The school summer holiday is a crucial time for children to recharge their batteries, but while it’s the time children generally look forward to the most in the school calendar, it can also prove challenging for parents, who often neglect their own self-care. It is often tricky to juggle work priorities and childcare, especially when also trying to think of creative ideas to keep kids entertained during the 6–8-week break!
A useful tip to remember for all parents – if we think in terms of flight safety when embarking on a holiday abroad, the flight steward asks you to you put your own oxygen mask on first before helping anyone else. What we mean by this is you also need to prioritise your own needs. Remember to look after yourself, be kind to yourself, find time to breath, rest, eat properly and take time out to do nice things for you! It’s only when you’ve fixed your own ‘oxygen mask’ you can help others effectively, like your children.
So, here are our top 10 fun inexpensive indoor and outdoor suggestions, for all weathers. Keep your kids entertained and happy this summer, while minimising exposure to the stresses of everyday life!
Indoors – ideas for those grey and rainy days:
Make your own stop motion movie
Stop motion is the method of stopping and starting the camera to create the impression of movement. It’s popular with kids and families due to the emergence of easy to use stop motion apps. You can download the stop motion app from the Apps Store or Google Play and follow the simple instructions to learn how to create your own movie.
Using toys from the toy box like Lego, Sylvanian Families, Trolls, Barbie and Playmobil as your characters and staging will make it lots of fun.
There are loads of great, engaging, thought-provoking and creative competitions out there to get involved in:
Write to a celebrity
David Attenborough and David Walliams are among those known to reply. It’s always worth asking for an autograph, thanking them and wishing them well at the end, and including your address you never know, your kids may receive a response. You’ll find fan mail addresses if you search online.
There are lots of sites to download and print activities off for free. Here are two sites for colouring in:
(The Great) Outdoors – for those lovely dry summer days:
Get camping (in the garden!)
If you’re lucky enough to have a safe garden space, you could pitch a tent in your back garden and let the children have a sleep over with their friends.
You can make the evening extra special by making smores over a parent supervised firepit or BBQ (disposable BBQ’s can be purchased from around £5 at most DIY stores, Argos and supermarkets)
Decorate and hide pebbles
I’m sure you’ve seen painted stones in your local area, there’s a growing love of painting stones and leaving them in places such as parks for others to discover and enjoy. Love On The Rocks UK is a popular Facebook group dedicated to this and has nearly 105K members. Why not get your kids engaged in something fun, creative and bring a smile to a stranger’s face!
There is a range of fun tours across BBC Locations in the UK, from CBBC, Horrible Histories, Gory Games, Hetty Feather, Copycats, Countryfile, Blue Planet II and lots lots more!
Family tickets range from around £30+ and Blue Peter badge holders get in for free to these and over 200 other UK attractions.
Museums are really focused on engaging kids these days and a visit to a museum always proves to be an exciting, informative, and engaging day out. Here are some of the popular free museums in the UK:
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham
The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Science and Industry Museum, Manchester
Turner Contemporary, Margate
The British Museum, London
The Tate Modern, London
The Natural History Museum, London
The Science Museum, London
Museums and galleries are an educational, fun and inexpensive day out
Immerse yourself in outdoor swimming
Lidos are such a fun way to enjoy the summer outdoors, pack a picnic and spend an inexpensive day out by the pool in the sunshine.
There are lots of Lidos across the UK, good ones include: Stonehaven Open Air Pool, Aberdeen; Saltdean Lido, Brighton; Bristol Lido, Bristol; Sanford Parks Lido, Cheltenham; Jubilee Pool, Cornwall; Rivers Fitness Lido, Droitwich Spa, Brockwell Lido, London; The Rock Pool, Newcastle, Lido Ponty, Pontypridd.
Alternatively, Wild Swimming is always a brilliant way to connect with nature.
Hit the tracks
National Rail offer 2 for 1 days out at hundreds of attractions across the UK.
Happy Confident Kids run wellbeing and confidence 1-2-1 sessions and workshops for children both in and out of term time. If you require advice and support for your child, or would like to find out more about our 1:1s or workshops call 0333 358 0390 or say email@example.com