“I’m bored!! ” The most dreaded two words of the Summer holidays. But never fear, here are 13 ways to keep the kids occupied over the school break.
#1 Go cycling.
As you know I absolutely LOVE cycling but it can be difficult with younger children. The main roads are just too dangerous for them and even in places where there are cycle lanes, I really wouldn’t advise it. Over the past few years a number of dedicated cycling trails have been developed right around the country. Check out Irish Trails or Cycling Ireland for more details. Bring the bikes to some of the national parks. Its a fantastic way to see the animals & scenery and its really safe for kids to cycle.
#2 Parks & Playgrounds
Thankfully, we now have lots of playgrounds all over the country. Play is work for kids! They learn so much while playing and playgrounds are fantastic places for them to develop motor skills and social skills. Why not arrange play dates there or a get together with other parents & their kids. Make it a weekly event, something to look forward to.
#3 Plan a Picnic
When I was a kid, we had Irish picnics – sandwiches and tea in the car while looking out at the rain from the beach carpark! And they were great!! What is it about eating outdoors? Get the kids involved in the planning and making of the picnic – they are far more likely to eat it if they made it. Go all out, make it really special. Make it so amazing that they will tell their grandchildren about the amazing picnics you used to take them on when they were kids.
#4 Create a Photography Challenge
This is a great one for older kids. Get them to record their summer in photographs. They must take a least one photo a day & then use an online editing tool like pic-collage to display them.
#5 Learn to Code
This is a create rainy day one. If they are going to be plonked in front of the computer, get them writing computer code. There are great tutorials on Khan Academy or download Scratch for younger kids. Maybe they’ll make millions before they go back to school $$££€€
#6 Go to the Library
I know its a bit old school, but take the kids to the library & let them take out whatever book they like. It doesn’t matter what it is. If you’re going away on holidays, take out a travel book and get the kids involved in planning the trip,
#7 Camp in the back garden
We used to do this all the time as kids. Lidl & Aldi , Argos or your local army surplus store are great for cheap tents. Bring out the duvet and pillows and loads of food for the Midnight Feast and your away in hack.
#8 Manicure & Pedicures
One for the mums – get your kids to learn how to do this – You tube is brilliant. and once they are ‘trained’ let them loose on yourself. Great fun and when they get really good, they can earn a little pocket money doing all the neighbours.
#9 Board Games & Card Games
I know its difficult to prise the kids away from the game consoles but playing games like monopoly and Uno are great fun and there is also a learning aspect to them. Its something to do when camping in the back garden!
#10 Go Swimming in the Rain
I always think that this is a really badass thing to do! Load up the car for the Irish Picnic and head to the beach in the rain. The water always feels warmer and the kids will love doing something different.
#11 Go to the theatre
Instead of taking the kids to the movies, take them to see a play. You’ll be amazed how engaged they will be with it. One thing though, pick an appropriate one, you might want to leave ‘Waiting for Godot’ until they are older.
#12 Check out the Local Festivals
There are hundreds of them up and down the country, go experience what is on offer. There are food ones, music ones, art ones, you name it some where there is probably a festival celebrating it somewhere.
#13 Pick Fruit
If there is a fruit farm within driving distance of you, find out if you can pick your own fruit. Its a great way for kids to learn about the fruit and the farm & also to get them eating it.
#14 Pokémon Go
It’s one way to get them off the sofa! If you’re not sure yet, what Pokémon Go is, just ask your nearest teenager.