9 weeks of school holidays can feel like a lot of pressure to keep your kids entertained, especially when we are battling against the temptation of screens and virtual reality. So here are some boredom-busting ideas to have in your arsenal to keep your kids busy with summer activities and #ScreenFree (yes, that is a trending hashtag and this is the world we live in…) – Let’s bring back some organic, homemade fun.
Everyday is a School Day, just do your research
There is so much going on in your local area, you just need to do a bit of a Google and you can stumble across some absolute gems. Why not head to your nearest aquarium or theme park as there are usually offers and discount vouchers available online. Or even better, have an educational day out at a museum such as the Natural History Museum in London which are often free. My go-to day out is Chatsworth House in the heart of the Peak District as it has an adventure play park and a farmyard where you can stroke and feed the animals so its an educational experience too (I spent 20 minutes explaining what udders did. Lets just say memories were made…)
Free Days Out
Not all days out come with an entry fee. Why not head to your local park with a football and some friends, you can fill an entire afternoon before you even know it. Or tire the kids out for their afternoon nap and get back to nature with a walk in an enchanted forest. You could even take a picnic and make a day of it – try out the Joy backpack for hands-free, fuss-free fun. With multiple bottle holders (two are big enough for a wine bottle) a food bag and a secret zip pouch for any valuables its picnic perfect.
So there is inevitably going to be a rainy day or two but have no fear – you don’t even need to leave the house to have fun. Avoid cabin fever by doing some baking with your sous chefs or having a crafts day, have a look at Pinterest for some inspiration. I always keep some basics in the house like coloured paper and PVA glue, you would be surprised at how much fun you can have with it. Stick some eyes on a sock and you’ve got your own home made puppet show. Keep some chalks in stock so the drive can be their canvas, and then the rain clears up for me. Build a den or a princess tower, take advantage of the fact children can literally get excited over bubble wrap and tin foil and belly laugh when they pretend the floor is lava.
Two words. Cardboard. Boxes. Children can somehow keep themselves entertained for hours with them. They’re available for free at checkouts in most supermarkets and they can become a robot or a castle with just a sprinkle of imagination. I will warn you though, having a massive ‘spaceship’ in your living room will drive you mad after a week so plan a distraction for when you bin it on the sly.
This one is my favourite activity for a summer evening. When I went off to Glastonbury my 4 year old was so excited just to sleep in a tent in the living room, so why not have a night under the stars in your very own back garden? Create instant excitement with a little campfire and one of these awesome Field Candy tents and you’ll be guaranteed memories to last a lifetime.
Don’t stress about whether your kids are bored, there is far too much pressure these days to fill every minute with ‘playful learning’ but they are kids – trust me, they will find their own fun. Just hide the important stuff so they don’t find ‘fun’ in your make up bag. You have been warned; not even my twins are as stubborn as lipstick on a cream carpet.
Now go make some core memories a la ‘Inside out’