To me, next summer:
Have an action packed start
I originally assumed it would be best not to exhaust our summer bucket list too quickly and instead spread out activities to last the full duration. In fact, I found the first few weeks were when the plans for all day outings, etc, came in most useful. At the start of the summer holidays, you have more energy and enthusiasm, the new routine is disorienting so the thought of whole a day at home with all the kids is daunting. Save the quiet / low-key activities for the later weeks when you are exhausted and in the swing of your new summer holiday routine.
Don’t buy clothes or shoes at the start of the summer
Those clothes you bought to stash for next year in a bargain summer sale? Suddenly looking like they won’t last till this autumn. Kids grow like weeds over the summer. Don’t buy ANYTHING till late August or September. Or, if you do, always size up by a couple of years.
Let them eat snacks
I spent the first couple of weeks being really strict about sticking to appointed snack times. Half way through the summer, I could no longer be bothered to deal with hourly
conversations battles over snacks, and so I relinquished all control. There were snack times every hour. But no one was moaning. Your kids are hungry ALL THE TIME. Keep the snack cupboard freshly stocked, let them at it, and give yourself an easy life.
Don’t schedule in any important appointments over summer
I’ve lost all sense of a schedule. I am never sure what day it is or what time it is. Appointments during the summer holidays are just an extra headache to work around and are likely to be forgotten about.
You will have fun
Children do a lot of growing over summer. Physically, emotionally, and in terms of milestones. It’s an exciting and fulfilling time to be around these little people 24/7. It’s been tiring, but it’s been the best.