It’s the school holidays and the kids are loving being out of school, long summer days and no lessons!  But young brains are curious and if they’re not exercised, boredom kicks in and then you have problems.

As a parent it’s time to get sneaky and find fun things to keep the kids learning all summer long.  You’ll need to find things that appeal to your youngster, but it shouldn’t be too challenging – you know your children and what rocks their boats!

Learn about an animal

Do you have a junior zoologist in the family?  Encourage them to find out about some of the more unusual species.  Maybe incorporate a visit to a farm, a zoo or nature reserve to get up close and personal with an animal they’re fascinated by, whether it’s an Alpaca or a Zebra.

You might give them My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell to read too.

Explore a country

If you’re going abroad on holiday, encourage your kids to find out about where you’re going before you leave.  Encourage them to keep a journal (either in an actual notebook or digitally) and record their experiences in a foreign country.  For older kids get them to find out about the history of the area you’re visiting (most places have a good battle or two in the past).  Who invaded, what influences did they leave behind?  Old buildings can seem boring, but become fascinating when they’re linked to a good story.

Discover a new hobby

What might your child enjoy doing, that they haven’t explored yet?  Is there a sport or physical activity they’ve expressed an interest in – a local climbing wall, trampolining, netball or cricket (now they’ve been in the news)?  Many world class performers in various sports started because they happened to be somewhere they could try out something new.  Don’t ignore less strenuous activities either.  Are there writing groups, drawing workshops or dressmaking sessions they might find interesting?  Search online or check out your local library.

Research an issue

Have you got a campaigner on your hands?  If your child is on your case about plastic usage, saving the environment, feeding the homeless or something else, be interested and suggest they find out the facts and figures behind these issues.  Could they join an environmental group and help with cleaning up or get involved in promoting the cause.

You’ll find that, although they may use the internet to look up information, they’ll spend less time on their mobile devices.  They’ll also have some interesting things to tell you over dinner!