The summer holidays are fast approaching so if you are already turning your attention to planning fun days with your family then this essential guide will help you fill up your diary in no time.
One of the things that can seem daunting about a six-week (or longer!) summer holiday is juggling the demands from your little ones of different ages. If you have a busy toddler, pre-schooler or older child and a young baby then life can seem like a constant balancing act when everyone is at home. Thankfully, a baby carrier can help you be hands-free and happy during the summer holidays so you can spend time doing fun things with your older children, whilst keeping your baby close, and you can all enjoy quality family time together.
Easy days out
When you are planning your summer holiday diary, it can be helpful to put in some fun days out that you can enjoy as a family without breaking the bank. We are so lucky in this country that green spaces are never far away, and most towns and cities have access to lovely open parks and room to run around and explore.
If you live in the countryside then there is a whole world to explore on your doorstep and even if you live in the middle of the city, you could hop on a bus or a train and be out in the fresh air in no time. If you pack a picnic, then these ideas are all cheap days out that you can enjoy with your family and friends…
- A trip to your nearest park, or mix things up and try one further afield
- Feed the ducks at your nearest pond or river
- Visit your local library where you can borrow books to take home for free
- Take a stroll through the countryside to get closer to nature
- Go to a farmer’s market where you can sample fresh produce for free and often see some animals too.
- Spend a day at the beach building sandcastles and paddling in the sea
- Explore a new city. Catch the train to somewhere you haven’t been before and spend the day walking the streets looking at the interesting buildings and soaking up the atmosphere.
- If you are a member of the National Trust, the RHS, English Heritage or something similar, then there are hundreds of amazing spaces to explore across the country that are all included in your membership so make the most of it this summer.
- Go on a nature hunt. You can download and print free activity sheets online that your children can use to identify nature in the garden or on a walk around your neighbourhood. There are urban versions too for spotting things like buses etc if you live in the city.
Lazy days at home
Your little ones might be tired after a busy year at nursery or school so be sure to factor in some lazy days at home when you are making your summer holiday plans. Often though, a ‘lazy’ day at home still needs a little bit of planning so try some of these ideas which will be easy to enjoy with your older children if baby is snug in their carrier and you are hands-free…
- Bake some cookies together and decorate them. There are lots of recipes online and the ingredients needn’t be expensive if you stick to a basic recipe but your little one will love having quality time with you learning a new skill.
- Make vegetable stampers and create some fun artwork together. Simply chop different vegetables or fruit in half and see what fun patterns they make if you dip them in paint and stamp them on to paper. Oranges and apples work well, as do cucumbers, peppers, potatoes and any hard fruit or veg, it is a great way to use up those forgotten veg in the back of the fridge!
- Create a bug hotel in the garden. Simply collect some sticks, leaves, logs and other bits from the garden or a walk around the park and then pile them up in a quiet corner of the garden. If you leave it a few days and then lift up the logs, you will be amazed at how many critters have made a home and your little ones will love learning about them all.
- Make outdoor pictures with chalk. Your little ones will love drawing on the patio, pavement or even on the balcony with chunky chalk and the good news is that it will wash away in the rain so there is no clean-up operation! Try drawing a hopscotch for them to jump on for hours of summer holiday fun.
- Have a carpet picnic or a garden picnic. Encourage your little one to pack their own lunch and lay out a picnic blanket, they can invite their toys to join them and you can all have a lunchtime adventure at home. They will love being in charge and you don’t have to go anywhere!
- Host a mini sports day. Set up an obstacle course in the garden or in your home and let your little ones use up some of their energy racing around it. This is a great idea if you have friends over for a play date and you could even get your children to make little medals to hand out at the end.
- Have a family sleep over. There is nothing more exciting than a ‘sleepover’ when you are little so make their dreams come true and all camp in one room (or in the garden if you have a tent!) for a night. Get some fun ‘midnight feast’ snacks and watch a film before going to sleep for the night. If you are outside, then you could have a campfire or a BBQ to add to the adventure and if you are inside then you could decorate the room with fairy lights and turn off the main lights to add to the adventure.
- Make a puppet theatre. All you need is a big cardboard box and some scissors, and you can make an exciting puppet theatre that your kids will love! Simply cut out a hole for the stage and then they can go behind and put on a show for you to watch. If you want to go one step further then you could spend some quality time together making puppets out of old socks, wooden spoons, or anything you have to hand!
- Build a den. If you have a garden, then you can do this outside, but you can make an equally exciting den indoors and this is the perfect rainy day activity. All you need is a big sheet or duvet cover and something to prop it up i.e. some chairs or a table to hang it over. Put some comfy blankets and cushions inside and then the fun begins! You can read stories together, play pretend houses or whatever you and your child love to do.
This is by no means necessary for a fun summer holiday, but lots of families choose to do some ‘treat days’ that include a more expensive activity or day out somewhere. These days can sometimes be stressful at times when you have children of different ages, but with your baby in a carrier, you will be free to hold hands with your older children and enjoy all of the fun of the fair (or wherever you may be!). Here are some of our favourite ‘treat day’ ideas…
- Go to an Aquarium. A really fun and interesting day out, aquariums are perfect for expanding young minds and introducing the whole family to an exciting world under the sea.
- A trip to a farm. There are some amazing farms across the UK that offer a fun filled day out and often include lots of different activities so there is something to suit all ages. Some have bouncy castles, rides, soft plays, water parks etc and of course you get to enjoy some fun time getting close to the animals too.
- A day at the zoo. If your little one’s love animals, then there is no greater way to spend the day than at the zoo. We are lucky to have some incredible zoos in this country where you can see animals from across the world and these trips can be educational too.
- A thrilling day at a theme park. Depending on the age of your children, you might like to try one of the many theme parks we have across the UK. Somewhere like Peppa Pig World at Paultons Park or CBeebies Land at Alton Towers is perfect for toddlers and pre-schoolers, while older children might prefer Thorpe Park or Chessington World of Adventures or somewhere similar. Taking your baby in their carrier will leave you free to enjoy the day with your older children but remember not to babywear on the rides if they are bumpy or fast. Take another adult with you on this trip so you can watch from the ground while they accompany your older child or leave your baby with them while you enjoy the ride.
- See a film at the cinema. Choose a film that the whole family can enjoy, get some snacks and make the most of this special treat.
However you choose to spend your summer holidays, enjoy this precious time with your little ones and share your snaps, tips and ideas with us on our social media, we would love to hear about your #izmiadventures!