The sun is shining and most parents are on the lookout for ways to keep kids entertained. Thankfully there is a number of activities – and they are free.
Checklist is here to help frazzled and frustrated parents on a budget have a screen-free, fun, and active summer with their kids.
Den and tent building
Children are naturally inclined to be active, so try to tempt them away from the screen with some challenging building projects. Test your coordination skills by gathering sticks, and branches and work together to build a stable and waterproof den. If you’re not going on a summer holiday, then set up a tent and camp in your back garden. With many people opting out of foreign travel (due to the airport chaos) and staycations you can enjoy listening to the owls hooting, spot foxes and badgers as well as gaze at the stars from the comfort of your back garden.
Wash the car
A great way to make the most of the sunshine is to have a sponge fight and wash the car at the same time. For a bit of excitement add water bombs and water pistols. You’ll be getting a job done as well as having fun with the kids and burning calories when you all work your arms for the wash and polish, do squats to clean the bottom of the car and stretch to wash the roof.
Playing games such as volleyball (you could use a balloon), ping pong, hopscotch and tag will get you off your seat, but if you try and add challenges to the mix, this makes things more fun. Challenge yourself to learn a new skill or improve existing ones like skipping, roller skating, juggling, skateboarding, hula hooping or ball skills. How about target practice using a ball or nerf gun?
To give your body a good stretch, play twister. You can make your own game by marking circles on the ground using coloured chalk.
Why not have a disco? It’s not important if you can tap, Zumba, salsa, ballroom or belly dance. You don’t need to be a good dancer. The only thing that matters is that you’re moving. Start with a five-minute dance session then gradually increase it by five minutes every few days. You could even play musical statues. Just 20 minutes of dancing will raise the heart rate and give your family a good cardio workout. It’s also a fantastic stress buster.
A walk in the park is a great way of spending quality time together and getting active. To avoid getting bored, stop and climb trees, why not swing on a branch. Try and vary your route to ensure that you have a mix of up and downhill walks. Always keep a bottle of water handy and try to breathe deeply to use the full capacity of your lungs.
If you’re interested in an imaginative way to explore towns, cities and villages in the UK, then try a Treasure Trails self-guided themed tour which has walking routes that start from a two-hour trail, although you can do it at your own pace.
Summer can feel like an extra long length of unstructured time. Use the last couple of weeks to teach your children some useful life skills from cooking to gardening. Housework isn’t the most enjoyable of activities, but it needs to get done and is much more manageable if you do it as a family and to some music. Finally having an end of summer clear out will not only leave you with more room in the house but will also feel therapeutic.
This article was created in collaboration with Claire Spurway (European and World Masters Indoor 60 meters champion) and Feel Good Contacts.
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