15 ways to stop the kids getting bored in the holidays

Getting bored is probably one of the biggest complaints of most children throughout the summer holidays. They have six weeks of having to find their own entertainment instead of relying on the structure of a school day to keep them from getting bored. However, with a little bit of organisation there is no need for them to moan that they are bored. There are literally hundreds of things to stop them getting bored but for the purposes of this blog post I’m listing my 15 favourite things to do when Lottie moans she is bored! And even better none of them break the bank meaning you don’t even need to spend a lot of money.

  1. Get baking. We love to bake in our house. The husband is more of a baker than I am but I can still pull together a decent cake when I need to. My speciality is probably ginger cake or chocolate fudge cake. Neither are good when I am doing Slimming World but soooo yummy. We often bake when we need something to do to fill an afternoon, and we always have the ingredients in to bake something. Favourites to bake in our house are Carrot Cake, Lemon Madeira, Red Velvet, Victoria Sponge and Blueberry Muffins.
  2. Crazy Science Experiments. A few weeks ago we brought a book from Amazon called 101 Brilliant Things to do with Science and it has been money well spent already. There are some brilliant things in there to try out. So far we have made a hovercraft, learnt about water pressure, managed to stab a balloon without popping it, and done something weird with some eggs in vinegar.
  3. Help with the house work. This one is more popular with me than it is Lottie but whilst she’s doing it at least she is occupied! And the added bonus is that it gets done quicker. Lottie’s jobs include hoovering, polishing, washing up, bringing dirty clothes down and putting things away. I’ve even managed to get her to wash the car with me and to weed our front garden. The last two did cost me a grand total of £1 for each job but it was money well spent! The front garden kept her occupied for ages because she wanted to get every single bit of green up!
  4. Have a play date. This is just as good for your sanity as it is for the children. As an only child Lottie needs to have regular play dates during the summer to make sure she doesn’t get lonely. We try to schedule one each week, even if it’s just my sister in law and her cousins that come over. I need the adult company as well. Preferably this one is best out of the house (or at their house!) so you don’t have all the tidying up afterwards.
  5. Junk Modelling – It’s amazing some of the things our children can make with a bit of imagination, a few cardboard boxes and a bit of glue. We made the older horse of Troy, a mermaids castle and an alien spaceship last time we spent the afternoon doing this. It’s  totally free, it’s entertaining  and it doesn’t involve a screen at all. For us this is a win/win situation.
  6. Go to the Library. We love our local library. It’s free to join and offers Lottie the opportunity to feed her love of reading without bankrupting me. She can spend hours sitting in there reading books and choosing the ones she wants to borrow. Most school holidays they also offer a reading challenge to encourage children to spend the summer reading, and trying new books they wouldn’t normally consider.  The library doesn’t just offer books either. Our local library runs music groups, story time and arts and crafts activities.
  7. Learn a new skill – The summer holidays are the perfect opportunity to try something new and learn a new skill. Last summer I attempted to teach Lottie to crochet. It occupied hours. Either I am a rubbish teacher of she’s not very good at it but I didn’t succeed in teaching her. This summer we’ve decided that we’re going to learn how to make jewellery together. We brought some cheap bits from a car boot sale and we’ve been trying since. We’re both enjoying it, and we’ve actually produced a few things I would actually wear! The possibilities are endless on this one. You could learn to cook, learn a new language, learn a new sport, learn how to sew, learn an instrument etc.
  8. Do some exercise together – This is always fun and gets you fit at the same time. Exercise releases endorphins too so makes you feel good, and will help to promote a positive sense of self worth. There are loads of ways you can exercise together. We had planned to do couch to 5k as a family this summer but my broken foot has stopped that. Instead Lottie and I are hula hopping together and doing some yoga following a YouTube video. I’m really enjoying it but its making me realise just how unfit I am! Other ideas that are cheap and easy are  swimming, walking and cycling.
  9. Watch a movie – This can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You could go to the cinema to watch a film, but this can be expensive unless you have vouchers for 2 for 1 tickets. Otherwise I would recommend choosing a good film at home, this is really easy now thanks to Amazon Prime or Netflix. Buy some microwave popcorn and sit with the curtains closed so the room is dark and it adds to the cinema experience.
  10. Do some arts and crafts – We love crafts in our house. It’s free as well. We’re currently making an Egyptian costume ready for going back to school and it’s filled a couple of afternoons already, with plenty more to do. We have also made bows, done Hama beads, made paper mache models and loads more. It’s free, and easy. There are some brilliant ideas on Pinterest for easy crafts with the kids. Just don’t get disheartened when they don’t look anything like the pictures on there. Our arts and crafts definitely fall into the pinterest fails category but they are fun to do.
  11. Go to the park – If you are anything like us then there will be loads of parks around you to explore. I actually think if I didn’t hate going to the park alone so much we could easily fill a whole day with the park. We could walk between the 9 parks I can think of near us, spend half an hour at each and walk home. Maybe we are lucky but there is usually at least one good park near by. And it definitely does stop the kids from getting bored because I don’t know one that doesn’t enjoy half an hour in the park. I love that this gets us out of the house as well, which is always a good thing.
  12. Have a water fight – This can provide hours of entertainment, depending on the child. We always have a water fight whenever we go to visit my sister. It keeps Lottie, and her youngest entertained for at least an hour at a time. Her oldest boy manages about 5 minutes. It’s quite simple as well. We fill several large buckets and a couple of water guns up, give them a water gun each and a few plastic jugs or cups and then let them get on with it. If you have a hosepipe (and no hosepipe ban) then you could use this but we find we don’t need to.
  13. Do some random acts of kindness – This is quite an easy thing to do but can require some planning. This summer we’ve done quite a few things, but I don’t think Lottie would even realise that we have! We sorted her room at the start of the holidays and a lot of what she didn’t want, use or fit into anymore has been donated to charity, or passed on to other people to use. Other ideas can include doing some shopping for somebody, writing to a relative who lives far away, baking cakes for neighbours or litter picking in the local park.
  14. Learn some history – Lottie loves history. She wants to be an archaeologist when she grows up. I also love history and almost took it at university (literally flipped a coin to choose my degree subject!) and so we try to visit museums and places of interest regularly. We like the free ones but there aren’t any in Gloucester. There is one in Stroud that we’ve been to a few times. We quite often go to Gloucester cathedral though and we like the two free museums in Coventry when we go up to see my family. She’s also really interested in researching our family tree so we’ve just started doing that. She’s loving learning about her relatives, and wants to know the stories behind them so I think we might have to look into them. It should be interesting, even I’m curious about what we might uncover hidden in the family tree. 
  15. Have a pamper session – This is something that Lottie and I do on quite a regular basis. We give each other a mini facial, brush our hair, paint each others nails and do our make up. We can easily spend a whole afternoon doing this if we really want to. What I love about pamper sessions most though is that we have to talk to each other. It naturally lends itself to having some of the ‘grown up’ conversations I feel we need to have now that Lottie is getting older.

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