If you are looking at six weeks of trying to think of things to do with the kids during the summer break, here are ten ideas
- A daily dance session: if your family like music, dial up the most upbeat music you can find and get the whole family dancing. A 15-minute boogie session gets the endorphins running and smiles on the face. This works really well with younger children – but even older kids love it once they’ve got over themselves!
- A nature walk with points for spotting flora and fauna. Pick somewhere rural – beach, park, wood, fields and either challenge everyone to record the birds, flowers, different types of trees, seaweeds – or something else – they spot. This means no arguments over who spotted what first, everyone gets points. Variations on this are:
- Orienteering where there is a list of specific items and everyone has to find everything on the list. This is better with older kids.
- Geocaching – download the app and start hunting for hidden ‘treasure’.
- For wet days start a CandyCrush or Farm Heroes tournament and see who gets the highest scores. You might add a penalty for completing a level with less than 3 stars.
- For kids over about eight have a blog or Facebook Page challenge, set up a blog each on WordPress or a Facebook page each and see who does the best with a daily post, parents can be included (this is known as putting your money where your mouth is!)
- Creative building projects – save cardboard boxes, plastic bottles, etc., so you have plenty of material, make sure you have sufficient glue, paperclips and other ‘connecting’ materials. Get them to present their creation at dinner and explain what it is and why they chose to build this or to tell a story about it.
- Treasure hunts – take turns, including kids, to hide a small treasure (sweets, pretty hairclips, toy cars, etc., pre-game have a brainstorming session of what a good treasure would be (put a £1 limit) invite friends to make it even more fun. Specify the area so nobody disappears into a neighbour’s garden or down the road where younger children aren’t allowed to go alone.
- Cook up a feast – younger kids love making cakes and biscuits, in fact even older children like making and decorating cupcakes or pizza with lots of creative toppings. For older kids, set them the challenge of creating lunch or dinner for the family.
- Set up visits and sleepovers with friends so you – and other Mums get time for you and business. Have a tent sleepover with a tent ‘village’ in your garden, if it’s big enough.
- Take them swimming or skating and have challenges – swim 1 width or length for younger children, 10 for older children. Different strokes etc. At the skating rink you could give them challenges such as completing a circuit without falling over for beginners, for more experienced skaters maybe a circuit skated backwards or things like a figure of 8, etc.
- Home cinema days – great when it’s raining. Set up a bunch of feel-good videos and then get them to make their own popcorn (I recommend doing it the old-fashioned way in a pan with a lid, rather than the microwave packs) add fizzy drinks, lots of cushions and they’ll be happy for at least a couple of hours.
Of course, there are many, many other ideas, but when faced with six weeks to fill, the more things to get your creative juices going the better.
P.S. You might include a weekly target of Exemplar’s online learning modules if your family is using the supported education programme.