Entertaining the kids in the holidays
It’s mid August and there are about two weeks left of the summer holidays. There are parents counting down the days until the schools and nurseries re-open. This is when there’s less need to find imaginative, exhausting and generally expensive ways to entertain the kids! Desperately in need of some children’s holiday ideas..
Now, I do love the summer. The days are longer and the weather is warmer. I also quite like the summer holidays too in a way. Things are more relaxed and when the sun is out it’s actually quite nice. But when it’s a wet and miserable day it’s a different story. Yes, it’s still warmer than February but facing the outdoors is more of a struggle. When you’re at home with a hyperactive child who’s nagging to go to the park, you’ve got to start being creative.
I have one small child – Eva who is still at nursery. I also have a teenage son – Kyle, but he can entertain himself most of the time. Yes he still gets bored at home, even with his phone, games console and TV in his room . He occasionally sees his friends. But this summer he’s been doing some work experience with a friend of ours who is a landscape gardener. He’s enjoying it and he’s actually out and about. Phew! So only having one child at home is slightly easier, but it’s just me and her. I’ve got to make sure she’s getting as much fun out of playing with Mummy as she would with children of her own age.
Just the two of us
On Thursday, Eva and I had the day together and it also rained. Not just a bit of drizzle, but it rained hard – and sideways. After weeks and weeks of hot weather, the summer seemed to have come to a rather abrupt end. That’s it now, we’ve been lucky. Thursday really was going to be an indoors day and I had to plan some children’s holiday ideas tailored to suit her.
I firstly cleared some space in the kitchen so she could play. We live in a Victorian end terrace cottage which has a tiny front room. Also we lived with an equally tiny dining room for a few years with a bit of a kitchen off it. But a year ago we had it knocked out and created a kitchen diner. The front room is still very small but we do have a bit of space in the back. So I got to work on some things to do.
Colouring and Drawing
A very simple and cost effective way to keep the little ones busy. I have this large colouring-in paper tablecloth from Amazon, which is great to just spread over the table. Have plenty of crayons and let them scribble while you can get on with any chores.
If they get bored of doing that (and they will) then get out more arts and crafts for them. Painting, gluing or using glitter. These obviously need more supervision (especially the glitter!) but it’s a great way for the kids to express themselves.
Get out toys they don’t normally play with
There are always toys or games that the children get at Christmas that either need building or just take up loads of room. They tend to play with them for a few days over the festive season then they get packed away never to be seen again. Either because they’ve already had enough or it just seems like a lot of hard work to get it unpacked and put together again. If you’re like me, I end up tripping over it all or bits get lost which is frustrating.
So having said all that – today is the day you’re going to get out the train set! Or it could be a marble run, a Scalextric, the massive box of Lego or a toy village! After already having a child who had the majority of these toys, I tried my best to stick with the ones I’m capable of putting together. Building things is not my strong point, so Eva’s little Thomas the Tank Engine set was just about my limit. Then once I found some working batteries in a random drawer, Thomas was well away going round the track. She was quite happy to play with it for quite some time.
Play dressing – up!
Let’s face it, we all like dressing up in fancy dress…don’t we? Well, most kids do (although not all). Eva has a dress up box with various Disney princess dresses, wigs, cowboy outfits and fairy wings. We decided to be Anna from Frozen and have a tea party with Olaf.
If you are going to have a tea party, you need party food! Kids love cooking and baking or simply making a mess. Then having a treat at the end of it. We either do cupcakes to decorate with sprinkles and toppers or cut out cookie dough. This time I did some slightly healthier cookies using almond flour instead of plain flour, and Xylitol as a sugar substitute. I still added chocolate chips to make it appealing. Eva just mixed up the ingredients in a bowl, then I made rounds on a greased baking tray and baked them for ten minutes or so. They smelled good.
Let them jump in puddles!
A bit of fresh air is good, so put the kids in waterproof coats and wellies and why not let them go outside? Eva think’s she’s Peppa Pig ‘jumping up and down in muddy puddles’ and I’m just thankful she’s not actually in the mud. It’s a compromise when they want to take their bikes out to the park but it’s just way too wet to be going that far.
When they are tired out, they can relax on the sofa with a movie or give them an ice lolly. It is the summer after all..