Sun & Sand

School is out for Summer…. As we splash into the two months of hotter temperatures, we will undoubtedly require our cooler temperaments of parenthood. 

But we’ve done it before and we’ll do it again, as parents, we somehow seamlessly cut through the rough, sometimes salty sea, and emerge triumphant with a ‘water off a duck’s back’ type of eventuality.  

Whether you are a Mum or Dad of a preschooler, junior or teen, brace yourself for a languid, long but lovely Summer remembering that in the absence of school routine, time management is essential. 

You’ve got this…..time to engage your family-manager mode and become an avid planner reawakening the organisational skills which you last had when you arranged your own wedding, it is all very doable.

The Algarve has so much for children to do in these hot summer months; there’s an array of kid-friendly beaches, the long golden stretches of Gale, the charming shallow waters of Fuseta, or the incredible island options of Armona and Farol are certainly worth a visit, amongst others. 

Day trip alternatives are plentiful with Zoo-Marine, Zoo Lagos, Krazy World…for the younger age group and Slide n Splash, Aquashow, Parque Aventura, Almancil Karting and Mini-golf courses galore, for young and old alike. More natural escapes include the wonderfully shady Loulé park, Fonte Benemola, Barragem da Santa Clara and Pego do inferno to the east. Mix these up with all the possible ‘meet ups’ at friend’s houses…. and Summer should be a breeze. While we are on the subject of breezes can we please take a moment to thank the Algarvian breeze, a truly cooling addition to our summer months.  

Mums with bumps are you hanging in there? not long to go?! One thing I can recommend here are the handful of ‘Facebook’ pages that are a contemporary source of advice and virtual companionship for many Mums’ spread along the Algarve. A whole host of Algarve resident information, forums discussing relevant topics from baby supplies to schooling, navigating every aspect of childhood from pregnancy through the school years can be found simply by searching and browsing.  

For the ladies and gentlemen who are working as well as looking after their darling daughters (DD’s) and darling sons (DS), somewhat cool abbreviations I learnt late in motherhood, all I can say is juggle and Gin. It’s the double juggle: how do working parents manage school holidays and their jobs?…..quite a feat indeed, requiring forward thinking, play dates galore, a sprinkling of holiday clubs (we hope that they can take place restriction wise) and accepting your home may look like you have lost in a game of humankind. Guiltily, when all else fails, the modern-day tech items and apps, whether iPhone based, PS4’s, Tik Tok, Fortnite, Roblox, that we so often limit all must be given some credit, as last resort necessities that instantly occupy and amuse. Work deadlines or meetings are not generally sympathetic. 

Focusing on the positive and staying present, we all are so fortunate to live in Europe’s sunny paradise. So, arm yourself with suntan spray, hats, wipes, bottles, books, towels, goggles (a big bag of survival items) and get out there and enjoy. Discover new places and visit old ones, they might have changed. 

This year there’s a multitude of holiday clubs you can explore from surf holiday clubs in Faro to tennis camps at ATF and The Campus, creative summer camps in Luz, to Forest camps and Dance camps mostly towards the west of the Algarve. Most schools like AIS, Eupheus and Nobel are running clubs too. 

Cherish the special moments with your children or bumps this Summer, spend time together, let them learn how to play with friends, siblings, or alone. Play in all these combinations is critical for development.  

It will not be long until we are sharing our summer memories in the school car parks after drop off. 

Bom verão! 

Heavenli Roberts