With the summer holidays approaching it can be quite a worrying time for some parents. Personally I’m a bit concerned about having enough money to pay the bills and also do different activities with the children. It got me thinking about the various things I could do that are free or really cheap to do. I decided to create two lists, a Sunny Day list and a Rainy Day List. I think most parents would agree that the rainy days are the most difficult when keeping children entertained as there is only so much tele you can watch before the mummy guilt kicks in!
To be honest I didn’t really think that this was a thing! Big M had done it Montessori Nursery so last summer I thought I’d give it a go. I was so surprised how much both girls loved it. It’s one of the items I always get out when we have warm weather, I like to have a few things so they can play with lots of different things. Water painting is always a success.
Go to the beach:
We are so lucky to live so close to the sea and I try and take the girls to the beach as often as possible. Going to the beach is pretty cheap, pack up the car with toys and a picnic, park up and let them play and play and play.
Visit a park you don’t normally go to:
I think we all have a park that we go to all the time because it’s easy to get to, or it’s close to a certain café that you like. Maybe use this summer to go a little further afield and try out a new play park.
Picnic in the garden
What’s not to love about putting a blanket in the middle of the garden and having some triangle shaped sandwiches and cake? Perfect opportunity to soak up the sunshine and have some potential chill out time. However if your children are like my children every time I lie down or close my eyes I get jumped on. 😩
Painting/drawing/play dough in the garden
When doing anything creative outside I always try to remember to have a bowl of water handy to wash hand especially when we are painting. I put tape the paper to the table as there’s generally a breeze that could make their art work fly away and then we are ready to go.
Have a teddy bear’s picnic
We have loads of soft toys so one of the things we are going to do this summer that we haven’t done before as they were so young last year, have a teddy bears picnic. Take all the soft toys outside have an afternoon of pretend play. Personally I want to work on Big Ms communication skills and develop her sentences so this would be a perfect opportunity to do this.
Get the bikes/scooters out
We haven’t done this as much a we should be honest. Big M got a balance bike for her second birthday but she wasn’t really steady enough on her feet at that time plus it was in the middle of winter so not really the ideal time. Then time kind of got away from us. She’s been on it a few times but not as much as she should and then for her Christmas last year she got a scooter. Little M is more interested in this at the mo. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get both of them steady enough we’ll be able to go on some adventures out and about.
Go on the Gruffalo Trail
My girls love the Gruffalo and we are really lucky that we have Guisborough Forest less than 15 minutes away from home where they have a Gruffalo Trial. All you have to do is download the free app and search for the Gruffalo. The children are amazed when they look through the smart phone to see the different characters from the story. We went in the winter but will definitely be returning again this summer.
Go to the local library
We have a library just up the road and every Tuesday they have a singing group, at the library in the next town along there is a craft session. All for free and they run through the school holidays which is always great. It is so frustrating when things close down for the holidays which is when we generally need them the most.
Make a den:
Who doesn’t love hiding in a den? There are so many elaborate dens you can make from Pinterest, but we’ve just made them with some sheets and the dining room chairs…so simple and yet they had the best time.
Check out the local museums
There are many museums in our area, many of which are free to enter. Some of the museums are running events including a Pirate Training School, Crafts and Story Time throughout the summer which are really cheap to be involved in so we will probably see what is going on and head out there a few times.
I don’t claim to be a contender for The Great British Bake Off but I can make a Victoria sponge and some chocolate nests! We’ve baked before and the girls love it, they mainly like eating the cake mixture but that’s part of the fun!
Food always goes down well in out house, so if getting the girls involved gets them to try new foods I’m well up for it. This is a nice activity to with children as they get to be creative with something that they are going to eat.
Create your own musical instruments/start a band
Noise making at it’s best, we have a few musical instruments in the house already, but if you want to make some shakers/drums it’ so simple to and a quick google will let you know what you need. My children love to make music and I will be honest my heart sank a little when my brother bought Big M a drum set for her birthday, but she loves it and practices her drumming whenever she can, you never know we might see her in a band one day 🙂
Play dress up
My little girls love to play pretend and quite often they will spend hours getting dressed up, playing together and then swapping clothes and starting all over again. Getting involved and creating stories has really helped with Big M’s confidence especially when it comes to speak out as she has to compete with the noise box sister!
Do a ‘Big Draw’
If you buy any large products over the summer save the cardboard or if you’ve got some old wall paper knocking about that would work too. This is a guaranteed hit. The girls love to be drawn around over and over again. Big M enjoys creating huge pictures that are all interlinked.
These are just a few ideas that you might want to take away with you, if you have any that you would like to add then please get in touch and I can add you to the blog.