We've 4 boys, and we've 3 girls - when they were younger the girls would happily colour and write and draw, whereas the boys think of the whole thing as 'work' and none of them, however different they are, have ever really taken joy from sitting for long with workbooks. It's always a challenge to find things that they're happy to do to keep them on track through the holidays, so here are a few of my ideas.
Holiday Cottages have a 3 free printable games that you can use to keep the kids entertained whether at home or out and about - Roadside Bingo, a Countryside Treasure Hunt and a Beach Treasure Hunt. You can download them here.
Tiny Me, the people who made our lovely wall stickers, have a great range of free printable activities for any occasion, and can certainly give your children a few hours entertainment making masks and door hangers and all kinds of things. Their printables can be found here.
Games and Puzzles
Spending time playing games with your children is an excellent way to bond and make memories as well as reinforce learning about numbers and counting, turn-taking, being a good loser and honing fine motor skills. I very well remember playing Monopoly with my Father when he was off work and hopefully my children will remember playing games with me.
Some of our most favourite games for younger children are Orchard Toys games, with Round And Round (age 3+) and Counting Caterpillars (age 3+) being great examples. For older children we like Drumond Parks Wordsearch Junior (4+) and The Magic Tooth Fairy Game (5+).
Reading Books Together
There is no better way to get a child interested in reading than to read with them and it doesn't have to be a purely bedtime activity. When your children are driving you bats, fighting or tearing about the house like madmen, 10 minutes quiet reading time can make all the difference. We love the Early Readers from Orion Books because it really is a team effort to read along with my 5 year old, with my 3 year old watching, listening and learning.
Cooking And Baking
All children love baking with adults, and it can be a super simple no bake like our Rocky Road, or something more complex like making their own pizzas for tea. Of course cookies and cakes are always popular too. It's fantastic for learning about all kinds of things - nutrition, science, weights and measurements, colour mixing, different cultures and even history. There are loads of excellent ideas on the Pinterest UK Official Cooking With Kids board.
Museums And Libraries
Libraries and most museums are free to visit and they're absolutely crammed full of interesting stuff to stimulate children and adults. They go to huge effort to lay on extra activities during the school holidays. We recently visited the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, who have a week of activities around Spies, Disguise and Ways To Hide - with a special focus on animals role in war time.
Screen time doesn't have to be mindlessly beating up aliens or racing round a track, it can be a fantastic tool for learning and keeping your brain working, and it's a brilliant reward or a break for a child who has been a star.
|Heroes Of The City|
Online educational products are fun as well as teaching tools and your child will be learning without even realising as they play games and solve puzzles. We're particularly fond of Reading Eggs and there is a code for a free 4 week trial on my review page.
Build something together. Start a project. Stretch your own and your child's imagination. Build on fine motor skills and design ideas, problem-solving and logic skills. Create something you can be proud of. Playing isn't just for kids, adults need a break too....
Enjoy your break, and enjoy spending quality time with your children....
I was not paid to promote any of these things, I do so because I feel they have value. I did not accept payment for reviews or links, although I may have previously received an item or experience free for review.