Children bored? Falling out frequently? Need some ideas to keep them occupied? Then have a look at the following ideas to keep them entertained at home. Create some lovely memories this summer by spending time with them and having fun.
- Build a den, dragon’s lair or fairy castle! – get some blankets and let them take over the sitting room with cushions and bedding. Let them have (healthy) snacks, torches, books and toys. At the end of the day get them to clear it all up before the end of their favourite song, with an extra bedtime book as a reward for good work.
- Cooking – get your child to plan a meal for the family and help you cook it. Maybe try pizza, stir fry, home-made fish fingers or burgers, wraps or barbecued chicken drumsticks. Teach them a few skills in food preparation and they will gradually get better and be able to help more.
- Make smoothies – buy some of your child’s favourite fruits and try out different recipes for smoothies –apple juice, bananas, strawberries, yoghurt, peaches, oranges, Find out your child’s favourite.
- Cinema – Borrow a DVD from a friend and plan a movie night with popcorn
- Scrap book – Plan a scrap book together or a photo book all about your child. You can get great copies of treasured photos by scanning and printing them off or taking them to a photo shop to get printed. Use your imagination with coloured card, art materials, feathers, ribbons. You could do a book of ‘my first five years’, ‘my life so far’, ‘My friends and me’, ‘My family tree’ or ‘Where I come from’
- Arts and Crafts session – plan an activity to do with your child such as making junk models, potato prints, drawing people or animals from finger prints, making friendship bracelets, stained glass window art, paper planes, origami, paper fashions or sewing.
- Drawing – plan a session where you get your child to use their imagination where you start off a picture and they finish it, or you draw the outline of their favourite cartoon character and they decorate it. You can make cards for upcoming birthdays or make pieces of art to frame and put on their wall.
- Face paints – experiment with some fun designs for face paints and let your child use the paints to paint your face. Take some photos of the finished results!
- Indoor party – put on some music, plan the snacks; get the equipment together for their favourite party games. Have cheap prizes ready for the winners and let the fun begin.
- Water play – don’t feel that water is just for outdoors – plan a boating marina with a washing-up bowl or pop the children in the bath with some plastic pots and containers – it will keep them happy for a good half an hour.
- Card games-one pack of cards can keep children entertained for hours. Teach them games you remember from childhood such as ‘rummy’ or ‘snap’, or find new ones by researching games on the internet
- Board Games –get out all those games that you haven’t played since Christmas and have a marathon games session.
- Balloon fun – blow up a few old balloons and see what games the children can make up using them
- Mini Beauty spa – get your children to plan a mini beauty spa for you, where the treatments on offer include face masks, hand or foot massages or foot scrubs.
- Good sites for more ideas are :
- Ball games – children can play all manner of games with a ball – football, rounders, cricket, tennis, catch, bouncing the ball, target practice, keep the beach ball in the air. Teach toddlers to catch and explain the rules of games to older children. Or don’t have any rules at all and just have fun.
- Cycle ride to a local beauty spot. Get your child to help you plan the route and have a stop half way for some juice and a snack. Plan some chill time just to lie on a grassy bank and watch the clouds or build a den in the undergrowth
- Picnic -Plan your ‘best picnic ever’. Get the children to list what they would most love to eat at a picnic and buy or make the food. Plan to take along a large rug, balls and a selection of outside toys.
- Treasure hunt. Make a list of things you child needs to find whilst outside and see how many they can find. Alternatively give them a matchbox – the winner is the one who can fit the most items into the matchbox
- Water slide – get a kids slide, rig up a hose at the top and put a sheet of plastic at the bottom for maximum slide length.
- Water fun – choose from setting up a paddling pool, water sprinkler or a fight with water guns
- Mini Olympics – plan races and events for all the family. Get your medals made in advance for and a box for the podium. Make it interesting by adding obstacles and activities where both adults and children can compete fairly.
- Tent – use one you have, borrow one from a friend or make one with a piece of string and a sheet. Pop a rug on the floor and hey presto – an instant venue for an afternoon of playing with their favourite toys and snuggling up with a book
- Plan an outing – remember what you used to do to entertain yourself in the summer? Take your child to a field, river, lake, beach or beauty spot and let them make their own fun.
- Good sites for more ideas for fun outside are:
Most importantly – enjoy the last few weeks with your children! And don’t forget to add ideas of your own in the box below so other parents can read your great ideas for summer-time fun!