Half term is here and the long summer holidays are only a couple of months away. Are you wondering how to fill time with the kids at home? We have a few ideas for you:
1) Visit a museum or art gallery. They are often free and are wonderful for cultural exposure and stimulating imaginations.
2) Explore in the woods or countryside. It’s free and not something all kids do regularly.It’s great exercise and so lovely to get fresh air.
3) Have a “home movie” experience. Choose a film together (vote if need be!). If a choice can’t be made, maybe have a “movie marathon” as an extra special treat. Make some popcorn (easy to make at home, you can buy un-popped corn at the supermarket or a health food shop) and choose a topping, or several! Salt & sugar. Melted chocolate for dipping or poured over (a bit more messy!) or go crazy and raid the herb & spice shelf! Some shops sell popcorn flavours in a shaker. Now it’s time for the film/s. Close all the curtains, snuggle up on the sofa and enjoy!
4) Ride bikes or scooters to the playground. Pick one that’s not your usual haunt, maybe a little further away and enjoy getting there as part of the experience. If you have a little one who isn’t quite able to ride so far themselves, invest in a seat for your own bike or even a trailer. They find it great fun and it can make getting about a bit easier! You could even take a picnic and make it a day out!
5) Have a treasure hunt. All children love hunting for things, egg hunts around Easter being a classic example! It’s entirely possible you still have lots of little eggs left over so why not hide them and hunt them out again? Or find something else you have lots of (lots of children’s collect toys, lego figures, pokemon cards, cuddly toys). Choose “who” you’re hiding, hide them around your house or garden, if the weather is good and then set the kids loose.
6) Get baking. It doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact many children love the character themed baking kits you can buy. Everyone, old and young, loves to lick the bowl and spoon! It’s easy to forget just how proud children are of their creations too, it really gives them a boost.
7) Write a funny story together. If your children are old enough to write fairly confidently then this is a fun and silly activity for everyone. It’s a classic. Take it in turns to write a few lines of a silly story on a sheet of paper. Fold over the top leaving just a few words exposed and pass on to the next person. They carry on the sentence and then write a few more sentences, fold over, pass on and so on. Keep going until the paper is full. Choose someone to read out the story and prepare to roll around laughing!
8) Board games. They are classics for a reason. The older your children are, the more complicated the games you can play. Monopoly and Risk are great for older children. Junior Monopoly, Guess Who, Ludo, Snap and Battleships are great for younger children.
9) Go out in the rain. Let’s face it. We’re living in the UK and even school holidays in the summer months are full of damp days. Embrace it. There’s a saying in Norway, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Make sure you are kitted out and go for it. Jump in those puddles. Get younger kids covered up in rain suits, waterproof coats and trousers. Get everyone in their wellies and raincoat. Grab some umbrellas. Go and explore and when you get back home, treat everyone to a hot chocolate.
10) Visit a National Trust property. If you are a member then you will already know, but for those who aren’t, gone are the days of the old “fuddy duddy” National Trust you might remember from your own childhood. Today they are child friendly and so family focused. There’s a good reason why they are the largest membership organisation in the UK. Most of their properties (and they have over 500 across the UK) boast a selection of children’s activities and play areas. Many hold special activities for the school holidays such as trails with prizes, gardening, insect hunting. Family membership costs £9.55 per month. Visiting a property as a family just once can cost around £25 so as long as you visit a property a few times a year you are getting your money’s worth. It’s great for local visits, day trips further afield and holidays within the UK as you are often not far from a National Trust location!
Whatever you do, try to enjoy the holidays! When you’re out and about, don’t forget sun cream (yes, we’re in the UK but many people still get burnt all the time!) Snacks and water are also essentials. Have fun!