*Collaborative post

The end of the school year is fast approaching and for many of us that means a long summer break and trying to keep the children entertained at home. If the weather is warm and sunny this can be a great time to get out in the garden, take a walk in the countryside or have a picnic in the local park. Unfortunately, all too often in the UK, the summer holidays are filled with rainy days, and by 10am you could find yourself tearing your hair out as the children inform you once again that they are bored and there is nothing to do.

Take a little time before the end of term and plan a few activities or research some educational toys for those rainy days, so that the children don’t have an opportunity to complain about being bored!

Playschemes / Sports clubs

No matter how many activities you try to plan the summer holidays can be very long, between 5-6 weeks for most children, so it is worth seeing if there are any organised groups in your area. Many play scheme and holiday sports clubs use local school facilities to run their events, making them very easy to access. They will offer lots of planned activities for children of all ages, and a great opportunity to make new friends. Groups often run for only a short time during the holidays so you will need to check the dates carefully and book a place,for your children as they do tend to book up fast.

Home Activities

If you have a big age gap between children it can sometimes be hard to find something that is suitable for them all to do at the same time. Art and crafts is always a winner with children of all ages so put together a craft box before the holidays begin. Make sure you include paint, coloured pencils, coloured and textured papers, glue and things they can add to their artwork like feathers and sequins. It is also worth keeping a stash of empty egg boxes, food cartons, yoghurt pots and empty toilet roll tubes. Pick a theme and let their imaginations run wild, older children will be able to do most of the work on their own, leaving you free to help younger ones.

Cooking and Baking

Baking is also a great rainy-day activity, get older children involved in the weighing and measuring and younger children love to help with the mixing part. Biscuits that you can ice or cupcakes are a great project; when they are cool you can also get everyone to decorate a few, let their imaginations run wild.
The weather in August can be very varied, and this can make the basis for a great activity that you can do a little bit of each day. Why not make a ran catcher to see just how much rain actually falls each day? If you wanted to record other types of weather then why not make, or buy, a weather station so that you can record the daily temperature, wind direction and even the cloud types. This is a great activity, especially suitable for older children, but younger ones will enjoy getting involved as well.

If all else fails why not create a treasure hunt around the home. Use cryptic clues that need some careful thinking to solve for older kids and picture clues for younger ones. Don’t forget the prize at the end!

Hopefully the rainy days will only make up a very small part of the summer holidays and your children will be able to enjoy some sunny weather without driving you mad because they are bored.

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