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10 cost effective ways to entertain your children this summer!

With the summer holidays now less than 2 weeks away, as a parent you may be starting to have a bit of a panic about how the heck you are going to keep your kids entertained for a whole 6 weeks without going crazy in the process. As a mum of 3 under 10’s the novelty of no school runs and no set routine seems to start wearing off around the second to third week in for me. Don’t get me wrong I do actually love the school holidays and spending ‘quality’ time with my children and I LOVE a break from the school run madness but I do also end up turning into a bit of a psycho mum over the course of the 6 weeks.

As much as I like to go with the flow and not have many firm plans over the summer I do like to have a list of activities ready to entertain my children with when the ‘free play’ all gets too much and the sibling arguments set in. I have made a list of 10 cost effective activities for you to do at home with your children over the summer (all tried and tested and only resulting in mild arguments and stress!!)

1.DEN BUILDING (Stress level for parent =2/10 or considerably more if you are OCD and the activity is taking place indoors and results in your whole house being destroyed in order to create said den)

Den building is a great activity to amuse the kids for at least an hour or more. If outdoors ask the kids to gather sticks and branches from the garden or perhaps go to an area of woodland to collect some to bring home that the kids can then use to make their own den or teepee. If den building indoors using blankets, cushions, furniture etc. then be prepared for the stress levels to increase a notch as it will involve your house looking like it’s been burgled however just breathe and grab a glass of wine and it will all be fine!

2. MOCKTAIL MAKING (Stress level for parent = 0/10 with a cocktail in hand for yourself!)

This is a great way for kids to get their nutrients and have fun at the same time, blend fruit together and mix with milk or a milk alternative such as coconut milk or soya as well as crushed ice. Get involved and add the gin/rum or whatever takes your fancy for yourself. Obviously making sure the kids don’t mistake the cocktail for the mocktail!!

3. SPORTS DAY (Stress level for parent = 3/10)

Why not recreate the traditional sports day with your kids at home or at the park. Think three legged, tug of war, bean bag, wheel barrow, egg and spoon and sack race! All the old favorites. Invite your friends and their kids along and have a parent race too which the kids will love and let your competitive side shine through!!

4. TREASURE HUNT (Stress level for parent = 1/10)

Now you can be really clever with this one to ensure that you get maximum time out for yourself whilst the kids are busy hunting for the treasure. Think of inconspicuous places around your home and garden where you can hide small treats or clues to the main treasure prize.

5. QUIZ (Stress level for parent = 3/10)

Think of a theme and create a quiz for your kids (or search google for one).

6. GET CRAFTY (Stress level for parent = difficult to say but possibly near a 9/10 if you are a bit OCD like me and hate mess)

Kids love getting creative and crafts are a great way to entertain. Depending how messy you want it to get then choose your craft activity wisely. I love activity village for scoping out craft ideas

7. PIZZA MAKING (Stress level for parent = 5/10)

Depending again on how much stress you are prepared to deal with for this one then choose wisely how you are going to let your little cherubs do this. For ease then slice up some French bread and simply let your child add the toppings of their choice. If you want to really go for it then get the kids making their own dough (you can also buy pre made pizza bases). This could be a good activity to try at dinner time around wine o clock!

8. DISCO (Stress level for parent 1/10)

This is my FAVORITE!! This is so very easy. You put on You Tube and search for mini disco playlist. Clear some space somewhere in the home/garden and leave the kids to it! If you have a disco light then even better to add to the disco feel.

9. TIDY THE HOUSE (Stress level for parent = 2/10)

I have found this a great way to motivate my 10 and 6 year old to earn ‘pocket money’ or reward stickers for their charts. I write them both a list of things to do which can include folding up the washing and putting it away, tidying their rooms, sorting through their clothes drawers to see what still fits them, tidying their wardrobes and sorting through their toys.

10. EXERCISE TOGETHER (Stress level = 0/10)

Exercise will help your stress levels as when we exercise we release endorphins that help beat stress. The kids will love exercising with you and it’s a great way to ‘bond’ with your little angels. Think of something fun that you can all enjoy together. Obviously for me I love hula hooping and whenever I get my hoop out the kids follow suit and end up not leaving me alone but at least they are entertained and keeping active. You could perhaps try some yoga together or go out for a bike ride. Whatever takes your fancy really but if it is something that will benefit all of you then you will end up feeling great afterwards.

Hannah Murphy (Fitness entrepreneur and founder of Globe Fit)

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