In the run up to the summer holidays many parents will begin to groan inwardly (and audibly) at the prospect of having to entertain the children for six weeks. What might begin with enthusiastic trips to the cinema and the local pool will inevitably end in wondering what to do next for everyone’s sanity.
But don’t lose heart or creativity; instead of turning the TV on or placing them in front of a tablet, Sussex based Natural Nurture has created a top five summer holiday activity tips.
Weather the weather
Living in Britain means you can’t rely on brilliant sunshine for all the holidays, however, this shouldn’t dampen any plans for outdoor activities. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Don the wellies, put on a rain jacket and head outside to jump in puddles, or tree climb in the woods or play Pooh sticks.
Forget the expensive craft kits – there are so many natural resources at our finger tips that children can use to spark their imaginations. Get the poster paint or chalks out and go hunting for sticks, stones, shells and leaves to decorate. Once dried, these can be turned into a multitude of things. Try turning the painted leaves into bunting or gluing the shells to hairclips for original pieces of art.
Build a DIY tent
Don’t have a tent? Don’t worry, you can raid the airing cupboard and use sheets and blankets and let the children create their own dens. Clothes pegs are handy tools as well as brooms, umbrellas and kitchen chairs. This activity not only helps children problem solve but on a sunny day will also create shade that they will want to sit under.
Pick a picnic
Plan a picnic with the kids, which could even be an indoor picnic if it rains. Involve the children by taking them to the supermarket with you to choose the foods and then let them help you prepare it. Children love chopping and spreading, and the enjoyment they’ll get when eating what they picked and prepared will be worth it!
Local councils, shopping centres, libraries and museums often host a range of free activities for the little ones over the summer so check ‘what’s on’ guides and noticeboards for activities that are happening near you.
Tracey Poulton, Founder of Natural Nurture, says: “Entertaining children over summer doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise, it just requires a bit of imagination from both sides. Children can lead activities so listen to what they might like to do. It might be as simple as a game of hopscotch, but getting involved as a parent too can make the activity more fun and rewarding for both children and adults.
“Studies have shown that children often just want to spend time with their parents and it can be undertaken easily through simple activities like sitting down and making a daisy chain together.
“Don’t worry about having to amuse them the whole time though, as letting them get bored occasionally is good, teaching them to be more creative in the ways they entertain themselves.”
For more information about Natural Nurture visit www.naturalnurture.org.