Entertaining the kids in the holidays
I know quite a few of you with older kids are now in the summer holidays and are now filled with 6 whole weeks to “make memories” (read fill the day) with your monsters, so I thought I’d make a list of my top go to ideas for getting through the day.
1. The beach – nice and obvious but always a win with the kids, bring a packed lunch to keep costs down and your own bucket and spade etc. If you can research local parking around where you’re headed to find the cheapest rates. My go to in Kent is Folkestone beach, the sand beach is only small but it’s lovely, there’s fairly cheap parking around there and there’s the lovely fountain nearby for the kids to splash in, the harbour to watch boats as well as the amazing park at Lees Cliff. We recently took the girls to Camber for the first time “in season” we were horrified by the price of parking, the tide was out for miles (no good for little legs) and the beach wasn’t so nice. When we tried to have a picnic we got attacked by seagulls, one tried to snatch John’s sandwich from his hand while he ate! So we’ve decided not to go there again until the girls are bigger.
2. The library – this may sound dull to your child depending on their age but lots of libraries do little events through the summer to keep the kids entertained, my local one is doing all sorts from craft days to one about assistance dogs. The events are free and if your kid is into reading it’s a great opportunity to borrow some books and have some new bedtime reading. We go to our local library every couple of weeks and the girls get so excited for library day .
3. Imaginary birthday party – if you follow me on Instagram you may have seen the other week Maisie decided it was her beloved bunny named ”bunnybunny”‘s birthday. So while she napped I baked a cake made a quick present of hat and gloves from some old socks and blew up balloons for an impromptu party and it went down so well! If your kids are older you can get them more involved too, get them to help bake/decorate the cake, get them to make a birthday card. I have to admit it was a lot of fun and who doesn’t love an excuse for cake?!
4. Movie day – Great for a rainy day! Grab their favourite films or educate them on some of your childhood faves, with some popcorn and treats and chill together.
5. Plant a herb garden/their own garden – I posted in the past on my social media that we have a herb garden that is by the girls playhouse, it’s great for sensory for little ones and the girls see it as their garden, they have windmills and a butterfly dec for it, Maisie loves watering all our plants and helping me weed in general but for kids that are less fussed sometimes giving them their own space to grow things can fire their creativity and interest in gardening. It’s also great if you do herbs/veggies/fruit as they tend to show a bigger interest if its something they can eat/use in cooking with you, there’s something they can physically hold at the end of it and it also helps start questions on where food comes from.
6. Local town for events – This sounds vague and apologies for that but see what’s going on in your local town/surrounding towns/villages, at this time of year lots of places have fun days and fairs, my local town (Ashford) has been great this year with lots on including a remembrance art display in the memorial park, then in one area of town they’ve created a fun summer play space, with fake grass, playhouse, sandpit with actual spades and buckets etc to use, giant chess. It makes for a more interesting trip to town, the kids love it and I get a break while they play.
7. PYO (Pick Your Own)- OK so depending the age of your child will depend on their interest levels I think but I used to love PYO when I was younger, it was so exciting to pick and choose the strawberries I wanted and feel like a farmer. Then having them when you got home, maybe with ice cream as a treat was so yummy.
8. Painting stones from a beach trip – Another one which is good for a rainy day, whenever we go to stony beaches we love collecting stones. I like decorating them for projects and Maisie loves copying me with painting them. There’s also the great new trend of hiding painted stones for others to find as well which I love!
9. Go on a bear hunt – This is one I love, we go for long walks in the local woods/forests and sing we’re going on a bear hunt or I recall the Gruffalo and we “go looking for bears/the Gruffalo” it’s one that is better for young children/those with wild imaginations but with older kids you could do spooky stories etc instead.
10. Fort building day – As simple as it sounds, let your kids/help build a fort, let them have lunch/dinner in there, you could teach them secret passwords for it, even when they’re made it you could get them to make signs or pictures for it to decorate not to mention the playtime in it. Extra points if you do this one outside!
Some of the other ideas to do which my kids and their older cousins love doing are;
- Water fights, with guns, cups, buckets, anything they can get their hands on.
- Park trips, the excitement when we go to a new one is crazy.
- Baking and cooking with me.
- Drawing with chalk on the floor outside
- “Painting” the outside walls (I just give them a pot of water and some paintbrushes)
- Softplay (the sheer hell, I try to avoid this)
- Zoo trips (We have an annual pass to both Aspinall zoos so we go loads)
- Garden centres that have toys and aquariums (free sealife centre!)
I’d love to know if you have any top ideas for entertaining the kids especially on a budget as I know the summer holidays and keeping little ones entertained can work out quite expensive. Let me know what your fave things to do are?