We're a couple of weeks into the school summer holidays now, and what started as an idyllic quality-time-together opportunity may have turned into a furious battle to keep the kids entertained! Blogger and parent Helen Wills joined us in the studio to give us some ideas which children will enjoy, without costing too much...
Put up a tent in the garden - A cheap tent will only cost around £10, and provides hours of fun for children - just putting the tent up is good fun, and will take around an hour, then the children can take airbeds, a picnic, books and magazines into the tent. Helen even let the children go to sleep in the tent, before moving them safely inside!
Build a campfire - Collect some sticks from the garden and build a small fire to toast some marshmallows on.
A-Z photography treasure hunt - Lend the kids a digital camera (or camera-phone) and challenge them to photograph one object in the house for each letter of the alphabet. As well as keeping them busy for a good few hours, you can then teach them to upload and edit the photos, maybe uploading the photos to the web or to websites which allow you to print a photo book.
Treasure hunt - Hide some sweets around the house and equip the kids with photo clues or cryptic clues to help find them.
Obstacle course - Challenge the children to create an obstacle course in the garden out of objects from the house/garage - for instance, they could challenge each other to bounce a tennis ball or pump an airbed pump a certain number of times.
Scavenger hunt - Take the children to the park where they can collect leaves, seeds and grasses to make into a collage once they get home.
Helen also recommended Science Sparks (science-sparks.com) and Red Ted Art (redtedart.com) for more ideas, and make sure to check out her own blog, Actually Mummy at actuallymummy.co.uk, on parenting issues and advice, baking, crafts and toy reviews.
(Photo by geojanitor)