What are your top tips for keeping the children amused in the summer holidays?
This is the first year I haven’t arranged lots of activities for the children and I’m going to see how that goes. Wish me luck eh?
My theory is, the children are old enough now to be able to amuse themselves and I’m willing to test that theory. We have a lovely garden, a trampoline and a dog, so what more could you need?
I have to work, so my deal is, I will be at my desk in the mornings, then we will go out somewhere for a break to walk the dog. If I get enough done, we can venture a little further. Then it’s back to work for the afternoon.
We have a couple of weekends away booked, but otherwise, we are at home, so I’m praying the good weather will continue. Either way, the children are going to make do with their imagination and whatever we have in the house and garden and that’s it.
What’s wrong with free play and imagination?
My mother never organised daily activities for us when we were kids. Instead, we were thrown out into the garden and told to get on with it. Children today seem to expect to have everything organised for them, which is because inevitably, they do. That doesn’t mean to say it has to always be like that though. Time for a change, me thinks.
My suggestions to keep the children amused this summer:
- Pack a picnic and send them off in to the garden for an ‘adventure’ of their choosing. If you have a tent, pitch it up, so they can play camp.
- Dig out all your old board games, seriously, once they get in to them, they’ll love it. Mine have already been playing on my old Guess Who this week.
- You can buy cheap garden toys in the Pound shops. We have cricket and rounders sets, badmington, boules, ten pin bowling. They can set up their own mini olympics.
- Fill the paddling pool. Water play never goes out of fashion.
- We’re doing the Big Read reading challenge, so a quick visit to the library to choose some books and there is another excuse not to be bored. Each book finished earns a treat, leading to a medal after six books.
- School holidays are always a good time to get out the craft boxes and if, like us, you have lots of sets of ‘make your own…’ this and ‘paint your own…’ that, now is the perfect time to get them out and let the children get on with them (even more perfect if you don’t have to oversee things).
One final word of warning, one that often catches parents out, children at home, spending everyday all day with each other, can lead to conflict. Put it this way, the novelty wears off after the first few days.
To combat this, keep them well fed, hydrated and offer a variety of the above choices for things to do so that you can separate them if necessary. This is not only for their safety, but for your sanity too.
I will report back in September to let you know how we got on. Feel free to add your own ideas for summer activities in the comments section.