The summer holidays are just around the corner and like many of us you are faced with trying to keep your child entertained for 6 whole weeks. While older children can often entertain themselves the younger ones are not always that easy to please.
We have some great ideas, tips and tricks to get you through the holidays with a smile of your face.
Keeping Them Entertained
Have a plan of action for each week. Possible days out, play dates, activities etc Mum in The Madhouse has some great free printable planners on the blog. Perfect for working parents that need to plan childcare through the holidays as well.
Don’t make plans. Make a daily decision on what you are going to do. Wing it and see where you end up.
The worst sentence ever muttered by a child is “I’m bored”, it can drive you insane. Be prepared and get a bored jar ready before the holidays start. All you need to do is fill a jar or box with activities for them to do like read a book, crafts, watch a film, go for a walk, tidy your room, make a den etc When they tell you they are bored get them to choose an activity to do.
Get them to make a summer bucket list and list all the things they would like to do in the summer holidays and then choose one each day.
Start a summer scrap/happy book. Have your child write, draw, glue on pictures of their summer adventures. A great rainy day activity.
Go on a park crawl. Make a list of all the parks in your area and visit them all. You could either do it in one day or spread it across the 6 weeks.
Go on lots and lots of picnics.
Have a sports day. Invite their friends over and have a sports day in the garden.
Arrange some playdates. Take turns with friends to host a play date, the kids can play and you can site, drink coffee and have adult conversation.
Set up different play stations in your garden. You could have sand & water, a shop, kitchen, balls & hula hoops, trikes & scooters, crafts, reading corner etc that way they can flit between each station and not get bored.
Bake cakes! Who doesn’t like cakes? If baking isn’t your thing but plain fairy cakes or biscuits and let your children decorate them.
Make your own ice lollies. Make them in the morning and they should be ready by lunch time. Experiment with frozen smoothies or fresh juice lollies.
All the crafts. If in doubt get the craft box out and let them get messy. Perfect for those too hot to play in the garden days. You could set a theme for the summer and make items for an art show at the end of the holidays.
Build a den. In the garden, in the woods or in your living room.
Invent your own games.
Put on a show. Invite family and friends over for a show, get the children to sing, dance, tell jokes or do magic tricks.
Go to the seaside, eat doughnuts, build sandcastles and play to 2p machines.
Go to the Zoo.
Go to a theme park.
Visit a museum.
Go on a train ride. Choose a destination and have an adventure.
Go the cinema.
Have a home cinema afternoon. Make popcorn, snuggle up and chill out.
Go to the theatre. Check out your local theatre for children shows.
Top Tips and Money Saving Ideas
Have a garden box/trug/bag ready to go. Fill it with wipes, sun lotion, towel, hats, tablecloth etc and have it by the back door. All you need to do it grab drinks and snacks to throw in and off you go into the garden. It saves you running around looking for everything you need and you can just get outside and have fun. It’s especially good if you have very young children that you don’t want to leave on their own while you keep going back indoors for things.
Have a car bag ready to go. Similar to above we have a bag in the back of the car with wipes, nappies, sun lotions, sun hats, a towel, first aid kit and bucket and spades. It means we only have to grab a few things before go out for the day.
Make sun care a part of your daily routine. We out on sun lotion every morning before we get dressed so we are protected before we leave the house.
When going on a picnic, pack everyone their own pack lunch rather than one big bag of food. That way you will have leftovers which go floppy by the time you get home.
Take your own food on days out. It can cost quite a bit to eat out at theme parks etc
Take your own drink when you go out. Costs of drinks can add up.
If you are out and fancy an ice-cream, visit the local supermarket and buy a multi pack it will be much cheaper.
Check for any offers and voucher codes before you go out for family meals. Try sites like my voucher codes, voucher codes and Money Saving Expert.
Book online and in advance at theme parks, zoos farms etc they often have a good online discount.
Use your supermarket points. Tesco and Nectar points can often be used for money off tickets.
Find free events. There are loads out there you just have to look for them. Many museums have free entry as well. Have a little search and see what you can find.
Take part in the Summer Reading Challenge at your local library. It’s free, fun and gives you a regular day out during the holidays.
Sign up for the 10 minute Shake Up from Change For Life. It’s full of activities, stickers and a free wrist timer.
Watch films for free by setting up a trial with Netfilx, NowTV or Amazon Prime just remember to set a reminder to cancel if you don’t want to carry on.
Ditch the car and stay local for the summer. You’ll get fit and save money on petrol.
What are your top tips for a great summer?
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