Many activities are now back on for the summer holidays, but we’ve picked up so many tricks and ideas during lockdown that we thought we’d share a selection of our favourites. Continue the fun, save some money and keep the kids entertained whilst you’re working!
1. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that ticks all the boxes – free, outdoors, for everyone. Register for a free membership and use a GPS enabled device to search for the geocache (container) at specified locations.
2. National Trust’s 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 You can book a visit to a National Trust park or garden here and have so much fun! There is something for everyone – maybe you’ll roll down a really big hill, create some wild art or make friends with a bug. Plenty of the challenges can also be done in your garden. How many will you tick off this summer?
3. Summer Reading Challenge. Sign up and meet the Silly Squad! See recommendations from other children of the same age and who have the same interests, enter competitions and find out more about your favourite authors.
4. Build a DIY Escape room. If you love escape rooms, why not recreate the experience for your family at home. It’s a great project for parents and older kids to put it together, but it’s worth the effort. Lockpaperscissors has step-by-step instructions for designing your own game.
5. Form a band. This could be just for the kids, the whole family, or link up with friends using video conferencing. If you don’t own an instrument, try an online version like this virtual piano or improvise with household objects – and don’t forget the all-important band name!
6. Go camping at home. Many campsites are now open, but there is still plenty of fun to be had at home! If you have a tent and a garden you can venture into the great outdoors for an overnight camp. Do all the things you’d normally do like play swing-ball, cook on your camping stove, and do a bit of stargazing. If you can’t go outside then why not set up camp indoors, go Bedouin style with lots of blankets, cushions and pillows, tell stories, play games and ditch the tech.
7. Tackle an obstacle course. Grab chairs, cushions, sheets, hula hoops, planks, bricks etc. and build an obstacle course. Spend a while designing it to include things to climb over, duck under, crawl through and swerve around.
8. Alphabet hunt. Challenge kids to find an object around the house starting with each letter of the alphabet. They could draw, write or take a photo of the items.
9. Get crafty. Whatever their age, kids never seem to tire of arts and crafts, probably because there are a million and one things they could do. So pick a favourite or try something new – it could be junk modelling, Lego building, watercolour painting, cutting and sticking, painting stones, making slime, potato printing, knitting, sewing, playdoh modelling, papier mache, balloon modelling, window art…
10. Become an author. We’re not suggesting you try and write the next bestseller, but writing can be a great way for children (and adults) to explore what they’re feeling, or escape to an imaginary world. There are no rules, you could tell a story, make a picture book, create a comic strip, or write a news article. Do it individually or team up and share ideas!
11. Come dine with me. Depending on the ages of your children, you could do this over several days, or each take a course. Put together your menus, then each take turns to prepare food for and entertain your ‘guests’. After each meal or course write down a score. The scores are added up and revealed after the last meal or course.
12. Science experiments in the garden. This is a brilliant way to have fun, get all the senses working and keep an educational element at the same time. Whether it’s a nature scavenger hunt, seed planting or worm farming, we’re sure there’s something for everyone!