“This is our first year of “summer holidays” and my maternity leave has been timed quite nicely to tie in O’s first long school break. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been dreading (a bit) a whole 6 weeks with both kids to entertain so I’ve been thinking about cheap but fun things to do in the garden. It can end up costing a small fortune on day trips out and activity camps to prevent the onset of boredom! Here are just a handful of ideas to occupy your children in the garden this summer:
Make Your Own Sprinkler!
Have you got an empty plastic bottle? Hold off on putting it in the recycling bin! Make sure it’s clean and use a drill to make small holes in the sides of the bottle. Then tape the end of a hosepipe to the bottleneck using a strong hardware tape. Turn on the tap and water will squirt out of the holes in the bottle when it becomes full. Perfect to keep the kids cool on warmer days – and so much fun!
Homemade Obstacle Course
Encourage your children to set and beat their own record time whilst completing a homemade obstacle course! Create obstacles by laying down a blanket forthem to crawl under, marking a spot to do ten star jumps and using an old cardboard box to jump over. The whole family can help to gather items, set up the obstacles and participate in a bit of healthy, family-friendly competition.
Children love to get creative with paints – but aren’t often so keen on cleaning up afterwards! Instead, let their creativity run wild with a paintbrush and a jar of water on the garden path. They can even paint the garden wall or fence with the only ‘mess’ being a little spilled water.
Painting and Planting Flower Pots
If you don’t mind a little mess, let their creative juices flow with colour by encouraging them to decorate their very own flowerpot! Use paints and glitter (if you’re feeling really brave!) to personalise their pot and coat with a specialist lacquer to prevent the design from weathering. Once it’s dry, teach the kids how to plant some pretty flowers inside and they’ll be so happy to have made a beautiful contribution to the family garden.
There are any number of activities for children to do indoors but there’s nothing quite like spending time outside in the garden, improving their social andindependence skills. I think what’s most important to bear in mind is that keeping children entertained over the school break is not for the faint-hearted –and if you get through it in one piece, you’re a bit of a legend. Wish me luck!”