The summer holidays are a great part of the year to spend quality time with your kids. But most parents would admit it can also be challenging when there is a succession of rainy days and they’re sitting around the house getting restless – particularly if you don’t have much money to take them out every time the weather is bad. To ensure the summer holidays are as stress-free as possible then, it’s a good idea to have a few rainy-day activities prepared beforehand, such as craft supplies or games. That way, if you do have a succession of wet days you are not all going to go stir-crazy inside. Here are some things you can consider:
● Craft Box: It’s always a good idea to keep well stocked up on craft supplies for long holidays as this allows your kids to really exercise their imaginations. Visit a website such as handyhippo.co.uk to buy a good range of items to keep them happy. Essential items will include paints and marker pens, glue, coloured paper, felt and foam. But you can pretty much stock it with whatever you want: sequins are always popular, as are straws, lolly sticks, shells, beads and buttons. The more you have, the more imaginative your children can be with it.
● Indoor Dens: If you’re not too worried about order and tidiness (and most of the time you can kiss that goodbye as soon as the holidays arrive in any case) then why not do some good old-fashioned den-building. Any duvets, blankets and pillows can be pinned and arranged however you want to create a hidey hole for your kids to keep their things in. It’s amazing how long this can keep them occupied for, although you may have to put up with it for a few days until they’ve finally had enough and are prepared to let you take it down again!
● Treasure Hunts: This takes a fair amount of preparation (making and hiding clues, hiding the treasure and whatnot) but it’s worth it if you do it right because it can keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours and hopefully tire them out a bit as well (especially if you make sure it involves a lot of running up and down stairs)! You can even use your craft supplies to fashion clues or obstacles along the way. For treasure, use whatever kind of treat your kids are most into at the moment. It’s also a good thing to do if they have friends over as a treasure hunt is most fun if it’s done as a team activity. Just make sure there are enough prizes at the end for everybody as you don’t want any tears!
● Plan Meals: Even the simple act of making a lunch can be turned into a fun holiday activity if you prepare what you are going to do in advance. Cook something that takes some time to make and the kids can join in with: for example, why not have a bit of a ‘carpet picnic’ with all kinds of bits and pieces liked shaped sandwiches, healthy dips, gingerbread men and so on. Children tend to be much more excited about food if they have had a hand in putting it together.
● Games and Puzzles: It’s worthwhile having a few family favourite board games in the cupboard. Make sure you choose something that everyone can get involved with, regardless of their age. A good old-fashioned jigsaw never goes amiss either, although you may find that some children can’t concentrate on these for too long. Think of them as a good stand-by and make sure you have a decent variety of pictures and age ranges to choose from.
● Movie Day: No, this isn’t just a case of ‘if all else fails, stick them in front of the TV’. Think about the kind of films everyone would enjoy – maybe a new release that nobody has seen before – and then dim the lights, get the popcorn out and have your own family movie day. This always goes down a treat and again, it’s a useful way to entertain any friends they have round as well.