Thursday, 24 July 2014

Free and Cheap 42 Days Of Summer Fun

Britmums and BN Biscuits asked bloggers to tell them what we get up to over Summer. How do we fill those weeks with our children without going insane? How do we keep everyone busy without spending the equivalent of a small house on days out?

Along with a couple of Mums from school, we arranged to take our children to a local park and have a picnic - we walked there and took blankets, a football, bottled water and plenty to eat - including the BN Biscuits I was sent to try when I signed up to this project.


This is Manchester - it always rains. We'd expected rain or drizzle when we arranged it, we couldn't have ever realised just how amazing the weather was going to be! 




I'm not sure why my youngest carried his biscuit round for half an hour before he ate it, but he was happy! 


After lunch, which started approximately 6 seconds after we arrived at 10.45am and the chorus of "what's for dinner?" started from all 10 of the children we had between us, the children played with the ball while the adults sat on blankets and just relaxed.....it was bliss. Then something amazing happened....

Staff from our local Children's Centre arrived with of bats and balls, hoops, chalks, a couple of tuff spots for sand and water, and set up a 'free for all' play session!


It was brilliant! We were on the verge of going home - but with the children all playing in the shade and enjoying every second, we stayed....



At one point there were more than 30 young children all playing and laughing in the sun together. There was even a big blanket and books for calm moments, but 5 year old and his friend found most fun spraying each other with water!


I've always given my young children a washing up bowl of water and assorted cups and kitchen implements to play with on hot days when the paddling pool hasn't been so handy, and I think the Children's Centre got it spot on with this. A group of older children even went over to the local Co-Op and got refills when the water ran out!


Somewhat unexpectedly the piece of equipment which got most use was a length of pipe that the children could talk into and use as a 'telephone'.....or just make daft noises at each other.

 

A fabulous day was had by all, we stayed on the park all day, when we'd intended to go home around 1pm. Sand and water play are brilliant for children and teach them so much about the world around them and what they are capable of. Playing with other children, especially unfamiliar children, increases confidence and social skills. It teaches about turn-taking and rules of play, and it keeps you active.

We're currently really lucky with our weather, and it is forecast to stay a little while, so outdoor play is looking like a distinct possibility for the next couple of weeks at least. Just don't forget the picnic! And if you're incredibly fair like me, even if you've applied factor 50 - make sure you take a t-shirt, just in case you stay 3 hours longer than intended!


Sure Start Children's Centres are mainly for families with children under 5, but they welcome children up to 7 to a lot of school holiday time events, and occasionally also cater for older children. You can find your local centre here. Most events and activities are free or very cheap.

Your local council will also have all kinds of free and cheap events for children of all ages that you can join in with local to you.

Local museums are usually FREE and have some fantastic events and activities for children. We've checked out the Summer events at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester



This post is an entry for 42 Days of Summer Linky Challenge sponsored by McVitie’s BN. Learn more on their website. We shared our biscuits between all of us, there were plenty to go around (3 times) and they were a huge hit!

To see other great ideas for entertaining your children over Summer look at some of the other posts in the 42 Days Of Summer Linky Challenge! 


What's Happened? What's Happening?

Mummy of Two

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

43 comments:

  1. Ouch, ouch, ouch to the sun burn!! It's amazing how easy it is to have fun outdoors, water play has been a massive hit here too recently. Your SureStart Centre sounds much more pro-active than ours I have to say.

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    1. I think the sunburn looks worse because I'm so fair - although I am a bit warm! Water play is the best :)

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    2. Thanks for linking up to #WHWH, some fab ideas for Summer here.

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    3. You're welcome. Thanks for hosting! :)

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  2. This sounds like such a great day out! It just proves you don't have to spend money to have an awesome time! What great weather you had too, though that sunburn looks rather painful! Thanks for linking up to #Playtime

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    1. It's a little bit sore, but I'll live and it's not as bad as it looks - honest! :D
      Thank you for hosting :)

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  3. I'm hoping to take T to a Sure Start Splat zone on one of my days off over the summer, definitely will now I've seen what they are like!

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    1. Oh excellent! I've always found them to be lovely, and they have some fantastic ideas and toys :)

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  4. Oh you look sore in the sunburn photo!

    What an amazing day out that turned out to be for you - nicely timed there by the children's centre!

    Good luck with the challenge :)

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    1. Cheers Karen! I am a weeny bit burnt, firsttime in so many years, but they were having such an excellent time :)

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  5. Wow, that sunburn is erm a little bit red! Looks like a lot of fun was had, in fact must have been really fun to have stayed that ext a time!

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    1. It was excallent fun. Watching the children all running around playing and laughing was fantastic ;)

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  6. Oooucch, that looks doer but sounds like fun x

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    1. It was fun. The things we do for our children eh! :D

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  7. A bit of sun is a great excuse to spend lots of time outdoors. Looks like you all had a great time... ouch I have a similar back to yours! #CountryKids

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    1. I hope yours is more calm now - mine's itchy and driving me bananas - still, it's a good excuse for a back massage "just rub some more after sun in for me please love" :D

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  8. So nice when something unexpected turns up. I mean the extra play things and playmates.....not the sunburn. Here's to many more beautiful days. #CountryKids

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    1. Hahaha....it is, it was a lovely surprise. It's raining just now, but we've had a lovely week! :)

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  9. Sounds like the sure start group really added to what was already a lovely day. I love the way all their play things looked like basic yet totally captured the children's imaginations. Ouch to that back but worth it for all their fun. Thanks for joining me on Country Kids.

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    1. You're welcome, thank you for hosting! The toys were all very basic and very cheap, it was perfect :)

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  10. Oh, that looks like such a brilliant day! It's often the unexpected, spontaneous days that turn out to be the best x #CountryKids

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    1. Totally! We'd had a fun picnic, we thought we were done, and then the fun just carried on :)

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  11. Ow! Your back look painful! Looks like the kids had an amazing day, so many neat things to do.

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    1. It was sore - it's better now, a bit itchy, but I've used so much after sun it's never been as soft! :D

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  12. What a great day you had!! Looks and sounds like so much fun! x

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    1. It was brilliant, such a lovely day all round :)

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  13. Ouch! Hope that has now calmed down. We love our children centre although sadly we don't get to use it much these days as they slashed so many of the sessions. Some great activities there #CountryKids

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    1. I used to go to a stay and play every week, and Kids Rock, but I had to give them up with nursery, so it was really nice for my children to be able to benefit again :)

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  15. What an amazing day you had. Ouch to the burn. You need to get out more to get it tan!

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    1. Hahaha - this is my tan! White, pink, white! I'll never tan Eileen! :D

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  16. I didn't realise you can now get BN biscuits in England - they are a French staple and the boys loved them when they were little! Hope the sunburn is now better too.

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    1. I used to buy them for my older children and they disappeared, so it's lovely to have them back :)

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  17. I have constantly been applying suncream today - hope you are ok xx Looks like you had good fun though

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    1. I've learnt - t-shirts when I'm outside. I've always been the first one to go pink, I didn't realise how quickly my shoulders would burn :D

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  18. That looks like so much fun! Oh dear for the sunburn though! Out comes the aloe vera for you! #Countrykids

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    1. I've used so much Aloe Vera I should have shares - I'm nice and soft now though :D

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  19. Those biscuits are yummy! Fab day out, I like days when that when they take unexpected turns

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    1. They are yummy - we used to buy them in discount stores and then they vanished, great to have them back :)

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  20. Sounds like a FUN day under the sun. Ouchies for that sun burn tho. Aloe vera really helps if you can find the plant. Or some lotion with it. Thanks for sharing such nice day with BN =) #Countrykids

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    1. You're welcome - it was a lovely day,it would have been a shame not to share such simple pleasure :)

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  21. What an absolutely brilliant day. Isn't it great when the fun isn't orchestrated -- just a bunch of kids running around and playing in the park. The nice weather and the water helps!

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    1. The nice weather certainly does help! We were hoping to go again yesterday, but it was rained off! :D

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