As the summer holidays draw near, it's time to face up to the annual challenge of keeping the kids entertained for six whole weeks. It can be a testing time for all parents, especially if you're trying to cut back on screen time and stick to a budget for family friendly activities.
So here are our five top tips for making your own family fun this summer. Put away the iPads, engage imaginations, and get ready for hours of adventure. Whatever the weather, let's make the most of our Great British Summer!
1. Building dens and camping out
This has to be one of the favourite all time activities for children, whatever their age. If you're looking for the full package, the Original Den Kit (pictured above) includes everything from camouflage tarpaulin to face paint. Or you can just put up an old tent and let the kids camp out in the garden - toasted marshmallows, anyone? If it's raining, all that's needed is an old sheet, some boxes or chairs, cushions and anything else they can find to create their very own indoor den.
2. Dressing up for role play
Don't despair if you haven't got any dressing up outfits lying around - 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. Don't forget the added joys of water pistols (strictly outdoors only!) for little adventurers sailing the seven seas, fighting dragons or ruling imaginary countries.
3. Getting creative with arts and crafts
Everything's up for grabs - so make sure you hide anything you don't want to get messy! Paper, card, clay, paints, crayons, glue, old cards, magazines, glitter from last year's Christmas decorations … anything goes. Help develop their creative skills with a special craft set like our lovely Learn How to Sew Kit (see above). And go outside for more inspiration - kids love making patterns and 3D sculptures with leaves, stones and twigs. Why not take photos for your own family art gallery?
4. Hunting for hidden treasure
Treasure hunts are a classic children's favourite, and work well indoors or outdoors. All you need to do is write a few clues (nothing too complicated) and they'll be off searching before you know it! Treasure can be anything but small chocolates and sweets are always popular treats and guaranteed to hold explorers' interest for longer! We recommend getting older children to create their own clues for younger ones to solve, so you can take some time out for yourself too ...
5. Curling up with a good book
In our opinion, there's nothing nicer than lazing in the sunshine or snuggling up on the sofa on a rainy day with a great read. Kids can travel the world and expand their imagination, all before teatime! Check out the annual Summer Reading Challenge at your local library - or why not start your own holiday book club for your children and their friends to meet up, swap books and chat? Plus our new Personalised Book and Toy Sets (see above) are just right for special snuggle time with babies and toddlers.
What are your top tips for making your own family fun this summer? We'd love to hear what you're planning to do to keep the kids entertained - and hope you make lots of happy memories, whatever the weather!
And if you're looking for further inspiration for creative things to do with the kids this summer, you'll find plenty more ideas - from Pop Up Dino Tents to Jewellery Designer Kits - in Peach Perfect's Toys & Games and Craft & Creative Collections (PS: the perfect place to find gifts for kids who have everything, too!)