Everyone looks forward to summer, right? Those months of long evenings and drinks in the garden. But, summer as a parent can bring its own stresses especially if you have young children to entertain for several weeks!
Fear not, however, because I have you covered with these 8 quick and cheap activity ideas that are sure to see you through (and let you finish that drink before the ice melts)!
No, not literally! This activity is always a favourite in our house and just perfect to get outside on those summer days. All you need is a bucket of water and a paint brush. Let your little one go wild as they draw shapes, letters, numbers and pictures all over their fence panels (or walls) in your garden. The water will show up really well but crucially dry off over time and leave your canvas blank to start again the next day. Another option here is for you to write things on the fence or wall and give your child a spray bottle to ‘shoot’ what you have drawn. For example, I might write a ton of different letters across the fence and ask Arlo to ‘shoot’ all of the letter A’s for Arlo.
If you have a cosy coupe this works brilliantly, however if you don’t there are many alternatives. Grab a bucket of soapy water and a scrubbing brush and let your little one clean away! Another option could be to cover some animal figures in ‘mud’ (angel delight works great or simply mix some cocoa powder into yogurt) and have a go at getting them clean again. Choose whatever your child is interested in – dinosaurs? Dino wash! Oceans? Whale wash! This one is always a hit and won’t cost you a penny!
DIY Chalk Paint
This one is so simple to make but creates a breath taking effect once finished! Simply mix some cornflour with water and food colouring to create your paint, then head outside and make some beautiful pavement art!
Grab a piece of paper and draw some objects you might see around the garden. You could use things like clouds, blackbirds etc. Ask your little one to spot them and cross them off as they do. Alternatively, you could use yours on a walk around the woods. If you are a Catkin Club member, there are a ton of scavenger hunt activities in your member’s area that you can print at the touch of a button!
Oh does Arlo love this one! First up you’ll need to make a target, but this can be anything you’d like. We often balance a rubber duck on the edge of our garden wall, but something drawn with water on a fence panel would work just as well.
You’ll then get yourself a sponge (depending on the age of your child you might want to cut one in half as they can get pretty heavy when wet!) and dunk it in a bucket of water. Throw your sponge towards the target until you get a bullseye!
Backyard obstacle course
This is a great opportunity to utilise whatever you have around the home. Skipping ropes make great ‘tightropes’ to walk across (you can just lay it flat along the ground and ask your little one to follow it), boxes can be boulders to leap over, you could add a sprinkler on hot days or hula hoops as jumping points. Scarves can be seaweed to ‘swim’ through or grass cuttings quicksand to get ‘stuck’ in. Use your imagination and the sky’s the limit!
Need I say more? Who doesn’t love a game of balloon tennis?! If you want to up your game, why not add in a learning component. For example, every time someone hits the ball they could say the next number in the sequence 1-2-3-4 and the person who says number 10, wins! Or the person who says ‘7’ does 10 star jumps. You could use times tables or letters in the alphabet, too.
Road to FUN!
Use some chalk (or make the above chalk paint) and draw a track across the pavement. If you garden doesn’t have a pavement, you could follow some string or even pieces of paper with arrows on. Then, use your favourite cars to follow the road. Alternatively, you could dribble a ball or even follow the path yourself pretending to be a different animal each time.
So, there you have it! 8 activities that will surely keep the little ones busy this summer and give you the opportunity to finish that drink in peace!
Let me know how it goes and be sure to tag me in the photos!
P.S. Did you find this blog helpful? I would love to make sure I’m answering all of your parenting questions on this blog, so if this post gave you inspiration – please let me know so I can do more of them in the future!