We all want our kids to have an amazing time this summer but this year school holidays are looking a little different to normal. With ANOTHER six weeks of the kids at home, it's understandable if you're feeling slightly daunted at the thought of occupying them.
So I've put together some of my favourite ways to help you fill the summer holidays with ideas that won't break the bank.
1. Baking with Little Cooks
You can’t go wrong with baking! If you are after something easy, fun and healthy for your kids, then Little Cooks Co's award-winning monthly kits make baking simple! Each month they send your little cook a new baking recipe and all the dry organic ingredients to make it. Their kits are fun, delicious and educational for ages 3-10! You can buy a one-off box or subscribe.
2. Follow Play.hooray for daily activities
My go-to Instagram account for activities is @play.hooray. Claire shares super easy ideas using household items and she has plenty of ideas saved in her Instagram highlights.
3. Activity kits from Cotton Twist
These brilliant activity kits will keep kids occupied and make a lovely treat too. Choose from a Bracelet Making Kit to a Make Your Own Superhero Mask set.
4. Visit a pick-your-own fruit farm or local ice cream farm.
Ideal for a socially distanced trip out and guaranteed to make everyone happy on a summers day.
5. Garden fun
We will all be spending more time at home this summer and if you have a garden, take a look at some of the great outdoor toys from The Works. My kids have had hours of fun with the Bubble Shuttle Rocket and the Egg and Spoon Race.
6. Busy bags from My Busy Bots
These award-winning busy bags contain fun, educational activities that will encourage learning through play. My 4 year old is completely captivated by his busy bags. Perfect for enquiring little minds, they help them discover new topics as well as develop essential abilities (like fine motor skills and visual perception skills). They are not crafts (so they can be used over and over again) and they are not everyday toys. The best thing is they use items that will intrigue your child – and, more importantly, ones that will not stain, glitterfy or make your home sticky.
7. Make these easy strawberry ice lollies
3 ingredients and 5 minutes is all you need to make these delicious strawberry ice lollies.
8. Do a scavenger hunt.
This idea takes hardly any time to plan but can provide hours of fun for your kids. A scavenger hunt involves a list of things that they will need to find, in order to tick it off their list. Items can be anything from things in the garden or if it's a rainy day, then create a list of household objects. For younger kids, take some of their toys and hide them for a simpler scavenger hunt. My son spends at least 10 minutes every morning doing this while I enjoy a cup of tea in peace.
9. Don't stress out about how much TV they're watching.
This is really one for you - it's okay to put the TV on for a while if you need to work for a while, do the washing or do a few errands around the house. It's good for children to have some down time so don't feel guilty. Some days they will watch more TV than others and that's okay.
10. Be creative with cardboard boxes
If you're looking for a fun way to keep the kids busy with things you have lying around the house, Amazon recently launched their #MoreThanABox initiative. This is all about being playful with shipping boxes and it's a great way to entertain the kids without spending a penny. A simple cardboard box presents a world of opportunities to a child and gives them the chance to let their imaginations run free.
11. Have a socially distanced sports day with friends in the park
Now we can go to the park, gather your friends and their kids for a fun sports day - especially if the children didn't return to school and have their school sports day. Ask each parent to bring a suitable game and make a real day of it with a picnic. It's an opportunity to keep the kids active and for you to catch up with some friends.
12. When in doubt, build a den
This is the motto I live by with my children. It's a fact, kids love dens, no matter how old they are. Grab some blankets or bed sheets and create a den with some comfortable cushions. Encourage them to turn the den in to a house, a shop, a school or set them up with some popcorn to enjoy a movie afternoon.
13. Treat yourself to our new Spa Night In Box
Of course I had to end with our new Spa Night In Box. Designed to bring the spa experience right to your home, it includes a scented candle, relaxing bath salts and a trio of facemasks. This is the perfect relaxing treat for yourself after a long day with the kids or a thoughtful gift for a fellow mum who's finding life tough at the moment.