As the summer holidays loom ever closer, you’d be forgiven for worrying or not being sure what you and your kids are going to be doing for the entirety of their 6 weeks off.
*Breathe. Breathe. It’ll be ok. It’s only 6 Monday’s…*
I’ve put together 6 simple ideas if you find yourself at a loose end this summer.
Oh, and don’t forget to stock up on the Gin, Wine and Rum. I’m sure stocks run low during the school holidays, it’s best to plan ahead…
Enjoy some sports in the comfort of your own garden or at your local green space…
You don’t have to fork out on expensive equipment or have a garden big enough to fit a full size football pitch in order to enjoy sports at home. Why not head to your local park and practice a bit of golf with an air ball? Why not try booking a local tennis court for an hour or two to find your inner Andy Murray? If you’re lucky enough to have some green space nearby, go old school, use jumpers for goalposts and have a kick about with a picnic after or have a game of Percy Jackson’s Capture the flag? Make sure you have a look on local ‘for sale’ pages for pre-loved sports equipment, or maybe ask to borrow some from a friend?
If the weather is on your side, the possibilities are endless. And even if it isn’t, why not buy a table tennis net, attach it to your dining table and have a table tennis tournament?!
Bubble popping competitions are also a firm favourite in this house. It’s impossiBUBBLE (see what I did there…) to keep count of how many they have actually popped in a minute but I quite enjoy making it up as I go along and the kids seem happy enough.
Keeping active is so important for our kids, and hopefully they’ll be so worn out by the end of the day, you’ll be able to put them to bed at 7 and have a well earned drink with your feet up. Forward planning people, forward planning.
Get the kids a small piece of furniture each, like a cheap stool or a plain pine shelf, and allow them to paint or varnish it themselves. I used to paint shelves all the time as a kid – my poor parents – back in the 90’s when hippy-like Sun, Moon and Stars stuff was in fashion. Very Bohemian. You could maybe order something cheap and cheerful from eBay and get Shiply to deliver it to you if you can’t find anything in a local charity shop or DIY store. You can teach them how to sand the rough edges down and they can choose their own coloured paint. They’ll feel so proud that they helped to make something.
If you haven’t heard of Parkrun, go take a look! It’s a free event every single weekend in a park near you run by volunteers. The adult Parkrun is 5k every Saturday, and many parks now offer a junior (2k) run on a Sunday too for 4-14 year olds. All you need to do is sign up on the Parkrun website, download your barcodes and off you go. They scan your barcode after crossing the finish line and email you your official time so you can see if you’re improving or just to use to set yourself targets and goals next time you go.
It’s super friendly, free and doesn’t take up too much of your precious weekend.
Take a trip a local farm…
Our family loves going to farms where they can pet and feed the animals. The kids love the play areas they normally have there, seeing the animals and having and, of course, having an ice cream! We like Bockett’s Farm in Surrey (which also has an indoor soft play area should the weather turn) because it has a traditional farm feel with the added bonus of play areas for the kids. We also really love Hobbledown Farm in Epsom, Surrey, which has the most wonderful play areas outside and a brilliant indoor soft play.
The entry costs are fairly expensive for these places but you do get a lot for your money and it’s a full day’s worth of fun and entertainment. You can also take a picnic with you to save on the expense.
Get busy in the kitchen…
Find some easy to follow recipes that the kids will love to help make. They could make some pizza dough, and then use that dough later on to make themselves pizza’s for dinner, they could also make some fairy cakes and go mad with the sprinkes and writing icing. If you’re not into baking, why not buy some ready made fairy cakes and decorate those, or even a plain digestive biscuit! You don’t have to be a budding Mary Berry in order to have fun in the kitchen.
During the holidays, making ice cream or lollies at home is also a fun idea and it’s a fab way of sneaking fruit into the kids! Whizz up berries or bananas and see what flavour combinations you can come up with. Coconut milk is a great way of making a creamy ice lolly – and if mummy fancies sneaking a dash of Malibu and some blitzed up passion fruit into her lollies, I can highly recommend it. Pina colada lolly anyone?!
If the weather isn’t playing ball and funds are running low, a cinema afternoon at home could be just what you need. Ask the kids to make a seating area or den to sit in to watch the film, draw the curtains to make it dark, get some sweeties, popcorn and make your own slush puppies to enjoy whilst you watch. We have recently indulged in buying an Amazon Firestick along with an Amazon Prime subscription and they have some great films available on there. It’s brilliant!
What are your favourite things to do at home during the holidays?
As much as I jest, I am looking forward to having the kids home and not having to rush about quite so much.
I hope you all have a happy, and safe, Summer of making memories and having fun together!