EMMA HOLLINGWORTH: What to do? A Highland break followed by a park duck race...

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ONCE again holiday time seems to be just around the corner and once again I am wondering what on earth I am going so my three young tearaways don’t get bored.

Already I can hear the eldest whining around my heels saying: “I’m bored mum”.

At which point I will desperately try and think of things to do off the top of my head: “Why don’t you go and play outside my love?”

“Because it’s raining mum.”

“Then what about playing one of your board games or making a jigsaw then?” Which will be met with a withering look and she will insist that instead she does something very messy – like baking or painting. Which I am sure to say “no” to, as I will no doubt be in the middle of washing or cleaning and don’t need the extra hassle of trying to stop the baby from eating the paints or opening the oven door. Oh joy. I love the holidays!

Already the first signs that it is holiday time are here. First I managed to get a seat without any problem on the bus this morning. A bus that seemed unusually quiet. It also seemed earlier than usual and seemed to be quicker on its route into town.

It took me 10 minutes to realise that this was because the private school children, who normally use the service, were not on the bus. They are already on holiday.

This year we have actually planned to do something with the family and we are going away. Hurrah! We have booked a nice little cottage in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. We will be able to ride our bikes, pony trek and take long picturesque walks.

On the down side it will take us about seven hours to reach our destination. We’ll just have to make sure we have lots of car games – like ‘I Spy’ and ‘What Am I?’.

Then when we come back I’m planning a list of things to do with the children. This will include visiting the local farm for a lambing day as well as taking part in a number of events – like the annual Easter Monday duck race – in Endcliffe Park.

Sheffield City Council has organised a host of ‘Family Time’ free events as part of its ESCAL (Every Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate) campaign. This includes a Little Library Bus at Darnall Children’s Centre; Art in the Park at Gleadless Valley; den building in Firth Park; African drumming in Burngreave and making clay moulds of little feet and hands in Sheffield Cathedral.

For details visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/familytime