Summer may be slowly drawing to a close, but that makes it the perfect opportunity to plan something fun with our little ones. Some may even be moaning already about going back to school, so it's time to make some plans to keep everybody happy.
Here are 10 fun ideas to help you end this summer on a high. If like me you’ve exhausted the idea bank with fun things to do with the kids, here's some more ideas that you may not have yet thought of.
1. Play with Water!
You’ve probably had a million water fights in your garden this summer and may be ever so slightly tired of the kids soaking you with the water pistols, but don't worry as there are lots of fun ways to play with water that won't involve splashing Mum & Dad or flooding the garden.
You could play 'cold potato' - give them a water balloon, poke a small hole in it, pass it to one of the kids, and then watch from the window as they pass it (or throw it) to one another, spraying each of them with water in the process. You could even hang some water balloons on the washing line and let them hit them 'pinata style' to cool themselves off. If you're feeling more adventurous, why not invite all the local kids to a park or communal space for a neighbourhood water fight! A fun way to keep cool and create lasting summer memories.
2. Take a journey
Hop on a bus, take a train ride, nip on a tram, go somewhere new. If that's not an option, then even simply exploring your own town and playing the tourist can be so much fun. No matter where you live, there will no doubt be somewhere you are yet to explore, nows the time.
3. Take pictures or have a photo shoot
There’s nothing like a happy picture of the kids to not only warm your heart but to remind you of these happy days. You can spend a day exploring your local park or favorite place, taking fun pictures together to savor the memory of that beautiful summer’s day. Having photos is sometimes overlooked but are ultimately something we can all look back on and that the kids will treasure for years to come.
You might want to go one step further than a few cheeky phone snaps and get some professional pictures taken. Companies such as 1st Option can help you to do a photoshoot on a professional and high-quality location, capturing the whole family with noone hiding behind a lens. It’s not the obvious choice of activity for a day, but one you will be so glad you did. Capturing memories never gets old!
4. Get creative
Most kids love arts and crafts, Pinterest is packed with brilliant summer related crafts and activites. So, get stuck in, shop for new materials if need be and let the kids get creative. You could stick to messier activities like painting out in the garden to make it more relaxing for you and give them that chance to go crazy with colour.
5. Camp at home
Camping is so much fun, but with work, budgets and unpredictable weather, even the simplest of getaways can be too much work. Setting up camp in your own back garden (or even living room!) for the night is so much fun, something kids will remember whilst experiencing the joys of camping with the comfort of home.
6. Go fruit picking
This time of year is perfect for fruit picking and with lots of fruit farms dotted around the country, there are plenty of options to try some truly fresh beautiful fruits as well as a fun day out picking. If you're on a tighter budget, there are lots of places to forage for wild fruits such as blackberries and apples which are perfect for picking just about now. You could even try a new recipe with the fruits you've picked, making jam or fruit pies with the kids which they will love! Try asking on local Facebook pages for fruit picking hotspots near you.
7. Get gardening
Smaller kids in particular love helping in the garden. With an abundence of weeds this time of year and lots of new seeds to sow, it's the perfect time to turn those little fingers green and let them get stuck in too. There are lots of easy plants for kids to grow, so if you have room you could even let them have their own little area to transform as they wish into a mini allotment or bright flower patch. Kids will love being out with you and it means you can even get on with your own garden bits while they are busy digging.
8. In the kitchen
Although these hot summer days aren't ideal for being in a hot kitchen, you could try new recipes on cooler days or even make some home made lemonade or mocktails. As you know, kids love helping in the kitchen too and there are plenty of child friendly recipes out there to try. If you want something more summery, you could even look at some home made ice lolly or ice cream recipes, perhaps using some of that fruit you already picked.
9. Make a summer scrap book
Although we've still got plenty of Summer left, starting a summer scrap book for this year is a great way of re-living some of those memories we've already created. Jotting down what you've been up to, what films you've watched, funny things that happened and photos from your adventures will make for an amazing scrap book, something that can be treasured forever.
10. Visit people
Last but not least, visit people. I know this sounds wildly sociable, especially coming from me, but if like me you planned to go see people, meet up or have play dates, this one's for you. Before summer we tend to make so many plans for the 6 week break, seeing others and meeting up that often don't materialise. Six weeks seems like a lifetime but it soon rushes by and it's easy to skip those visits in favour of easier or quieter days. Now's the time to visit that relative, make that play date or arrange that mass meet up you talked about weeks ago. Seeing school friends over summer can make September far less daunting for the little ones, not to mention us playground parents.
I hope this gives you some ideas to try with your family. Hows your summer going?
* Collaborative post.