It’s that time of year when children and teachers alike are ready to flee the classroom and most of us are looking forward to a break from our regular work routines. A time for making family memories and recreating those perfect lazy hazy days we remember from our own childhood.
But 6 weeks can start to look like an awfully long (and expensive) adventure, particularly if you need to sort out childcare as well. So how can you survive with your sanity and savings intact? Here’s 6 of our top suggestions for FREE fun in the sun (and rain!) this summer.
1. Camping/den building
One of the favourite all time activities for children of all ages. And it doesn’t have to be overnight or outside or even in a tent, if you don’t have one! Let them use their imaginations with an old sheet, some boxes or chairs and whatever else comes to hand … Save the Children have some great ideas for children (and adults too) at https://denday.savethechildren.org.uk/at-home/
2. Arts and crafts
Everything’s up for grabs with this one – just make sure you hide anything you don’t want to get messy first! Paper, card, clay, paints, crayons, glue, old cards, magazines, glitter from last year’s Christmas decorations … plus all the outdoor opportunities for natural art, too! Children love making patterns and 3D sculptures with leaves, stones and twigs. Take photos of them and create your own family art gallery at home.
3. Dressing up
If you haven’t got any dressing up outfits lying around, don’t despair – old clothes can be customised even if you can’t sew. See things through your children’s eyes – a blanket can become a cloak, crowns and pirate hats can be made from paper, school backpacks can transform into explorer kit bags. And don’t forget the added joys of water pistols (strictly outdoors only!) if you’re sailing the seven seas, fighting dragons or ruling imaginary countries.
4. Treasure hunts
Dressing up is optional – although all pirates love looking for buried treasure, of course! You don’t have to theme this activity, though, as all you need are a few written clues (nothing too complicated) and your children will be off before you know it … treasure can be anything ranging from gold covered chocolate coins to well, basically, anything involving chocolate. It’s another activity that works well whether it’s pouring with rain or a glorious sunny day.
5. Silly sports days
Fun is the name of the game! Three legged races (remember those?), (hard boiled) egg and spoon races, running backwards, throwing anything that’s not breakable - balls/beanbags/ frisbees/water balloons, plus hopping, skipping, jumping, rolling: the list is endless and YOU choose the rules. Stage your silly sports day in your local park or back garden, size permitting. Select your activities carefully and look forward to a good night’s sleep afterwards …
6. Museums and libraries
Make learning fun on those rainy days! Check out your local museums and galleries which offer free entry – lots of them run free children’s activities during the summer, too. And let them fall in love with reading, via the annual Reading Challenge running at libraries throughout the UK. This year’s theme is Animal Agents: see https://summerreadingchallenge
Lastly, as a bonus suggestion, the National Trust have come up trumps again with their free family fun leaflet: https://nationaltrust.form-fill.com/2017/summer/Summer-family-fun-pack.pdf
You really don’t need to spend money to help your family make precious memories. But if you’re looking for inspiration for play this summer (and for future years), then check out Peach Perfect’s classic children’s range including craft kits, play tents and our Happy Hopperz.
And we hope you have your best British summer ever!