Keeping your children entertained during the long summer holidays needn't mean trips out to expensive theme parks or play parks.
Invite a couple of the children's friends over to play and try some of these ideas to keep the kids happy in the summer sun. Here is how we spent our day today. See my knee!?
Hold a mini sports day if you have 3 or more children playing at your house. Whilst it will involve some participation from you in order to referee the races, it will keep the kids entertained and they will be safe playing in your garden. Try simple running races if your garden is big enough, or popular sports day races such as the egg and spoon race or perhaps a space hopper race if you have them.
If you have a games table such as air hockey or table football (or foosball as it can be known) try getting the kids to set up a mini tournament if there a few of them. Give them a timer and let them time each match for 5 minutes. A tip from football table specialists Liberty Games - a pad of paper and a pencil or maybe a chalkboard if you have one will allow them to keep score. They can keep score either by counting the number of goals each person scored in the 5 minutes or by a simple win or lose each match method.
Another fun thing for kids to try is an obstacle course which you can either set up for them or they can set up themselves. If they want to get competitive then bring the timer out again and they can do time trials and see who can do the course in the quickest time. Use things like garden chairs back to back to make a tunnel to crawl under, garden canes to mark out paths, or to place across chairs to make hurdles. Be creative and use your garden and play equipment and see what obstacles you or the children can create.
On a hot and sunny day, a great way to cool off as well as to have fun is to play with water pistols or super soakers. Give the children a bucket or two of water to keep in the garden so they can fill up their water pistols quickly and easily and then let them loose to run around the garden and squirt each other.
Picnic in a tent
When you want the children to have a bit of quiet time or to stay out of the sun while it is at its hottest, why not suggest that they help you make a picnic for them which they can then eat outside in either a tent if you have one, or you can create a make-shift tent that will create some shade for them to sit under by draping a blanket or sheet across some chairs. Handsome and Goddess ask to do this all the time. We used to have a very large tent that we put in the family room and would pick food that they can help make such as mini sandwiches or fruit kebabs. They would eat, watch TV, play with their stuff animals and even sleep in there sometimes.