From simple craft ideas to days out that will expand their knowledge and pique their interest in school, these inspiring activities will entertain and educate your kids at weekends, evenings and during the summer holidays.
Set up camp – indoors!
Suggest camping in their bedroom in a pop-up tent, or an improvised campsite on their bedroom floor, using sheets and chairs to create a tent.
Let your kids create their own world – a new landscape they can ‘travel’ to – and why not make a mini picnic for them (just make sure you clean up straight afterwards with Fairy, and a spritz of Febreze to blitz any lingering food smells and avoid attracting mice).
Discover historical adventures
Forget the dusty stately homes of your youth – nowadays castles, museums and mansions are packed with exciting experiences for the kids.
Whether it’s jousting knights at castles such as Warwick Castle or entire recreated historical towns like The Black Country Museum – in Peaky Blinders country – they offer thrilling ways for the kids to learn, and will keep you intrigued as well. Google your local museums to see what’s on.
Create a craft area for the kids
If it’s turning out to be a damp summer, set aside a ‘messy space’ in the house, where they can get stuck into a big model-making project without having to clear it away every time the kitchen table is needed.
This gives them time to build something really amazing, as well as encouraging them to have a longer attention span. Go the full Blue Peter by filling a box with old toilet rolls, clean food cartons, spare wallpaper, snippets of fabric and other bits and pieces to improvise with, as well as paints, glue, child scissors, and a couple of books with projects in them.
Treasure every day
Children love to collect things, so encourage your child to create a special record of each day of the holiday – even the most mundane details build into something remarkable. It could be one photograph taken at the same time each day, wherever they are, or a box of souvenirs – from leaves and shells to tickets or pictures, or funny, amazing and interesting keepsakes.
Get them into growing
If your child starts growing fruit and veg in early summer, they could get really impressive results before the autumn term starts again, and it’s lovely for them to see the seed they planted end up on their plates.
Cook up a storm
Children can get a real sense of achievement from cooking tonight’s dinner, as well as learning invaluable skills and a love of healthy food that they can take into adulthood.
Whether it’s baking bread or making a pasta sauce, go for simple recipes using fresh ingredients, and make them together – then, when they’re older, you can let them loose on their own! Read our guide to getting the kids cooking for some great ideas.
Take the 10-sport summer challenge
Have fun staying active and set your child the challenge of playing 10 different sports before the holiday is over.
As well as running, swimming and football, unearth a few more unusual sports to add to the ‘to do’ list, such as water polo, fencing, ultimate Frisbee or even golf (Crazy Golf is great to try, if you don’t have an affordable golf facility nearby).
Do you have any tried-and-tested ways to keep the kids entertained? Share your ideas in the comments box below.