The summer holidays are upon us and it’s sometimes hard to know what to do with then children. Don’t worry we have some brilliant ideas for you to do this summer holidays.
If you want to get out and about this summer there are plenty of events going on throughout the country.
Old Winchester Hill National Nature Reserve, Hayden Lane, near Warnford, Hampshire, SO32 3LF
Can you jump like a grasshopper, run like a beetle, flutter like a butterfly, dance like a bee, hunt like a dragonfly? Come for our mini-beastastic activity session, play some marvellous mini-beast games, uncover some mini-beast mysteries – about dancing bees & farming ants!
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Join Mowgli on his wonderful adventures with the loveable and wise Baloo the Bear, the powerful panther Bagheera, not to mention mischievous monkeys and the terrifying tiger Shere Khan! A guaranteed summer hit for all the family.
As part of National Play Day we are hosting a hungry bug play day! Have a go at our butterfly hunt, make yourself a caterpillar hat, and enjoy our bug-themed play area. Why not bring along a picnic to enjoy in the castle grounds – because all us bugs get hungry after a good play!
Cattows Farm, Heather, Leicestershire LE67 2RF
WOW! 2014 – and now entering our FIFTH year, Strawberry Fields Festival is widely regarded as one of the fastest growing and most exciting independent festivals in the UK.
Stanmer Park, Brighton
Little Monsters Bash is a fun festival for mini festival goers aged between 0-10 years old and their families. The event is being held at the glorious grounds of Stanmer Park in Brighton, East Sussex on Saturday 9th August 2014. Enjoy the main stage hosting a variety of celebrity live acts and shows or visit one of our many specific Monster zones which have their own entertainment schedule and activities which are free for visitors to participate in. Families who attend get to enjoy a fantastic fun day out, where children get to enjoy interactive learning and play as well as having fun!
Brockholes, Samlesbury, Preston
This Hobbit themed adventure is guaranteed to excite and entertain the whole family whether they are seven or 77!
Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD
A visit to the Summer Exhibition is the perfect way to introduce your children to art, bringing together some of the most exciting work being created right now. From sculptures and paintings to drawings, prints and photography – prepare to be inspired! Book now to take part in a fun interactive tour of the galleries, led by our engaging artist-educators, followed by an art making session inspired by the works on display in the Summer Exhibition.
Enjoy this once a year exclusive family opportunity to cycle around the picturesque Parkland of Blenheim Palace, a World Heritage site. Bring your bicycles (and helmets) and cycle around the spectacular Lake and over the Grand Bridge, take in the scenery and fresh air, stop for a picnic and make it a day to remember.
Burley Park, Burley, Hampshire
Come and join us for a friendly uplifting fun weekend. Enjoy the magik in the enchanting home of the New Forest Fairies.
Live acoustic music, Folk bands, Morris dancers, story telling, belling dancing, Platform Mediumship, lots of activities and workshops will heighten our senses with love and joy. Let your spirit run wild and free!
Dress in your finest fairy and elf costumes and be sprinkled with Magik Fairy Dust!
Five day fun for all the family returns to Paignton Green
There’ll be fun and entertainment for all the family as Torbay Children’s Week returns to Paignton Green.
23rd August – Family Fun Day from 11am. Fireworks display at 9pm!
Closer to Home
If you want to stay closer to home then make the most of your local facilities.
This year’s summer reading challenge is Mythical Maze .
The Summer Reading Challenge takes place every year during the summer holidays. You can sign up at your local library, then read six library books of your choice, collecting stickers and other rewards along the way – all FREE.
Why not set your family a challenge to do at least one of the 50 things this summer. Many of them can be done in your garden or Local Park. You can register online and track your progress
There is no better way to cool down then taking a swim. Check your local authority site to see if they have any free swimming offers on this summer.
Go Camping In Your Back Yard
Pitch your tent in your garden and have camping adventure. Sing songs, tell stories and toast marshmallows on a fire (or BBQ).
Go On a Picnic
Pack a picnic and spend the day at your Local Park or forest. If you don’t fancy going too far then have it in your garden or even on your living room floor if the weather is wet.
Let’s face it you don’t want to be out all the time. We all love a lazy day at home especially when the weather is looking grim.
There is nothing better than baking (and eating) cakes. Try out fairy cake recipe or for something more savoury give our cheese scones a go.
Get the glue and paint out and let your little ones get creative. Make your own play dough or make a flower bookmark.
Family Film Time
Pop some popcorn, snuggle on the sofa at watch a film. Bored of the films you have? Why not have a film swap with friends! You can hire films from your local library.
Sign up for a free month’s trial with one of the film streaming companies and watch as many films as you like.
NOWTV – Free one month for Sky Movies get all the live movies plus movies on demand
Netflix – Free one month trail
Amazon Prime Instant Video – Free one month trail
Fun & Games
Get the board games out and have fun. If the weather is nice play them in the garden. Charity shops are a good place to pick up cheap games or have a games swap with friends.
Give our animal pairs game a go. Just print, cut out and play.
Whatever you do this Summer have an amazing time!
Next week see’s the start of Walk to School Week. Here at Kids One Stop Shop we want to help encourage you to leave your car at home and get walking.
Here are some tips on how to make Walk to School Week easy and fun.
If you are walking instead of taking the car you will have to leave earlier so make sure you plan for the earlier start time.
Check the weather the night before to see if you need wellies or your sun hats
Make sure have a drink, walking can be thirsty work.
Go with friends to make it fun. Encourage other parents to join in and go together.
Why not technically walking if your child is not too keen why not let them take their scooter.
Play games on the way like eye spy it will make the time pass quicker.
Turn your walk into a nature trail with our free printable below. Go on the hunt for bugs, flowers and other interesting things.
Half term is upon which means two things:
1) Keeping the kids entertained
2) Doing that without breaking the bank
Here at Kids One Stop Shop we think you can lots of fun and spend very little, here are some of our ideas:
Having a Halloween Party can be a cheap way of entertaining the children this half term and there are ways of doing it on a budget:
Make the most of free downloads there are loads on the internet; we found Halloween masks and decorations.
Make your own spooky playlist on Spotify, sign up for free trial and dance the day away.
Get guests to bring one item of food each to save on the food costs.
Pumpkin carving is fun and relatively cheap, depending on how many children are at the party buy a few pumpkins. Get the children to scoop the insides out (save for pumpkin soup or pie) and then cut out your pumpkin face. You may want to help the children with this depending on their age. You can get them to design then first or use a template. Sainsbury’s have some free pumpkin templates online.
Don’t worry about party bags they are an added cost you don’t need.
Get Out and About
It can be tempting to stay at home wrapped up warm but after a few days your children will have cabin fever. Wrap up warm, take a flask of hot chocolate and have an autumn adventure. Find your local forest/woods or even your local park.
Here are some things you can do:
The Woodlands Trust Nature Detectives have some great free resources including this Halloween Play Pack which packed full of fun things to do outside.
Collect leaves, twigs etc and then come home and make an autumn collage.
Of course if it’s raining you can either get your wellies on or embrace it or checkout our wet weather activities.
Love Your Library
Don’t forget about the humble local library, they often run activities during the holidays.
If not then why not get out some longer books like Roald Dahl or Enid Blyton and spend the holiday reading them together. You could read a few chapters each day and then creative activities around what you have read.
You don’t have to get story books out, why not visit the craft or recipe section to see if you can get an inspiration for projects.
You can also rent DVD’s from libraries perfect for an afternoon on the sofa.
If you don’t fancy a trek out or the weather is terrible check to see if your library rents ebooks, you can do this online.
We hope this has given you some ideas on how to spend the half term holiday.
October is International Walk to School Month, it’s the time to ditch the car and get your walking shoes on!
Not only will you be saving on fuel but you will increase you and your child’s physical activity. It’s also gives you a great chance to teach your child road safety.
Here are some tips to make your walk to school and back a pleasant one:
- Make sure you leave with plenty of time and plan your route
- Take a drink walking can be thirsty work
- Be prepared for bad weather, pop on your wellies if it looks like rain and take rain coats
- Make sure you have everything before you leave
- Make it fun play i-spy or make of list of things to spot on the way
- Team up with other parents and go as a group
You don’t have to do the whole month try a week or one day a week, it will make a big difference.
Here are some ideas on how to save money this summer:
Make the most of your local area; you’ll be surprised how many free things there are for you to do.
- Visit your local library or park take a picnic and make a day of it.
- Do you have a local museum? They are often free to visit.
- Search on Google or local websites for events
- Checkout local listings on netmums they are full of places to go and do in your area
Look for Discounts
Theme parks and days out can be expensive so make the most of discount vouchers and online deals.
Here are some of the offers we found online.
Legoland – Save 25% when you purchase at least 7 days in advance online
Drayton Manor – Save when you purchase tickets online. Adult tickets £20 instead of £36 and Children’s £12 instead of £25
Alton Towers – Save up to 40% online plus free early ride time and no booking fee when booked 7 days in advance
Camelot Theme Park – Save up to 28% when you book online
Chessington – Save up to 40% when you book online at least 7 days in advanced
Chiquito – Children eat free, download voucher from their site.
ASK – Children eat free, download voucher.
La Tasca – Children eat free Monday – Friday
If you travel by train then invest in a Family and Friends railcard. You save a 1/3rd on adult fares and up to 68% off children’s fares.
Visit your local train company’s website they often have special offers including discounts on attractions.
Travel by coach as this can often be a much cheaper option though they make take a bit longer to get to your destination.
Take a Pack Lunch
You can save a fortune by taking your own food on days out including drinks. Its quickly adds up when you have hungry mouths to feed. Save the pennies for a treat like an ice-cream.
Set a Budget
Set yourself a budget for your day out and stick to it. Take out the cash you need and leave the cards at home. You don’t need a lot of money to have fun.
Whatever you do in the summer holidays have fun!
Checkout our local listings on Kids One Stop Shop
You and your child register online and then they have their own 50 things explorer that motivates them to explore the great outdoors.
As they do each activity they earn badges, which are split into 5 categories: Adventurer, Explorer, Discoverer, Ranger and Tracker. As they earn each badge they will also get rewards.
Each activity comes with tips and the best place to have the adventure. There is also a parent’s area.
Activities include hunt for bugs, build a den and make a grass trumpet.
It’s free to join so sign up today!
The National Trust also have a free weekend 21st and 22nd April to kick start your 50 things, you can get full details on their site.
Whatever the weather your local park is a great source or fun and exercise. Me and my daughter spend a lot of time at the park, we are really lucky to have a great local park. We have a duck pond, café, wooded paths plus a fab playground.
In the summer we spend hours there, now the weather is colder we still go but just not for so long.
Here are some things you can do even though it’s cold:
Have a winter picnic. Take a flask of soup, sandwiches and wrap up warm
Go a nature walk. See what you can find you’ll be surprised in the bad weather
Feed the ducks they need the food this time of year
Go for a bike ride or scooter that will warm you up
Play! That’s what the playground is for
Take some hot chocolate in a flask to keep you warm
If it’s windy then fly a kite
Go puddle jumping. Embrace the rain and have some fun
Do you make the most of your local parks?
One of my biggest luxuries is buying brand new books. If I am in the mood I can read a book in one day which can be an expensive habit. Joining my local library was the best thing I ever did, you’ll be surprised what services they have to offer:
- Obviously you can take books out for free. I take a mixture of novels and practical books like recipe and craft books.
- Free children’s events such a story or rhyme time.
- Bookstart Bear Club – Some libraries have the Bookstart Bear Club which run story time but also have a passport for your children to collect stamps in. Each time they collect 6 they get a certificate.
- Free internet. You can often book sessions to use their computers.
- DVD hire. Its often cheaper to hire from the library then from other places. My local library charges 50p a week for children’s films.
- Online renewal, which I love as I sometimes late, returning books.
My daughter has caught my love for the library and we can spend an hour reading and choosing books. Educational and free what more do you need.
Visit direct.gov for details of your local services