9 easy ways to entertain kids during the summer holidays

So that time is nearly upon us – the summer holidays!  6 weeks of summer fun with no school.   It can be a blessing and a curse.  You might be looking forward to the break from the routine – I know I am (anything that means no school run is ok in my books), but you might be dreading these summer holidays.

 

Working Parents

I think for working parents it is particularly stressful trying to cover that full 6 weeks and I don’t envy you having to organise all of that.   The headache it must cause trying to schedule activities or using holiday to stay at home and look after them.  Whether you are at home or at work they have to be entertained for weeks on end. 

Stay at home Parents

If you are staying at home whether as a break from work or just as a stay at home / work at home parent there is the matter of entertaining little people for 12 hours a day and that is  also no mean feat.  So in this post I am sharing 9 quick and easy ways to entertain kids during the summer holidays.  I do also organise some day trips and my boys attend a holiday club a couple of times during the summer holidays just for a change of scenery.  We are lucky enough that we are also able to go on holiday each year so we get out of the house too, but I can’t always just be throwing money at the holidays so these ideas are all cheap or free and home based.   

For more money saving ideas this summer check out this post from Me Him the Dog and a baby.

 

 

  • Toys in ice – this is great for a hot day and is super easy, but not so quick as of course the water has to freeze! All you need is a Tupperware or silicone (easy to get ice out of) dish, small toys, water and food colouring.  Put it all together and then freeze.  The kids spend ages trying to get those toys out.  If you use food colouring I recommend not putting their best clothes on for the excavation!
  • Garden obstacle courses. I have written about this before as it is such a great way of burning off some energy and for the children to learn to take turns, think through how to achieve the end goal and practice physical skills like balancing
  • Create summer pictures. My littles love to draw and paint and have little easels so we set up outside and then perhaps choose a flower to draw or they just go freestyle.  I am rubbish at drawing so am no help, but they love it

  • Have a garden disco. My kids love ‘Alexa’ and think it is great that they can ask her to play songs so we get that outside or inside if its raining and we have a good old dance
  • Make another world… Using the black builders tray (which if you don’t have one I totally recommend getting as it is great for so many activities and keeps the mess where it should be) we use sand, stones and leaves to create an imaginary planet or a prehistoric world or a desert island. I use large Tupperware surrounded by sand to make a lake as you totally need water!  We then get out the playmobil characters and imagine all kinds of scenarios.  Recently the romans and Egyptians had a big battle on our builders tray
  • ‘Hide the…’ We don’t have a big enough garden to really play hide and seek so instead of that the kids choose an item and take it in turns to hide it.  Hours are spent playing this game and they love it just as much as hide and seek

  • Fruit ice lolly making – this is another one that isn’t so quick due to freezing time, but I think it is always good to get the littles involved in the kitchen.  To do this we will do a trip to the local shops to buy fruit and then once home we cut it up into little bits and create a layer of fruit at the bottom of an ice lolly mould.  Next we add apple juice and freeze.  I don’t fill it to the top and as soon as the juice starts to set we take them out and add another layer of fruit before topping up with juice again and leaving to freeze.
  • Foot print pictures. This is seriously messy but oh so much fun….  We use rolls of paper to cover the patio and then put paint in the builders tray.  The kids then walk through the paint and onto the paper to make footprint pictures.  They always end up slipping over so you do have to be careful and they always end up painting each other so we tend to do this in pants and at the end of the day so that it can be straight up to bath afterwards.  We have some great laughs doing this
  • On a sunny day you can’t beat a bit of water play whether it is a paddling pool, a water fight or just washing their toys

I am not sure there is any magic formula for the summer holidays and at some point, the kids are likely to get irritated with one another and you are clearly going to get irritated with them, but that’s life.  I am hardly the bastion of perfect motherhood and am undoubtedly muddling through making mistakes left right and centre, but one thing I have come to realise is that we mustn’t be afraid to let them get bored.  When I was little my mum certainly arranged stuff to entertain us, but we also had to make our own fun.  There weren’t endless TV channels available at all times it was ‘Why Don’t you!’  (for those of you not as ancient as I am here is what I am taking about: Why don’t you) or nothing….  At the risk of sounding like an old moan – kids today don’t know they are born!  We entertain them constantly whether it is with endless after school activities, or electronic devices, or coming up with things for them to do.  I think we need to let them drive some of this themselves.  I have genuinely noticed that when we have a day at home where we have nothing planned and when I haven’t prepared an activity they actually tend to come up with the best games on their own.  When left to their own devices their imaginations are triggered much more and they have more fun.  So this summer whilst I will be doing these activities and lots more besides I will also be just letting them be….

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41 thoughts on “9 easy ways to entertain kids during the summer holidays

  1. I love these ideas!! I can't wait for grandchildren,it'll be fun to use these ideas xx
  2. This is a great list, especially during this hot weather we are having in London! I love the footprint idea, my boy will have so much fun making a mess! #DreamTeam
    1. That is very messy and best done in pants or nappies, but it is great fun #DreamTeam
  3. Some great things for children to do during the summer. Good luck to us all!
    1. And so say all of us!
  4. this is brilliant. iM SHARING IT AS I THINK OTHER MUMS would love it #DreamTeam Claire Rocks recently posted...Our Day At Brimham RocksMy Profile
    1. Thanks Claire I appreciate that #DreamTeam
  5. Yes to all the above! When mine were little, they would spend ages painting various surfaces outside with water (I called it magic paint!). Oh and stickers....love that. #dreamteam
    1. Outdoor water painting sounds like a fab idea. I am totally using that - thanks! #DreamTeam
  6. Love the hide the item idea. My 3 year old is rubbish at hide and seek but think she would get that :)
    1. #dreamteam :)
    2. My little girls are 3 and they get that, but hide and seek no way. They just keep counting lol!
  7. Love activity lists! Just introduced my boy to ice PLAY for The first time. He loved it. Cant wait To show him new things. #dreamteam
    1. I don't know how ice play passed me by for so long they simply love it!
  8. Great ideas. I can use them with my grandsons! We also play "hide the..." for hours. Great fun! Laurie recently posted...Rising Every Time We FallMy Profile
    1. It really is! Thanks for commenting and being part of the #DreamTeam
  9. TOYS IN ICE IS GENIUS. iS IT WRONG THAT I'M ALREADY GIGGLING ABOUT WATCHING HIM TRY AND HACK OUT HIS TRAIN? :d
    1. I know it’s hilarious
    2. That was the best bit - the struggle lol!
  10. Some great ideas here. The toys in ice is one I did when we were snowed in during winter but never even thought to do it in summer! #DreamTeam Lynn recently posted...New Beginnings and Fantastic AdventuresMy Profile
    1. Oh I never thought to do the ice in winter - totally going to now
  11. What fun! I love these ideas. Especially the toys in ice. Will have to give that a go. #DreamTeam
    1. Oh yes do. They absolutely loved it and it kept them occupied for ages!
  12. Great ideas and some brilliant for aheatwave too #DreamTeam
    1. It is so very hot. The ice is such a winner right now!
  13. Painting is always a fun activity #dreamteam
    1. Albeit a bit messy #DreamTeam
  14. Such great ideas! In this heat, anything to do with ice, or water is a winner for me! #dreamteam
    1. I know the ice play is just so much fun and great for cooling down
  15. A garden disco sounds like so much fun! #DreamTeam
    1. I do love a good boogie!!
  16. Some great ideas listed here #DreamTeam
    1. Thanks Helena
  17. Water fights and hide the... are staple games in our house to get through the long summer days! #dreamteam Musings of a tired mummy...zzz... recently posted...#Project365 week 30 the start of the summer holiday!My Profile
    1. I do love a good water fight. Thanks for being on the #DreamTeam
  18. Some real great and original ideas. I especIally like the frOzen toys one in this weather! Will try some out next week. #Dreamteam
    1. Hope you have fun trying them out. Thanks for joining the #DreamTeam
  19. I love all these ideas. Especially hiding toys in ice. Im going to give this a try when the weather heats up Thanks for being such a lovely #dreamteam host xx Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted...My Sunday Photo – CatchMy Profile
    1. Hours of fun in that ice play. I managed a full blog post and image editing last time they did it ;)
  20. We live in a flat so don't have a garden which is a nightmare in the holidays! #DreamTeam Crummy Mummy recently posted...Does giving my baby a tablet make me a bad mum?My Profile
    1. Hopefully at least some of these ideas would work in a park too x

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