School Summer holidays begin around next week (a bit earlier if you’re in Scotland) – that annual event that parents tend to anticipate with a mixture of excitement and dread. With more mums and dads working full-time than ever before, any family activity becomes an important opportunity to create precious childhood memories. Limited time and money, combined with the good old British summer weather can result in the words any parent dreads: “Mum! I’m booooooooored!!”.
Read below for our top tips to keep your child entertained over the summer school holidays, and enter the competition to win our ‘Rainy Day Bundle’ – a pack of our favourite kids puzzles and craft packs, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst.
The Great Outdoors
Snatch those screens out their hands and get them outside! Here are a few outdoor children’s activities that can be achieved easily in your garden or a local park:
Set Up Camp in Your Back Garden
There are so many ways this activity can stimulate your child’s imagination. Set up a tent or large cardboard box which they can decorate to become their castle/pirate ship/ninja den/alien fortress/private zoo – there are lots of creative opportunities here. How will they personalise their own little territory? Fasten some brightly fabric or paper to make a 3D collage? Make some bunting? Decorate the tent or surrounding paving stones with chalk? Perhaps stop short of digging a moat, but lay a roll of unused wallpaper around their tent, plain side up, and let them draw a moat with a menagerie of monsters.
Once the tent is set up, it’s time to open the fancy dress box. Who lives inside? Is it a dinosaur, a princess, an astronaut, a MINION?!? Let them create and dress up. If there’s no fancy dress to hand, why not make a mask or hat with card? Click on this link to head to Cool Crafts for free paper mask templates: http://www.coolcrafts.com/diy-paper-mask-designs/
Children of all ages can be inspired by nature, so head out to your local park, woods or beach. How ‘Bear Grylls’ you get is up to you, but a scavenger hunt is a great way to keep your kids occupied and inspired.
Check out this amazing range of 30 free printable scavenger hunt printables from Buggy & Buddy: http://buggyandbuddy.com/30-free-printable-scavenger-hunts-for-kids/
Also, don’t underestimate the simple idea of exploring a new place – go to a different wood, or find a public footpath. Walking Britain is a fantastic resource for discovering popular local walks. http://www.walkingbritain.co.uk/
For something a little less off the beaten track, check your local council website for fun outdoor activities and events. You could always find a fruit picking farm, great for physical activity and amusement for the whole family – just ensure that ‘some’ of the fruit enters the basket, not little mouths!
Although us Brits seem surprised by the turn of the weather every year, it’s safe to assume that at least some of the summer school holidays will be marred by rain. This can often be a huge spanner in your child activity plans, so the best bet is to have a few rainy-day ideas in mind, that you can introduce to your kids if the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Painting or Drawing
May our kids never get sick of this! There are so many materials you can use, but it you don’t want to just grab the crayons and scrap paper, maybe consider finger painting, yarn painting, splatter painting, the list is endless! Fantastic family blogger the Artful Parent lists over 60 different painting methods you could introduce here: https://artfulparent.com/painting-activities-kids-60-ideas
Bring the Outside In
Don’t forget you can recreate your tent garden idea inside (ask your local supermarket for a giant cardboard box). Cut a hole for the entrance (only partially if you want to get fancy and create a door), hand the kids some crayons, and get them decorating!
Write a Book
Remember the character that took over your garden/lounge/playroom? Why not encourage your child to create a picture-book about their character’s adventures – keep it simple with one sentence and drawing on each page. You could even challenge your child to use a different artistic method (painting, crayons, finger-painting, felt tips etc) for each page.
Don’t forget there are some amazing craft and activity packs and puzzles out there, such as Creating Sock Puppets, Making Badges, Making Charm Bracelets. We have a huge amount of stock in our C & H stores, or peruse the website here.
Rainy Day Bundle Giveaway
C & H is giving you the chance to win this incredible Raining Day Bundle of not one, but FOUR amazing puzzles to keep your kids entertained, and you sane during rainy summer days. We have three bright and beautiful Crocodile Creek puzzles – a 60 piece ‘Solar System’ floor puzzle suitable for ages 5+, 26 piece ‘Horses’ floor puzzle suitable for ages 3+, and 48 piece ‘Horse Stable’ puzzle, suitable for ages 4+.
In addition we have a Beatrix Potter™ Peter Rabbit™ number puzzle from Orange Tree Toys, suitable for children aged 12 months+. This charming puzzle is traditionally illustrated with family favourite Peter Rabbit™ with additional numbers, encouraging your child to learn 1-10 as they play.
To win this incredible bundle worth over £50, simply comment below with your ideas to keep kids busy on a rainy day. We will pick the winner at random.
The giveaway closes at midnight on Tuesday 25th July, and we will announce the winner on Thursday 27th July .
Image of giveaway is purely representational – actual product sizes may differ
To view our fantastic range of children’s puzzles, toys, and activity packs available online, head to https://www.candh.co.uk/gift-c66/childrens-gift-c69