Keep the kids entertained (without breaking the bank) this summer!
School’s (nearly) out for the summer!
Keep the kids entertained (without breaking the bank).
Kids are running from the school gates jumping for joy with their new found freedom, ready for a summer fuelled with action packed fun, while secretly us parents are preparing for, let’s be honest, a long few, weeks ahead, filled with coming up with new ideas on how to keep the kids entertained, without breaking the bank.
Thankfully the summer holidays don’t have to feel dreaded, as we have teamed up with two amazing mums and parenting bloggers, Harriet (Toby and Roo) and Cathryn (Little Paper Swan), who are sharing their summer survival secrets with us. Whether you’re balancing work, staying at home, or going away, each inspiring mum has some great tips and advice on how to make the most of the summer, beat the boredom and of course create some unforgettable memories with your little one.
Although many children may moan at the words ‘we are going on a walk’ maybe if we swap ‘walk’ with ‘outdoor adventure,’ we can get them out the house and into the fresh summer air. Not to mention it’s also a subtle way of getting both our children’s legs and our own moving, putting the ‘active’ back into activities.
Parenting blogger Harriet (Toby and Roo) suggests ‘we really enjoy going to Dalby forest, which costs us £40 for the year and is the best place for woodland walks, playing on the climbing frames and slides and enjoying the spring water for a spot of paddling.’ She also adds ‘I really love taking the children to Flamingo Land for a big day out to the zoo.’
Explore your surroundings; whether it’s a trip to your local park for a picnic or your going somewhere new and further afield, there are so many places to see and adventures to be had with your family. Cathryn (Little Paper Swan) says ‘we are very fortunate to live right by the coast which means trips to the beach. Edith loves building sandcastles, collecting stones and paddling in the sea.’
We understand that travelling somewhere with little ones can sometimes seem like an endurance test! How many times can you answer that dreaded question ‘are we nearly there yet?’ politely. However to keep them entertained whether its in the car or on a plane, Harriet (Toby and Roo) says ‘I usually take kindles along, all three kids have them and we swear by them. On something like a 10hr plane journey we take kindles, stick books and a few small toys to unwrap every 2 hrs or so (and I mean SMALL, like £1-2 each).” Cathryn (Little Paper Swan) also advises ‘In all honesty get a tablet loaded with nursery rhymes or their favourite TV show. Anything to make travelling with a toddler more bearable is worth it.’
Of course everyday can’t be a trip out and Harriet (Toby and Roo) suggests that what her children love doing the most during the summer is ‘playing with their toys, running about the garden and then days out are secondary. It’s me that likes the days out as I find it so stressful trying to work when they keep asking me for stuff! I think a balance is good!’
As summer doesn’t always mean sunshine and holidays, what is there to do indoors or on a rainy day? For toddlers, there are many activities inspired to bring out their creative side and keep them busy. Cathryn (Little Paper Swan) swears by ‘play dough, craft and baking, play dough is a real winner at the moment.’
Daily activities can also help to keep childrens’ minds stimulated and build upon numeracy and literacy skills developed during term time. I know what you’re thinking… we’re not getting the homework books out already are we, not yet don’t worry! Cathryn (Little Paper Swan) suggests that ‘as long as you’re talking to your child, counting objects etc and just generally paying attention to them I think most everyday activities have educational value.’ Even doing the weekly shop can be made into a fun and imaginative activity involving the little ones.
Children are always learning, so even when you’re out and about you can engage them within their surroundings. Parenting blogger Harriet (Toby and Roo) suggests ‘I always try to encourage the kids to remember “something to tell daddy” when we go places like the zoo, be that looking at the plaques and remembering info about a particular animal, or going to something like the Jorvik Centre and remembering how the Vikings lived’.
I know it can often feel like a balancing act, juggling work life with the children being at home but Harriet (Toby and Roo) suggests that ‘preparation is key on the holidays.’ When organising your time and finding appropriate childcare for children, she advises that ‘asking for help and planning ahead is the best thing to do.’ Cathryn (Little Paper Swan) suggests ‘I’m fortunate enough to work from home most of the time and my husband is a teacher so he has the summer holiday off work. When we are both working we rely on my family.’ Whether its family members, neighbours or friends, there is support around you, so don’t be afraid to use it.
What have you got planned for your little ones this summer? Get in touch with us and let us know.