Summer is returning to us and kids are now on their summer holidays for 6 weeks!
Having children around the house every day can be challenging and sometimes they get under your feet, but the good part is, its Summer, and hopefully, we'll get some lovely hot weather to enjoy!
In this blog, I will be talking about activities that you could do with your children & young people over the Summer break. I know that not all people reading this will be living by the New Forest or with a beach nearby, but as I live in a coastal area, these are the type of activities I will include in my top list of Summer activities to do with the kids, as I've enjoyed them so much over the years.
- Crabbing. Living near the beach is the best part for me, because it just means they are so many things you can do to keep children active! Something to do in the holidays, that involves the beach (but not just sunbathing or swimming) is crabbing! Crabbing is always a fun activity to do, because even young ones can do it with a little help. Children get to explore the creatures and the sea, they will get to learn about the crabs and how they all are so different to one and another. Also if you happen to have a chef in the family - it could even be turned into a cooking session for the children as well. If you're not near a beach - look out for creeks and lakes nearby for crabbing opportunities.
- Forest Hunt. Living by a forest can be great if you make it into a field trip and take a picnic. You could even make your own scavenger hunt or bingo cards to see or find a number of birds or types of trees, colours of leaves and much more. You could even go out after it's been raining and go splashing in muddy puddles!
- Community. A top tip I have is to look at your community board. They normally have many activities going on for children in the holidays for a pound or two and your child can meet new people and have fun.
- Bat & Ball. Buying a bat and ball is always good fun! Just playing a game of catch or if you have a big family or have friends with children as well, arrange a day to go out to a field and play a good old game of rounders. It's fun for everyone, gets you out of the house and teaches children about team work!
- Garden Camping. If you have a garden, pitch up some small beach tents in the garden and give the children a pack of fun playing cards, pillows and blankets for the tents, colouring books and more. And maybe if you have a big tent hidden away, you could pitch it up and have a camping night in the back garden. The best part - it doesn’t cost anything!
- Bake-Off! My favourite is having a family bake-off! Set all the equipment out and some recipe sheets and let the child pick what they want to make and let them have a go at it (with supervision). You don’t have to have a final result to have a good time, so if it turns out inedible - don’t worry over the spilt milk - just remember all they have learnt today and how much fun they had baking and making.
You may be thinking this list is fine for the younger children but what about the older children? Well for the teenage years children I would hope they would be planning to go out with friends and most of the time spent with you for lifts! But for the days they're still at home bored, it’s a good time to teach them about stuff they will need to know for when they are ready to move out, such as:
- Washing. Teach them how to use the washing machine, how split their washing up into colours, whites and darks and what they should use to clean them and what they can and can’t put in tumble dryers.
- Cooking. Teach them how to use the oven and get them to help you cook dinner a few times. Let them choose something to make and supervise them, take them shopping with you to get the ingredients they will need and help them when asked. This will help them to know how to make meals and how to cook from scratch. It'll be such a positive thing for independence and teaching them to make healthy meals.
- Cleaning. I know this one will sound silly but teach them about cleaning products, what can you use to clean a wooden table or what you can and can’t mix together. Show them what needs to be cleaned at once a week and what you would clean once every few weeks.
- Money. Teach them how to budget money... You can use play money you find in children toys, give them a certain amount you would say would normally get in a paying job. You could set a pretend rent they will need to pay and a food budget, so when they get that money once a month they give you 300 for rent, 40 for food for the month, 10 for internet and then whatever else you decide to add-in. Sit down with them and write up shopping lists with them and look online for the price. Take them into the store and let them do their own food and bits and bobs shopping for a month. If you do this for a month as a role play, it will teach them responsibility with money and to get into a routine.
I know these sounds like impossible tasks, teenagers are teenagers, but doing this when they have time to learn will help them in the long run. I know it won’t be as fun for them, but it's something they will need to learn at some point, and there are so many ways you could make it fun!
I know summer holidays can be stressful on parents and guardians, there are many more things you can do to unwind that stress and get the children out of the house for the days, it’s a win-win and using the time wisely is very important.