We’re now well into the summer holidays and you may already be wondering about keeping kids and teenagers amused this summer.
While it’s probably been refreshing not to have to dash around for the school run, or repeatedly ask your teenager to get out of bed, the summer routine may have already lost some of its shine.
It can be lovely to have the kids home, but of course, when they’re home, they seem to be everywhere. Your home may not yet be free of the pain of stepping on Lego, or you may have entire rooms which are commandeered by zombie gamers. Your sofa, coffee table and floor space is overtaken by goggle-eyed Xbox or PS4 warriors, talking strategy with friends online as they shoot everything that moves, or appear to shoot it until it does.
Whatever happened to a good old game of Asteroids on Atari I wonder?
If you have younger children, they’ll likely be claiming to have exhausted their playthings (they haven’t) and are now relying on you as their main source of entertainment. When not hungry and demanding sustenance of course!
So, what are your options for keeping kids and teenagers amused this summer?
Well, here are my top suggestions, some of which are tried and tested favourites, while others are in reserve until my own children are older:
- An outdoor project. From painting the fences to creating a new vegetable patch, or just about anything with a contrasting before and after effect. This provides an energetic outdoor pastime, whilst getting away from gadgets, phones, TVs and gaming consoles.
- Just get outside. Plan some walks or trips to some of the big parks or even along rivers and canals. There’s so much to see and talk about, whilst getting plenty of fresh air and exercise.
- Go to new places, exhibitions and events wherever you live. If you’re in London, there’s plethora of things to do to suit every budget. Many of us don’t fully explore our own environments these days and if you’ve done that, why not check out a new town or city?
- Organise play dates and/or sleep overs. Most kids and teens love these and it’s a win/win for all concerned isn’t it? Lightened load at one end, before the favour is (hopefully) returned next time.
- An indoor project. I’m not going suggest we let 7 year olds run amok with the gloss! Rather, I was thinking more of a collaborative clear out and tidy up. We all have just so much ‘stuff’ these days, much of which we rarely see, use or wear. Why not find new homes for these things? There’s the option of a garage sale, which is always great fun and a chance to grow some negotiation and haggling skills! Or why not simply donate excess or unwanted items to charity shops or offer for free on some of the many ‘freecycle’ or buy & sell forums and pages?
- Have some downtime. Sometimes it’s good to just be. Whether it’s a duvet day binging on Netflix or family movies, it can be hard to beat some relaxed family time. Arguments and the never-ending requirement for refreshments aside, of course!
These are just some of my favourite ways for keeping our kids entertained during the long summer holiday, which we fit in around our time away. The main point is to try to enjoy the time, no matter how fractious is may get or how exhausting it may feel.
Before we know it, they’ll be all grown up!