’re at Aylesbury.”

Remember those glorious  summers when six weeks opened up before you like an eternity? Envy blinds, so I salute all those i readers – teachers, school staff and students – who will be skipping out through the gates, past smouldering piles of exercise books, over the next few days.

For parents of young children, of course, the last week of July arrives with a mix of excitement and dread. How can they be entertained for a month-and-a-half? Without obliging grandparents, childcare can be a nightmare. Even if you’re prepared and able to pay the earth, there are only enough holiday clubs or child-minders for one in every 15 kids. Recent research suggested that one parent in six calls in sick in August  to look after their offspring.

I remember fondly the roar of Atlantic rain travelling horizontally across a Cornish beach. In time, of course, we became adept at entertaining ourselves. Gunge ’Em in the Dungeon was a favourite – sending the youngest brother to the bottom of the garage steps to await the bucket of cold mud and broken apples when he couldn’t name the capital of Peru. Then there was the memorable discovery, in undergrowth at the Rec, of a small library of gentlemen’s publications. One of the more excitable day trips was the afternoon at the brook, when middle-Duff blew off his eyebrows while experimenting with a Lynx can and a lighter.

For those with little monsters to entertain, you have all that to look forward to. As for this summer: the VisitBritain website is helpful, and later this week we will publish two pages of kids’ days out.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter: @olyduff

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Read Next
An image grab of journalist John Cantlie taken from a video released by the Islamic State (IS) group through Al-Furqan Media via YouTube  

John Cantlie: He was caught while going back to see the fighters who freed him

Kim Sengupta
Isis fighters celebrate in Syria’s northern Raqqa province in June after capturing territory in neighbouring  

Islamic State: ‘The world cares nothing’ for Syrian city under Isis siege

Patrick cockburn
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week