Great activities you can do with your children in school summer holidays

Summer is, after what felt like forever, finally on our doorstep. While the advent of longer and hotter days may be an utter relief after a wet and miserable first half of the year, the oncoming summer does also bring with it a challenge: the school summer holidays.

As a parent, you may find the summer holidays a uniquely stressful time of year; not only do you have to accommodate the newfound freedom of your little ones around your own work obligations, but you also need to find ways to entertain them as well! If you’re finding your inspiration running a little dry this time around, you could try any one of the following ideas to not only entertain your kids, but also enjoy some quality time with them as well.

 

1. Outdoor Adventures

Nature Hikes and Exploration: Taking your children on nature hikes is a fantastic way to introduce them to the great outdoors. Explore local trails, national parks, or even your neighborhood. Teach them about different plants, animals, and the importance of conservation.

Water Play: Getting out of the house is always a good thing to do, and especially on hot days. Indeed, what better place to spend a hot day than in the proximity of water? Water play is a fantastic opportunity for your children to cool off, stay fit and even get a little experimental in the process; for younger children, and with the right pool toys, water play can be great for learning about volumes while working on hand-eye co-ordination.

Beach Days: A day at the beach is always a hit with kids. Building sandcastles, playing in the waves, and collecting seashells are timeless activities. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and plenty of sunscreen.

Camping Trips: Camping is an excellent way to immerse your children in nature. Whether it’s in a tent in your backyard or a campsite in a national park, camping teaches kids survival skills, responsibility, and appreciation for the environment.

Biking Adventures: Go for a family bike ride. Find a scenic trail or a safe path in your community. Biking is not only great exercise but also an exciting way for children to explore new areas.

Gardening Together: Start a garden with your children. Whether it’s flowers, vegetables, or herbs, gardening teaches kids about where food comes from and the responsibility of nurturing living things.

 

2. Educational Experiences

Museum Visits: Many museums offer special exhibits and programs for children during the summer. From science and history to art and technology, there’s a museum for every interest.

Library Reading Programs: Local libraries often have summer reading programs that encourage children to read more books. These programs may include story hours, reading challenges, and prizes.

Science Experiments: Conduct simple science experiments at home. From making volcanoes to growing crystals, these hands-on activities can spark a love for science and learning.

Historical Sites and Landmarks: Visit historical sites and landmarks to teach your children about history in a fun and interactive way. Many sites offer guided tours or interactive exhibits designed for kids.

Cultural Festivals: Attend cultural festivals to expose your children to different cultures, foods, music, and traditions. These events can be both fun and educational, providing a broader worldview.

 

3. Creative Home Projects

Arts and Crafts: Set up an arts and crafts station at home. Provide materials like paper, markers, glue, and recyclables. Encourage your children to express their creativity through drawing, painting, and crafting.  Arts and crafts are amongst the more obvious activity solutions for spending time with your children, but no less enjoyable for it. Indeed, a ‘crafternoon’ with your children can be a highly engaging time with an exceedingly low budget to boot. You can take your ‘crafternoon’ in any number of directions, too! You could focus in on papercraft, whether creating sugar paper collages or perfecting the fine art of origami. For a more hands-on afternoon, you could use polymer clay to make trinkets together, and then paint them after they’ve dried. You could even paint along with an episode of Bob Ross! All for the cost of materials, and little more.

DIY Projects: Work on DIY projects together. This could be building a birdhouse, creating a family scrapbook, or making homemade decorations. These projects teach children about planning, creativity, and follow-through.

Cooking and Baking: Spend time in the kitchen with your children. Teach them how to cook or bake simple recipes. This is a great way to teach them about measurements, following instructions, and healthy eating habits.

Music and Dance: Have a music and dance day. Create a playlist of your favourite songs and have a dance party. You can also introduce your children to different musical instruments and teach them basic rhythms and tunes. As so beautifully rendered into lyric by the great Madonna, music makes the people come together. Music is a hugely social activity, and one that can be massively instructive in early-stage development too. Something as simple as a drum circle can be a great deal of fun, while also giving your children opportunity to get to grips with rhythm. Picking up an instrument together gives you a common interest, not to mention a journey you can enjoy together throughout the summer months.

Home Theatre: Create a home theatre experience. Choose a movie, make popcorn, and dim the lights. You can also put on a play or puppet show, encouraging your children to act out their favorite stories.

 

4. Community Involvement

Volunteer Work: Get involved in community service projects. Volunteering teaches children about compassion, empathy, and the importance of helping others. Look for age-appropriate opportunities like cleaning up a park or visiting a nursing home.

Local Events: Attend local events like farmers’ markets, fairs, and concerts. These events are great ways to connect with your community and expose your children to local culture and entertainment.

Sports and Recreation: Enroll your children in local sports leagues or recreational activities. Sports teach teamwork, discipline, and provide great physical exercise. Look for summer camps or classes in activities your children are interested in.

Neighbourhood Playdates: Organise playdates with neighbours or friends. This helps children develop social skills and friendships. You can plan activities like water balloon fights, relay races, or simple backyard games.

Farm Visits: Visit a local farm or petting zoo. Many farms offer tours where children can learn about animals, farming practices, and even participate in feeding the animals.

 

5. Relaxation and Downtime

Reading Together: Set aside time each day to read with your children. Choose a mix of books they can read on their own and ones you can read to them. This fosters a love for reading and improves their literacy skills.

Stargazing: Spend an evening stargazing. Teach your children about the stars, constellations, and planets. You can use a telescope or simply lie on a blanket and look up at the night sky.

Journaling: Encourage your children to keep a summer journal. They can write about their daily activities, draw pictures, or collect mementos. This is a great way to practice writing and reflect on their experiences.

Quiet Time: Ensure your children have some quiet time each day. This could be for napping, reading, or simply relaxing. It’s important for them to have time to recharge and unwind.

Family Time: Above all, prioritise family time. Whether it’s having meals together, playing board games, or simply talking about your day, these moments strengthen family bonds and create a sense of security and love.

Conclusion

The summer holidays are a precious time for creating memories and strengthening family connections. By engaging in a variety of activities, you can provide your children with a summer full of adventure, learning, creativity, community, and relaxation. Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors, delving into educational pursuits, or simply enjoying each other’s company at home, these experiences will leave a lasting impact on your children’s lives. So, get out there, have fun, and make this summer one to remember!

 

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