Its nearly the holidays! Yay! Although the summer can be fun for both you and your kids, we also know that as a parent it can be a little daunting. Keeping them entertained and happy on those endless summer days can be tricky, but don’t worry, Room to Grow are here to help. Below are 10 things to do with your kids, and we’ve included a checklist which you can download and print as well as some printable colouring sheets, for even more fun!
1. Bake cookies
Your kids probably love eating cookies, so why not help them to bake their own? There are lots of really easy cookie recipes online, including adaptions for children with certain allergies, so no one has to be left out. Let them get messy measuring out the flour, moulding the dough, and licking chocolate off the spoon! For added fun, let them put on their favourite music channel, so you can all dance around the kitchen while you bake.
2. Have a movie afternoon
This one is great for a rainy day or any sleepy afternoon, giving you a chance to curl up and relax too. You can let your kids pick a film, and set a time for the showing, like a proper movie outing. You can also let them pick some snacks to eat during the film such as the traditional popcorn (microwavable is the easiest) or maybe some sweets! If you want to get really creative, you could get them to design their own movie tickets, and maybe even transform your living room, placing cushions and the blankets on the floor for the ultimate movie experience.
3. Play Frisbee in the park
If your kids love to sit in all day playing video games, going to the park is a great activity to switch it up. Most parks have a children’s play area, which they’ll love, and it may also be nice to play games together on the grass as a family. Frisbee is a great one because the Frisbee itself is extremely portable, coming in a range of different colours and sizes, and it’s great for getting your children moving and for getting them to work together. If it’s a little windy too, it can be very entertaining!
4. Collect leaves and try out leaf rubbing
This option is again excellent for getting them outside, exploring the great outdoors, and looking at the world around them. You could get them to pick their own leaves, maybe picking a range of different colours and shapes. When you get back to the house they can pick their favourite leaves and a favourite colour crayon, and you simply place the leaf under the sheet of paper and shade over the top. It doesn’t just have to be leaves either, you can do rubbings of bark, flowers, or just about anything! The art technique is called frottage and it can teach your children about the texture of things, so they are learning as well as having fun.
5. Make friendship bracelets
Making friendship bracelets are a great way to keep your kids entertained for hours, and again this is a calming activity. There are lots of different types, from the simpler candy stripe to the chevron, but all you need to start is some multicoloured thread and some perseverance. A quick internet search brings up lots of how-to videos and posts, so learning is easy! Traditionally friendship bracelets are given to friends as gifts, but your kids could make their own, or make them for each other!
6. Play snap
Card games are another great indoor activity, and once again provide a break for the world of technology our children are surrounded by in this day and age. Snap is a classic, and is a great one for children of all ages, with easy rules and lots of explosive, competitive fun! You can also teach them games like patience which they can play by themselves, so you can take a well needed break. There are so many different card games, again a quick internet search will teach you all you need to know!
7. Build a blanket fort
This is another old-school idea, but definitely a golden oldie. It is best done between pieces of furniture, and you can hold the bedding down with books or other heavy objects. Sheets also provide a great roof or wall for the blanket fort, and afterwards the kids can design the inside with cushions and more blankets. It provides the perfect place to read a bedtime story, or maybe just play – perhaps the fort belongs to a knight, and it is being invaded by an evil villain?
8. Finger paint
Lets face it, kids love to get messy, and finger painting will let them do just that. You don’t need any equipment other than paint and some paper, although we would definitely advise putting your kids in aprons or some old t-shirts before you let them go crazy! It may also be a good idea to put a cover on your table, and tape the paper to it so it doesn’t end up on the floor. You could give them a theme such as ‘under the sea’ or ‘in the jungle’ to give their artwork a bit of structure, or just let them do their own thing. Finger painting is a professional art form in its own right, so it’s great for all ages, from babies to tweens.
9. Go on a treasure hunt
A treasure hunt is great because it can be as long or as short as you like, indoor or outdoor, educational and clever, or simple and satisfying. Again, great for all ages, everyone can get involved. Probably the easiest way to start is by writing the first clue and giving them a description of a place, which when they work it out will lead them to the next clue, and then finally to the treasure! The treasure could be some chocolate, a little toy or maybe something else you know they’ll love.
10. Write a summer holiday diary
As a nice early morning or evening activity you could get your child to reflect on the day before, writing down everything that happened and how they felt about it. They will not only probably love to do this, but it is also educational, helping their handwriting and ability to construct a narrative. If every day seems like too much, it could also work on a weekly basis, reflecting on what a great week they’ve had. For added fun they could even turn it into a bit of a summer scrapbook, adding drawings and sticking in photographs, or movie tickets/ attraction passes.