Entertaining kids during summer holidays

So it’s July, the summer holidays are here and the dreaded school run military operation is at an end for a while, but here’s the rub your new job is entertaining the kids during the summer holidays.  How?  We are only a few days in and I am already struggling with entertaining the kids during the summer holidays… Did I mention that already?  It is my constant waking thought at the moment!  With 4 kids outsourcing to summer camps is simply not financially viable even once they are old enough to go and so its up to me.  I am the entertainments manager and in case it helps here are some of the things I have come up with so far.

Ideas for Entertaining Kids during the summer holidays

  • Drawing large butterfly shapes on paper and cutting up lots of bits and pieces for them to stick on.  This can also include going wild with glitter.  We did it outside!
  • Creating ‘find me’ cards.  The children choose things they might see in the local area on a walk and then draw them on a card.  You then go out and get them to find them and a bit like bingo the first one to see them all wins.  We laminated the cards and used wipe off markers so we could reuse them
  • For particularly boisterous boys crest two sides with a barrier in between and give them soft (I emphasis soft!) balls to try and throw at one another.  This really blows off some steam especially on a less than perfect weather day as it can be done inside if your room doesn’t contain any breakables
  • For rainy days I recommend ‘Lego sets’ from wilkinsons or a pound shop.  They are only £1 (unsurprisingly) and will keep little ones occupied for a good while
  • If you can find one locally a city farm is always a winner.  We are lucky to live near to one and it isn’t big so is just right for a morning or afternoon out
  • Giving school age children a notebook at the start of the holidays so they can keep a journal of what they have been up to
  • Using a builders black tray to create and yet contain mess.  My kids like making their own paint with flour, water and food colouring and then doing hand prints on paper – top tip this makes an almighty mess so be prepared and get them to do it outside and only in pants)
  • Any type of water play is a hit round here.  We have a fab Aqua play canal system which occupies them all and is a bit safer than getting out the paddling pool with two toddlers about the place
  • Finding an easy recipe which they can ‘do’ albeit with supervision.  This can take up much of the morning if it includes a trip to the local shop to get ingredients so J basically get them involved in making lunch and then they are excited to eat too reducing that potential mealtime battlefield – boom two birds one stone!!

So there is a few ideas and if I don’t lose my mind before September I may come up with others.  So far my top tip is to break the day down into manageable chunks so typically I do breakfast, then free play for around 30 mins or until a fight breaks out, then I do an organised activity before snack time and once the babies nap we do something more involved like the art projects which wouldn’t work with babies around, then it’s lunch and after that we might do an outing for a couple of hours even if it’s just to the park to climb trees they just need a scenery change sometimes and then finally it’s back home for free play whilst I make dinner before the dinner, bed and bath routine begins.

Right I’m off to think about what we can do tomorrow whilst I drink a large glass of wine and pat myself on the back for making it through another day whilst entertaining kids during the summer holidays

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