In the summer, it’s all about getting kids excited about being outdoors. If you can encourage them into the garden they can learn about nature, be more active and get some fresh air. I’ve put together my top three activities for summer to give you some inspiration – and read on to discover some rainy-day indoors activities too:
If your little one hasn’t yet tried riding a bike, this summer can be the start of their adventure. Do you remember when you learnt to cycle? It was an exciting time, wasn’t it? At that feeling of riding without stabilisers for the first time is exhilarating! It goes from something that you can’t even comprehend (how can something stay up on just two wheels?) to the most natural feeling in the world – in seconds.
You can practice in the garden if you’ve got enough space or take the kids’ bikes to the park to safely try out cycling over longer distances. They won’t even notice they’re exercising and they’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment if they can learn to ride a bike this summer. Who know? This may be the start of a favourite pastime, helping to keep them healthy and active throughout their life. And with such a diverse range of bikes for children on the market, you’ll be sure to find the perfect match!
Having a picnic is still one of my favourite activities, even as an adult. So I’m sure that children will be delighted to organise a picnic of their own in the garden. Or if the weather takes a turn for the worse, they can set up their very own afternoon tea indoors. You can help them to make sandwiches and pack up snacks in their lunchbox.
For younger children, it’s a good idea to choose toy dinner sets that are suitable for contact with food, such as the eco-friendly range from Dantoy. They are made from sustainable sugarcane bioplastic, are microwave and dishwasher safe and are 100% recyclable. I bought a similar biodegradable meal set for a new arrival and he’s loving it! Lay out a picnic blanket on the lawn, pop up a parasol and let the little ones have a teddy bears picnic one lunchtime while you’re supervising from a peaceful position in a hammock!
Combine playtime with a little learning by encouraging children to get out into the garden. One thing I’ve noticed after being around all my nieces and nephews is that kids love bugs! So you could go on a bug hunt to count all the different species of butterflies, bees and bug you can find. There are plenty of ‘insect inspection’ kits available so could you add a magnifying box to the mix to let children take a closer look at the critters they discover.
Children also find it fascinating to see seeds grow into plants so start the summer with a potting session. Just a few packet of seeds and some bioplastic kid’s gardening tools are enough to get them interested in growing plants. This also gives them a project to work on all summer – watering, thinning the seedlings, potting on, planting out, watching flowers and fruit grow. If you opt for veggies the little ones will be super excited when they can harvest eat the produce. I recommend lettuce as they will grow quickly and children can start eating the leaves within a couple a weeks.
BONUS – RAINY DAY ACTIVITIES
If the weather turns and youngsters are stuck indoors, here are some ideas to keep them entertained without resorting to turning on the telly:
Do you remember doing ‘junk modelling’ when you were little? The most fun I remember having as a child was building robots from leftover cardboard and foil! You can even buy simple robot building kits made from cardboard these days so there’s no excuse for your little one not to build their own robot buddy!
You could also bring garden materials inside to allow little ones to work on building a ‘bug hotel’. It’s a fun yet easy project to do, as all it really entails is stacking up some wood, canes and straw into a box – no glue or paint required. Once they’ve built the bug hotel to house the local wildlife, they’ll be excited to put it outside once the weather eases up.
Older children can enjoy doing some easy engineering indoors with a Geomag building set. The kit contains magnets and ball bearings so it’s better suited to older kids and allows them to construct any structure they can imagine – it’s takes concentration but provides hours of fun!
And don’t forget that you can always have that teddy bears’ picnic indoors too! Oooh – and that reminds me – why not build a den? That’s as much fun for the adults as it is for the kids!
Let me know what you’ve got planned to keep your children entertained and active during the summer in the comments below – I’d love to hear your tips and tricks 🙂
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