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Summer Activities for Children - Part Two

Tidlo Picnic Tea Set

Welcome to the second half of our ten suggestions for activities for children during the long summer holidays. Most of these activities cost little or no money and do not require lengthy car, bus or train journeys. You may also wish to check out our recent tongue-in-cheek guide to creating a DIY musical festival in your garden.


  1. 6.   Fairs and adventure parks - do you prefer an old fashioned fair with a helter skelter, Ferris wheel and dodgems or an adventure park with thrill seeking and terrifying rides? It doesn’t matter really: it’s up to the children to choose. Isn’t it? Whether you visit one while you’re away, or take a day trip to a local fair or park, the children will be talking about it for weeks before and after. In fact, you may not want to give them too much notice or the excitement will reach fever pitch far too soon.


  1. 7.   Camping in the garden – pitching your tent in the garden and spending the night under the stars is a fantastic way to introduce children to the joys of camping and prepare them for the real thing. You don’t even have to sleep in the garden, but be warned: the kids will want to! And if you don’t have a tent you can always fall back on the old favourite pastime of making a tent out of blankets and chairs. It’s just as much fun as a pop up tent and a lot easier to put away.


  1. 8.   Picnics – does any other nation love picnics as much as us Brits? We will go to great lengths to dine al fresco in as civilised a manner as possible, with fold away chairs and tables, elaborate picnic sets, flasks filled with tea or ice cold homemade lemonade, petite sandwiches and slices of cake. Our shops and supermarkets are full of party food and picnic suggestions, but you can easily prepare your own with the children and take your feast out into the garden or make a day of it in the local park or at the beach.


  1. 9.   Sports day at home – children rarely tire of running, jumping and throwing. In the spirit of last year’s Olympics and this (and every) year’s school sports day, why not arrange a mini sports day in your garden or in the park? You could start by making some medals – for all competitors of course - with some ribbon, cardboard, paints and glitter. Then all you need is a starting line and finishing line (for sprints), a line on the grass (between two jumpers?) which can be your long jump start and a tennis ball to see who can throw the furthest. How about using some old pillow cases for a sack race? And don’t forget the egg and spoon race. The grownups can decide whether or not they want their own race.


  1. 10.   Put on a show in the garden – string a blanket over the washing line and hey presto, you have a curtain and an outdoor theatre. Line up some garden chairs in front of the ‘curtain’ and you have an auditorium. Children have always loved putting on shows (yes, we did it in the 70s when Opportunity Knocks was as big as Britain’s Got Talent) and will spend hours or even days preparing and rehearsing. Back when I was a nipper, it was “The sun’ll come out, tomorrowwwwwwww” and anything from Grease. Nowadays, it’s more likely to be Little Mix and One Direction routines. Grin and bear it, mums and dads!


The summer holidays can be challenging for parents and carers, but with a little imagination and energy, they can be fun and rewarding for children and grownups alike.




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