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The summer holiday challenge

dad and children walking

The long summer break is almost here.  The kids are probably celebrating no more school for weeks (at that age, weeks seems like forever!), but as a parent the holiday period means careful planning – especially if you both work.


Of course, some of the time may be allocated to your family holiday, whether that’s a foreign jaunt or a staycation, but what about the rest of the time?


Play dates with friends are only going to take up some of the time and most parents worry that their children will:

  • Spend too much time on their electronic devices
  • Get up too late
  • Get bored
  • Develop habits that may not be ideal in the longer term

But avoiding these pitfalls can cast any parent in the role of the nagging ogre who is constantly complaining – and you don’t want to go there.  So how about a family challenge?


This is a mix of tasks and achievements that the whole family can embrace.  There’s still a bit of planning needed, but you might be surprised at how your family (including the grown-ups) get involved once they get started.

How does it work?

Step 1:  A family ‘meeting’ to discuss:


  • What each member of the family would like to do during the school holidays – this can be activities or a personal challenge, for instance being able to run 5 km or learning to knit.
  • What each member of the family would like other members of the family to contribute to maintaining the home – if everyone helps, there’ll be more time for fun stuff.
  • What places each member would like to visit within a specified distance from home. This will need to include a budget for each expedition and how younger members of the family might ‘earn’ their contribution to this budget (perhaps a points system that equates to a money value).

Everyone needs to commit to doing their share of responsibilities around the house, in order for everyone to enjoy the fun activities.


Each member of the family might set themselves weekly goals – not so big that they’re unachievable, but maybe something that stretches them a bit.


Step 2:  Recording the goals.  Whether this is on paper or on a spreadsheet, there needs to be some way to track progress.


When the goals are written down, get everyone to sign the paper (yes, that means you too).


Step 3:  Keeping track.  Every family has their own way of doing this.  Perhaps you could have a rota for keeping track each week, so everyone takes turns.

Review progress weekly

Don’t wait for the end of the holidays to see how people are doing.  Everyone needs a bit of support for their personal challenges and, perhaps, goals may need tweaking along the way.  Also a weekly review is a great point to praise achievements.


Doing a family challenge is a fantastic way to have a summer holiday that everyone can look back on and be proud of what they’ve all achieved, as well as having lots of wonderful memories.