The thought of having another long amount of time at home with the children can feel a little daunting. This time in the summer, there won’t even be the distraction of homeschooling as something to do. So the days may feel even longer, as there will be more to fill.
A lot of things will be back up and running as normal, with some restaurants being back open, pubs open for food, and cinemas taking steps to reopen too. But for whatever reason, you may not be keen on the idea to be in a lot of indoor places. It can be much easier to social distance, even with the guidance going down to 1m, when you’re in the great outdoors.
So if you are planning something for your children this summer, or just want some extra ideas, then here are some things that you can do in summer the kids, but be able to keep your space from others.
This is a classic, and with some tasty things in season at the moment (hello raspberries and strawberries), it can be a lot of fun to do together, and then come home and make something with the goodies, or just munch them in a fruit salad. A point to note is that some places (like our local fruit picking farm) are pre-booking people with time slots. So that is worth bearing in mind.
A lot was made up in the press about people being out at the beach. But I think that over the summer, there will be less demand, as more people return to work, and there will be a less of a general cooped up feeling. So trip to the beach is always a good idea. Going first thing, or later in the afternoon would be the best ways to avoid the crowds.
We got a tent in lockdown, and the children loved being in there. They were happy to eat their lunch in there, play, and just generally chill out. So it can be a lot of fun for the little ones. if you can manage a night out in it, then even better!
Indoors or outdoors, I don’t think that you can go too far wrong with making s’mores. You don’t need many ingredients, but they are a tasty treat, and it gets the kids involved in the making.
Hiking and Walks
You might be sick of walks but it is something that is low-cost, and you can pretty much do anywhere. No we can drive to places for walks, it does widen your options.
A lot of local areas have Facebook groups set up for painting and then hiding stones locally. Then families can go out for walks to try and find them. My two love doing this! To make it into an activity that lasts longer, why not get a stone painting kit yourself? We bought this one in lockdown, and the children loved it: https://amzn.to/31DDWTq.
Whether you have a picnic at home or a picnic in the park, there is something so much nicer about eating food from a basket! You could make the lunches together and then head out to eat them. If there aren’t many places where you can easily socially distance where you are, then you could always stay and have it at home. And in the rain, my two love a floor picnic at home, still with blankets and picnic food, of course.
National Trust Sites
It does seem like getting tickets to some of these sites is like gold dust at the moment, but there are some places where you don’t need to book as hey are just woodland or parks. So there should be some options depending where you are. I hear the tickets for the following week get released the Friday before, so that is something to remember if you fancy a trip to one of the larger sites.
Animal Farms and Wildlife Parks
No matter what your views are on animal parks and farms, there is the fact that during lockdown, they have all lost a huge amount of money, and didn’t qualify for any funding. Staff couldn’t be furloughed because the animals still need to be taken care of, visitors coming or not! To be able to care for the animals that they have, they do need visitors to pay to visit them! So many of them, like Port Lympne and Howletts in Kent are going to be open from this weekend, with special measures in place to help people to be socially distant. If you have one close to you, then I think it is a must to help the animals and help them to generate an income.
There are a number of outdoor cinema experiences cropping up because of the current situation, although cinemas are set to open soon. If you want to experience a bit of an old-school drive in, then have a Google for where is close to you. You could always get a projector set up and make you own in the garden. S’mores an’ all!
Scavenger Hunt in Local Woodland
If you want to make your walks more interesting, then heading out to local woodland is a good idea. But instead of just having a walk, you can make it into something more enjoyable with a scavenger hunt! Even just looking for things that are certain colours, or finding five pinecones and six leaves, then it can give kids a bit of a focus, rather than it being just another walk.
If the weather isn’t great over the summer, then you will need to think of a few fun things that you can do from home. So some home-based activities to try are:
- Breakfast for dinner: have a full English for dinner, or perhaps waffles, pancakes or cereal. It is easy for you, but the kids will think it is the best thing ever.
- movie nights with popcorn and tickets: the simplest things are the best sometimes. And with Frozen 2 on Disney+ now, you’re winning.
- baking: is there a rainy day activity that is better than this?
- cake or cookie decorating: similar to baking, but having the focus on just making everything look good.
- hot chocolate bar: for a rainy day, setting up a hot chocolate bar can be a fun thing to do. Try different kinds of hot chocolate, and have different toppings ready to make their own.
- smoothie bar: like a hot chocolate bar, but for fruits and veggies, to then throw into your blender! Could be a good breakfast option.
- den building: get the cushions off the sofa, blankets, and pillows, and you’ve got hours of fun. Even better to take an iPad or books in there with torches, to have fun in there when it is built.
- bird feeders / fat balls: these are really simple to make, and you can use them with what you have at home. A fat ball is lard or coconut oil stuck to something like the clean inner tube of a toilet roll, and then you roll bird seed in it. If you’re little ones like creating and enjoying wildlife, then it can be a good way to attract birds to the garden.