It’s that time of year again – the last few weeks of the summer holidays. Yes, we love having our children home with us, spending quality time together is important, but after a few weeks it can all get a little bit too much.
If you are sick of heading out to crazy play centres and busy theme parks, you might be looking for some more relaxed ways to keep the kids busy. Am I right?
Yes – then make sure to keep reading below, for all my best ideas for keeping the kids occupied without heading out to any attractions.
On days when you just don’t feel like leaving the house, having a craft day with your little ones is ideal. The best thing about craft days is that there are so many things that you can do, and most of which are fairly, easy.
My kids love making things, especially when I am helping them. As well as painting pictures and making collages, their favourite things to make are homemade toys. They love it because they get to make themselves a new friend, I love it because sewing is mess-free. The only messy part is using hot glue sticks to stick on the googly eyes, but I always do that, anyway.
If you lack imagination or the creativity gene, like I did, Kmart has a lot of craft kits available.
If your children prefer to draw or like stickers, Big W and Kmart have kids activity packs that include colouring books, pencils or crayons and other theme related stationery.
If you haven’t done much baking this summer, get the recipe books out. Yes, your kitchen will get messy, your children will get sticky, and you may end up with icing in your hair, but it’s a great way to keep the kids entertained.
Cakes, brownies, biscuits, and sweets – there are so many options when it comes to baking. If your children are old enough, perhaps you could ask them what they would like to make? Giving your kids the choice of what they make, will make them more excited to bake with you.
If you are a healthy mum, who isn’t a fan of giving her kids lots of unhealthy treats, you could always look for some healthy recipes. You can find lots of recipes online for healthy treats, such as fruity pancakes using honey instead of syrup or maybe some fruit kebabs.
If you don’t fancy making sweet things, why not have a pizza making day? Pizza making is lots of fun, plus it shouldn’t be as messy as making sweet treats, so is ideal if you have just cleaned the kitchen.
The best thing about pizza making is that you can make it as healthy as you want. If you make the base and the tomato sauce yourself, you can ensure that your pizzas are super healthy. Toppings like ham, grated cheese, peppers, onion, spinach, and fresh pineapple are all ideal for healthy pizzas.
Go on a bike ride
If you and your little ones all have bikes, why not go on a family bike ride? Choose a route through a park or on an off-road cycle path, pack a picnic, and spend the day riding your bikes.
Bike riding is not only a great way to stay active and keep in shape, but it’s also a lot of fun. It’s great for getting your kids out of the house and is also a fantastic way to explore the local area.
If the weather isn’t too hot, why not explore your local gardens? They usually have activities for the kids. You could also make a game out of how many birds or insects you find on your wanders.
The local zoos, animal sanctuaries and aquariums have activities for the kids over the holidays, just make sure to get there early. I always pre-purchase tickets before we get there, so we don’t have to wait a long time in line. Even the most sedate, easy going child can get feral while waiting in lines, so it’s best to minimise the issues for yourself beforehand.
There are so many great kids movies out this Summer. From How to Train a Dragon: The Hidden World to Ralph Breaks The Internet, there is something on to suit every child.
If the family budget doesn’t stretch to going to the cinema after Christmas, Netflix has a hundreds of family movies from $11.99 a month (plus you can watch whatever you want after the kids go to bed) and Stan has recently added a catalogue of Disney movies (and other kids shows and movies) from $10 a month and you get the first month for free.
Or you could hire a DVD from a kiosk at your local shopping centre or video store (yes, there are still some around!).
There are a myriad of classes around for kids to do. From cooking, cupcake and biscuit decorating, art, dance, acting, singing, sport, Minecraft, programming and even Lego building classes. There is something out there that your child will love. Plus it gives you a break from them for a few hours 😉 Just Google classes for children in your area.
From when the boys were babies, I have always read to them and I think this instilled a love of books and reading with them. We were in Robertson’s bookstore a few days ago actually and all three boys came out with new books.
Most department stores, like Big W and Kmart, have a wide range of books at reasonable prices.
Get a jumpstart on the school year with educational apps. Most primary school apps are designed to be fun games where the kids don’t even know they are learning!
My best memories with my parents, was playing board games as a family and I have continued the tradition with my sons. We love Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Uno and Jenga. It doesn’t matter what you play, as long as you are having fun as a family, is all kids care about (and will remember).
You can also play games via the PS4. Like Knowledge is Power and Hasbro’s Family Fun Pack (which includes an online version Trivial Pursuit and Monopoly).
It can be hard finding ways to keep the kids entertained all summer, but hopefully, the ideas above will help.
How do you keep your kids occupied over the holidays?