After all the bank holidays we have had just lately and with the summer holidays fast approaching, we thought you may (like us!) be lacking in ideas to entertain the little ones this half term...
So we decided to scour the web once again and make a list of 10 fun ideas we'll be trying out next week... and the best part is they are all completely FREE!
We hope you find something to try, have fun!!
1. Pack a picnic (teddy bears optional!)
As long as it's not raining you're good for this one! Simply pack up whatever you were going to give them for lunch, maybe add a few sweet surprises or cut the sandwiches into fun shapes to mix things up a bit, grab a blanket and off you go!
You can combine a picnic with lots of things, we love a bike ride with a mid way stop to rest and refuel but you could just combine it with a walk or a trip to the park, the beach, whatever works for you. They might be eating the same food they would at home but there's something much more fun about eating al fresco on a picnic blanket in the great outdoors!
Pack a football or a bat and ball and you can make a day of it with a few games too!
2. Garden camping
You don't need a big garden to have a lot of fun! And you don't have to stay out all night, although that would be fun for bigger kids too! You can simply fill the tent with blankets and cushions, a few games and toys and then sit back and watch them play!
Hang some fairy lights or bunting and pop on some music for some super fun festival vibes too!
This idea is always a winner in our house, sometimes we let them stay up late and toast marshmallows on a little disposable BBQ (careful to supervise!) if there's no school in the morning, a little star gazing too if it's a clear night!
3. Make an obstacle course
This idea is heaps of fun and will wear them out too! You can do it inside if you're brave enough and the weather is not on your side but outdoors will give you much more scope!
Use anything you can find... a length of timber as a balance beam, hula hoops to jump in and out of, beanbags or balls to throw into a bucket, something to limbo under or climb over, anything as markers to weave in and out of. Play tunnels, slides, trampolines can all be looped in here too! Here's some more ideas to try!
Make it more exciting and challenge siblings to a race or use a stop watch on your phone to have them beat their own PB!
4. Pebble collecting & painting
Take them out and about on a hunt for some perfectly paintable pebbles! Those nice big, rounded ones from the beach are perfect but any decent sized little rocks would work if you're land locked! Don't forget to take a strong bag or bucket to carry them home.
Have the little ones wash them off in a bowl in the sink first and then set them out to dry. Next you'll need a selection of paints or pens, even glue and glitter, you can get as creative as you like! Acrylic paints and pens work well for a longer lasting finish but any will do...
When they're all done they can dot them around to decorate the garden, give them as gifts to grandparents or just display them proudly in their rooms!
5. Spa day
Our girls (and boys!) just love this one and there's no need to worry about the weather either! Wrap their hair up in towels, have them don their dressing gowns and flip flops (because we don't want to smudge those freshly polished toes!) Pop some slices of cucumbers on their eyes to get a few giggles and then treat them to a pedicure or a face mask! Either pick up some cheap as chips children's masks in the shops or you could even find a recipe to make your own if you're feeling extra brave!
Make them feel grown up with posh glasses (think plastic wine glasses!) filled with pink coloured squash and a slice of fruit! Pop on a movie to enjoy while the nail varnish dries et voila... that should buy you enough time for a coffee in peace!
6. Create your own crazy golf course
This idea can be set up indoors or outdoors! Raid the recycling box and use whatever you have to hand to create your 9 'holes'! Think makeshift tunnels, ramps, bridges and any other obstacles you fancy! You can number them or add arrows to show the direction of the course too so there's no cheating!
If you don't have children's golf clubs a children's umbrella turned upside down would work just as well, as will any small, golf sized ball. Once they're done building, it's time to challenge each other!
7. Photography challenge
For this one you will need a camera, a children's camera is fine or you can be brave and trust them with a camera phone! It works a little like a nature trail in that you write a list of say 10-15 'subjects' to photograph either around the house or garden or while out and about. They can then tick off their list as they go hunting for their next shot.
The idea is for them to capture the best photo they can of each item on their list. Suggestions include an insect, a flower, a leaf, a tree, a sign, a shadow, a building, something round, something a certain colour, the possibilities are endless!
At the end it's your challenge to look through the pictures and work out which one ticks each box!
8. Organise a sports day!
This sounds a lot harder than the reality! What we mean is, text a few friends with children of a similar age and arrange a meet up at the park, the beach or anywhere nice and open.
Bring a football, a bat and ball or even just a frisbee and set up some games for the children (or the grown ups!) to play. This always keeps them interested for longer than your usual trip to the park! Don't forget some snacks, drinks and suncream if it's warm!
9. Visit a museum
The best thing about museums is that lots of them are completely free to visit! Follow the link here to find a free museum near you! There will be heaps of learning opportunities and lots of things to see and do no matter what their age!
10. Have a baking day
We've never met a child who doesn't enjoy baking, have you?!
You don't need to go out shopping for all kinds of exotic ingredients, with just flour, eggs, sugar and butter you will be able to make a whole range of sweet treats! You can get as creative as you like with more complex recipes or keep it really simple and just ice some biscuits! Either way, we're sure they'll enjoy the taste testing at the end!
Here's some of our favourite child friendly recipes to inspire you!