Six weeks can be a long time to spend juggling work and entertaining bored kids who have nothing to do during the school holidays. Each day they’ll either ask you “What are we doing today?”, or they’ll do the opposite and attempt to spend hours at a time on their electronic devices.
To ensure your kids get the most out of summer, here are our top activities to GetOutside with your kids during the holidays this year.
1. Build a den
Building a den is a great challenge and provides a lot fun! The kids can either make one in their back garden, or head to a local forest – just make sure they’re allowed to build dens there first.
To create their den, the kids will need to build a sturdy structure. If they’re just staying in the garden to build their creation, chairs, broom handles, bedsheets and tables will do. If you’re heading elsewhere with them, they’ll require fallen branches, string or rope, and lots of leaves to provide a protective cover.
Building a den is fairly simple, and something older kids can do alone together. However, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind a helping hand from mum or dad.
Geocaching is taking the whole world by storm. It’s essentially a modern, global treasure hunt – people hide boxes with goodies in them and you go out and find them. In every child is an adventurer bursting to get out, and geocaching is a perfect way to explore somewhere new.
There are 2,679,335 geocaches hidden around the world, so you’ll never run out of containers to find. Best of all, you only need a free Geocaching account and a GPS or the official smartphone app to get started. When you’re out and about, you’ll be able to see which caches are near you via your smartphone. Follow the co-ordinates to find the box – you may also be given a clue or two in case you really get stuck!
3. Learn a new skill
Having so much spare time is a great opportunity for the kids to learn something new. Perhaps it’s time for them to perfect their swimming or cycling, or maybe they want to learn something a bit different, such as fishing or horse-riding.
If you’re planning to take the kids camping, it’s the ideal time to teach them how to cook over a campfire. Don’t stick to just beans and marshmallows though – it’s possible to make all sorts of delicious meals, including muffins, pizza and paella.
Older kids might be interested in learning how to map read or track down wild animals. There are so many useful skills your kids can easily pick up during the summer holidays; you just need to find out what they want to learn.
4. Go fossil hunting
Whilst winter is the best time to go fossil hunting, if you’re heading to Dorset, the Isle of Wight or the East Coast of Yorkshire on your holidays, it would be rude not to go looking for fossils. After all, what kid doesn’t like dinosaurs?
To greatly increase your chances of finding a fossil, you’ll need to head to the beach just as the tide is going out. Charmouth beach in Dorset is one of the best places to go hunting. There, you can find anything from fossilised ammonites to the remains of a Jurassic squid. It’s not quite a T-rex, but finding a fossil is still an exciting experience your children will not forget!
5. Make a scrapbook
A scrapbook is a great way for kids to get creative and reflect on what they’ve done over the past few weeks. Plus, it means the moments you all shared together as a family are remembered forever. They may want to include photos, drawings, pressed flowers and any interesting feathers or leaves they found - it's totally up to them!
With a little help, your kids can create something amazing that they’ll be proud to show off to their friends and teachers when they go back to school.
Hopefully these activities will help keep the little ones busy and happy over the course of the summer and anyway, you don’t have to have something planned for them to do every day – a couple of hours on the PlayStation never hurt anyone.