Summer is here, the evenings are light outside and COVID restrictions are being relaxed. But what to do with the kids when they get home from school? After a day in the classroom, they may just want to flop in front of the TV or play video games, but if you want to keep them away from more screen time here are some other fun activities they can do now they can have friends over.
When you have a group of kids together, it’s still safer to do activities outside. If you have children over in your garden, why not get the paddling pool out? Kids of all ages can enjoy splashing around, especially if you add water pistols into the equation! If you don’t mind the inevitable screaming, it’ll keep them entertained for hours.
If you’re short of space in your back garden, or live in a flat, there’s lots to do in your local park. If you have a bigger group, you could have a game of rounders – it’s a great activity to keep kids active and have fun, and all you need is a bat and a tennis ball (and maybe a few jumpers for the posts).
With the light evenings during June and July, you could go on a family bike ride after your evening meal. If you’re worried about busy roads you can go to your local park or look for any off-road trails in your area.
It’s the perfect time of year to start to plant sunflowers. Seeds are really cheap and all you need to start off with is a small pot and some compost. Get everyone to write their name on their pot and see who’s can grow the tallest! Have a family competition or your kids can compete with their friends in their own gardens.
It’s also not too late to plant other flowers and veggies. Dedicate a few pots or a small patch of garden for your kids to grow some greens, they can use up any spare seeds or if grandma or grandpa are into gardening, they can help too.
If it’s warm outside you might want to have a mid-week barbecue. Get the kids to help out by learning to make marinades and salads, or even by making their own burgers and kebabs. If they’re involved in making the food they’re more likely to try new things.
Rainy day activities
Unfortunately, we’re not always guaranteed sunshine in the summer so planning some indoor activities is a must. If your kids are having friends round inside, remember to keep windows open for ventilation.
Lots of children love to bake, and there are loads of kid-friendly baking recipes out there, making it easy and fun. You can make a basic biscuit or cupcake recipe and let your kids and their friends do their own decorations. It’s also the perfect time of year for fresh fruits, so if you’ve managed to go down to your local ‘pick your own’ farm (another great activity to do with kids), you can incorporate these into your bakes and decorations or even put together a tasty fruit salad.
Board games and puzzles are another great way to keep kids entertained with their friends on a rainy day. Traditional games like Monopoly make kid-friendly versions, or there’s classics like Guess Who and Jenga.
For something new, try playing a game based on their favourite TV shows and books – Horrible Histories: The Board Game combines multiple choice questions with chance cards and charades, and there are multiple Harry Potter board games like Race to the Triwizard Cup or Diagon Alley. There’s even a Harry Potter Trivial Pursuits for superfans to show off their knowledge!
It’s been a tough year for children so no matter what the weather, you can get your kids and their friends together to enjoy some fun times now that social restrictions are easing.