Summer: Warm, relaxing and calming. Summer with a child? Well, not as relaxing I’d say. Keeping your children occupied to avoid the whining and the tantrums along with the sweaty weather is quite the task. So having a handy list of backup plans for if the kids get ‘aggy’ is essential to survive a summer with the little ones. There are plenty of activities across the UK from London to Manchester, but we’re focusing on cheaper home alternatives!
Outdoor Water Sports
It is difficult to name something that kids love more than making a mess, and when it’s intentional, there is nothing worse. So, permitting your children to make unintentional mess is the perfect compromise, providing enjoyment for both the child and the parent. The child is occupied, and the parent doesn’t have to clean. Supporting the idea that outdoor water sports are the best way to make an intentional mess. Water guns, water balloons and slip and sides are the perfect fun, summer activity for your children. Escaping from the hot weather, and making a sustainable mess will leave your children having fun and occupied for hours. And it’s as easy as taking a trip to poundland and purchasing water balloons, water guns and some tarpaulin, leaving the activity quite affordable.
As well as making a mess in the garden, your kids can also make a mess on the canvas alongside minimal clean-up. Leaving your child outdoors with a canvas and some paint can leave them occupied, increasing creativity and imagination which is a key developing skill for a young child. Despite the benefits of increasing your child’s development skills, you are also left with a sentimental picture of your child to hold memories for longer than your child’s attention span. Although painting can be messy, to keep the clean-up as small of a job as possible, keep it outdoors. So then the paint is only staining your grass and not the £1,000 worth of carpet in your living room, coupled with nature being on your side and the rain doing the clean up for you. And for the child, something simple like weaning bibs will do the trick to keep the child as clean as possible. Whilst also remaining relatively cheap, a canvas and paints can range between £10-£40 depending on the quality of the products. Making the activity affordable, clean and beneficial for the child whilst also holding sentimental value.
Other than making a mess, kids love to prove themselves to you. I’m sure you’ve heard it all before, ‘Mum are you watching?’ for the 24th time while they show you the most remarkable and skillful way they slid down a 3ft slide. You sit there and cheer, acting more and more amazed each time, wondering how many times this impressive act is going to happen until they are bored. Fortunately and unfortunately, being a parent does mean watching and taking part in boring activities. As we know Cbeebies for an hour at 7pm before they’re off to bed isn’t necessarily the most interesting thing, but a way of making it a little more interesting for both the child and the parent is by making your very own outdoor ninja warrior course, which is a little more entertaining than a 3ft slide you’ve been at for the past hour. Arranging your garden with cushions, blankets and toys is the most difficult way possible so there’s no chance your child will have it conquered in under 2 minutes like the slide. The cheap and clean method of entertainment will leave hours of fun for the child, with the use of your own materials to create the course and doesn’t take long to clean up.
Most children are 3 going on 30, there’s nothing they love than pretending to be an adult. Giving a child independence and the ability to create their own working ‘business’ makes them feel too cool to speak to you anyway, leaving them doing their own thing for hours. Providing them with a jug of lemonade and a table in a public area (or in your own garden if there’s enough customers) whilst under supervision is a great way to increase the independence and social skills for your child as well as some time to relax with no bother. It could also give your child an insight into the reality of money and how to profit, so depending on their age can leave them with some life skills as well. Overall, it requires relatively low effort and is cheap, a great way to keep occupied in the summer.