With the summer holidays already looming in all parent’s minds, the question arises: How are we going to keep the kids entertained when they have been home for so long already?
When the lockdown was in place, all films and games played at home have already been exhaustedly watched or played, and the arguing has probably never ceased. Hopefully, the weather will be good for us all, and the kids will be able to go out and play together in the open air. They have probably all have missed that all-important social interaction with their friends.
For the first time in many years, kicking a ball around a field probably seems quite appealing, but we all know that for many kids, this is just a passing phase.
So, what can we plan to help get us all through the summer holidays with some form of sanity?
#1 Make a countryside or seaside walk interesting and fun for the kids
If you have a lovely stoney beach within a short drive, get the kids hunting for coloured stones, shells, or even fossils. If there are rock pools, ask the kids to keep a check on what they see, maybe ask them to take photos of any wildlife or different types of seaweed. If you have a lovely sandy beach and it’s not too busy, maybe get their imagination going and see if they can do some sand sculptures – it doesn’t have to be just boring sandcastles.
If you’re planning a countryside visit, encourage your kids to take photos of the scenery or any wildlife. Maybe foster their imagination and get them telling a fantasy story that each can join in with about their current surroundings and what imaginary beasts could be lurking hidden in the trees (even if the beasts do happen to be just 2 inches long)
If you’re thinking about this kind of outdoor entertainment, don’t forget the picnic – you could always see if the kids would like to help you plan the food and make it and have a complete family organised day.
#2 Planning an indoors games day tournament
For the rainy days, you could plan an indoor games day tournament. There are many types of games out there, whether console, board or something different, like a virtual pinball machine. Take your turn in playing ‘best out of three’ or ‘best of five’ types of competitions, and make sure the winner gets a handsome prize, but to save on arguments – get some runner-up prizes too, so nobody is left out – or make the prize choosing the next game to be played.
#3 Visit some local museums or places of interest
Plan a day looking at a couple of museums or local places of interest. Choosing a museum with the kids may help in taking them somewhere they may find of interest and may spark a deeper interest in. make sure that you talk to them about what they are seeing and bring it to life.
A castle or ruins is always a good option. There are many stories to tell around a castle or its ruins. Even if you aren’t actually sure of its true history, you can always plunge the kids into a world of fantasy with dragons, fights, and other exciting tales.
#4 Go on a bug hunt
Every kid likes a good old-fashioned bug hunt, and this can be carried out anywhere – it is even better nowadays with the use of digital cameras and mobile phones. There is on-the-spot access to the internet, so your little explorers can find out exactly what they are looking at and all about that particular bug. The added bonus here is getting them to design and make the perfect little bug hut or hotel and see who comes to visit over a period of time.
#5 Outdoor games
For those days where you don’t want to go too far, but the weather is OK, you can always invest in some outdoor games. With giant skittles, boules, Jenga, and croquet, to name just a few, there are many different games and all for multiple players. Supplying a picnic to have in the garden can also add a bit of difference to the day and make it seem a bit more fun.
So planning ahead is the name of the game. Ensure that wherever and whatever you decide to do with your kids, you take plenty of food and drink. Please also remember if there aren’t any bins available to take your rubbish home with you and dispose of it properly.