We are almost 2 weeks into the Summer Holidays and i’m sure i’m not the only one who wakes up wondering what we should do today. The good thing about these holidays is that the weather is generally nice so you aren’t stuck in doors. It is easy to spend a fortune over the summer but there are some free activities you can do at home that are just as fun for the little ones.
Today also happens to be National Play day – so if there’s a day to set some time aside for play, today is it ! Here are some of our favourites…
Georgia has just turned three and LOVES playing outside. I set up a fun activity the other day which included giant chalk, water and a paint brush. I drew big numbers, letters and shapes with the chalk and she would then wet the paintbrush and paint over them. She loved it and it gets her used to drawing the shapes of the numbers and letters.
This activity is great as afterwards you just grab the hose and wash away any chalk left on the paving. It is also something that can be played over and over by drawing different things.
There are some great water toys out there like the sand and water tables or Aquaplay which create hours of fun if the weather is nice. You don’t need to spend money to create a fun water play area – buckets, bowls and bottles of different sizes are great to play with too. You can use funnels, sieves, spoons and tubes to create a water wall (this was our plan but the summer seems to have run away with us – there’s always next year). We have a mud kitchen in the garden and Georgia LOVES making mud pies with grass, flowers, soil and even stones – again you don’t need anything fancy – some mixing bowls, utensils mud and water are perfect to create the tastiest mud pie around.
While we’re talking about being outside in the sun. Another great activity is playing with ice. You can freeze big glasses with fruit in the water, Georgia loved freeing her ducks and dinosaurs from the ice – this was an activity i’ve seen them do at Georgia’s preschool. You can use plastic tools to break the ice, we didn’t have any of these so she found rocks and used those.
Painting is another great activity – its great for rainy days when you are stuck inside – you can buy art kits which include floor / table covers, brushes, paint and sponges etc. A few weeks ago after Georgia’s birthday party we had loads of paper plates left over, she had great fun colouring in different people / animals that I drew on the plates. Also keep any boxes from deliveries – they are great for painting and making things out of.
These are just a few of the free activities we’ve been keeping ourselves busy with – there are some amazing things to do out there with little ones. I am lucky enough to have met an amazing group of mothers with kids all Georgia’s age and we love meeting up where it be at the park for a picnic or a local painting ceramic class. If you’ve not heard about the HOOP app, I would highly recommend you download it. You personalise your profile around your location and child’s age and it brings up all activities in your area. A lot of them are free activities too !
Georgia loves animals, so loves going to our local Paradise Wildlife Park. We have an annual pass so go quite often – there are a lot of farms, zoos etc around the country. Even just going down to the lake to watch and feed the ducks keeps Georgia entertained for an hour or so. Pick up a coffee on the way and both mummy and toddler are happy!
We are off to France on holiday next week and I am already thinking of things to keep Georgia occupied while we’re away, on the plane and in restaurants while away. Georgia loves colouring so I have stocked up on colouring books and some crayons. She also loves sticker books which are great when you’re out for dinner and need something to keep the little ones entertained.
Usborne do some amazing magic painting books that come with a paint brush – all you need is a tiny bit of water or some ice to wet the brush – the colour comes out when you paint over the pictures – Georgia loves this – its a great one to keep in your bag as its small and keeps them entertained while waiting for their food in restaurants.
I recommend having a deck of cards in your bag too – loads of fun activities you can play with kids like sorting and pairing etc – they also come in handy when the little ones have gone to bed.
If you fancy a day trip into London, there are loads of things the little ones can enjoy – starting with the train trip. We take trains, buses and tube rides for granted – if you make it an adventure toddlers will love it. The British Museum and The Science museum are some of our favourites. Hampton Court Magic Garden is a brilliant day out for kids of all ages. Read our review here.
Eating out with kids is so easy nowadays – most places have a substantial kids menu and there always seem to be offers on during the holidays – A lot of chain restaurants will have offers on where kids eat free (under a specific age) with a full priced adult main – so its always worth checking. Here’s the list of restaurants where kids eat free at Heathrow until 1 September 2019, if you’re flying somewhere this summer.
All in all, enjoy it (even on those days when you’re pulling your hair out by 9am or reaching for the wine at lunch) as it goes by so quickly and before you know it you will all be back into the routine of school and work.
School’s Out Photo Credit:Africa Studio – Fotolia