Kids have lots of fun to catch up on, and they no doubt have a few plans of their own. But in-between those, you may want to try something new together. The following tips are available for you to download, print, and hang on your fridge. You can check off each activity as you complete it. When the summer is over, you'll have a beautiful list to remember all the adventures you had! Take a glance through our warm-weather tips:
Activities for younger children:
Blow a huge bubble. Who can make the biggest one? Whose will be the quickest to pop? Who can blow the most bubbles at once? Everybody loves bubbles. Grab a bubble wand, dip it into a soapy solution, and have a go!
Draw pictures on the pavement. White chalk or coloured chalk... Either way, you can draw anything that comes to mind. You can also paint with plain water on the pavement. All you need is a container of water and an ordinary, large-ish brush.
Taste wild strawberries. Towards the end of your hike in the woods, check the edges of the forest for sweet strawberries. Or maybe there are some growing in your backyard or in a sunny pasture near your house.
Build a sand castle. Whether you’re at the seaside or in a sandpit at home, try to build the biggest castle you can. Or “bake a cake”, and then serve a slice to your friends. And can you dig a tunnel?
Build a house for goblins. When it’s really hot outside, you can seek refuge in the woods where it’s nice and shady. And how about building a house for the woodland elves? You can decorate this lovely abode using fantastical things you find in the forest.
Start a travel diary. Print out a photo of each outing or trip you take, and add a few words. Or draw a picture. It’ll be fun to look through the diary on rainy days (or even in the winter)!
Jump rope. Or maybe play hopscotch. Draw a grid in chalk, number the squares, and then take turns hopping on it — first in one direction and then the other.
Climb a tree. You don’t have to go very high up. Even from the lowest branch you’ll get a different perspective on the surroundings. It is sure to be a thrill for all.
Do a big jigsaw puzzle. Sometimes it’s too hot to be outside. How about doing a puzzle together and then displaying it as a painting?
Throw flip flops into the water. If you don't feel like swimming, try throwing a bunch of flip flops into the pool. Who will jump in the water the most times? Who will fetch the highest number of flip flops in one go?
Toast some marshmallows on the campfire. If you’re going to stay overnight in the countryside, it’s a must to make a blazing campfire (in a place where it's allowed). Toasted marshmallows are a classic. But if you prefer something savoury, roast some sausages… It is even possible to bake potatoes in the ashes! Have a feast!
Stargazing. On a humid summer night, take a drive somewhere where there are no distracting city lights, and enjoy the view of a clear sky dotted with countless stars. Can you name any of the constellations?
Swim in a river, lake or pond. When the heat becomes hard to bear, there’s nothing like taking a dip in some cool water. Babbling brooks, ponds, and lakes have an undeniable charm. And they don't smell of chlorine!
Take a boat ride. Whatever kind of water craft it is, the kids will be delighted to go for a cruise.
Go blueberry picking. Purple tongues, purple hands, and maybe even purple clothing — that’s a successful blueberry-picking expedition! Bring a big container along with you and enjoy the rustling sound of the bushes and the singing of the birds as you pick these delicious, healthy berries. (You may want to wear some form of insect repellent).
Take a bicycle ride. Haven’t been on a family bike ride yet? Maybe this year is the right time. And have you tried a scooter?
Go on a train trip, and prepare some tasty snacks for the journey. Travelling by car is often the fastest and most convenient, but train trips are relaxing. Pick a destination. Arm yourself with some snacks, a pocket game, a good book... and maybe even a guitar.
Make ice cream. Homemade ice cream is one of the great joys of summer. Make it together as a family. Your kids will derive satisfaction from tasting their own special blend. You can opt for pure vanilla, or mix-in some favourite fruits! Alternatively, make popsicles out of fruit juice — just pop the moulds in the freezer and those ice-lollies will be ready later the same day!
End each day with a story. Summer evenings are long, and few youngsters feel like going to bed when there’s still a bit of light in the sky! But settling down and sharing a fairy tale together can provide a fitting end to a wonderfully active day — something that everyone can look forward to. And more than likely, the children will fall asleep before the story is over...