The holidays are coming, and whether that fills you with joy at the chance to get up slowly and potter in pyjamas instead or rushing out, or you’re already feeling stressed at the prospect of having to entertain the masses, it’s good to have a few easy and free ideas for activities up your sleeve.
Libraries are fantastic for all ages – and go a long way beyond books. All libraries have children’s areas with books to appeal to the tiniest tot and the trickiest teen. There are DVDs you can borrow for movie sessions and story CDs for long journeys in the car. All children aged 6 and over can take part in the Summer Reading Challenge – a fun programme to keep them motivated and engaged over the break without any stress or pressure, There are stickers and activities included and an award at the end. Some libraries run additional linked activities and celebration events, Check out local details at your nearest library or online.
It’s easy to forget what a fabulous resource local parks are, particularly if your children are slightly older and/or you don’t get to go very much. It’s really worth investigating local options and trying to find new ones. You’re never far from play facilities and while some are more targeted at certain age groups or activities, children are pretty good at making use of what’s in front of them to have fun. You could set yourself a challenge of finding a new park each week of the holidays – pack a picnic and a ball and arrange to meet up with others to make a morning of it. if your children would like to take their scooters or skates or are desperate to try a zip wire for example, it’s worth asking on local parenting groups for suggestions of where to head.
Most museums are free to enter and nearly all will run additional activities in school holidays, You can look up specific displays or exhibitions related to topics your children have been covering in school, or just go for the most local to you. Go armed with a pen to complete any offered worksheets and take a snack or a picnic to keep everyone topped up with energy to go round. You could set your children challenges if there aren’t organised activities ie what’s the most surprising thing you saw today, what was your favourite picture, can you find the oldest item in the room etc.