With the UK currently in the grip of a heatwave and the kids soon to break up for summer, the challenge of finding stuff to keep them occupied is made even harder by having to keep them cool.
Spending too much time in the sun can be dangerous for children, so how can you make sure that everyone makes the most of this rare sunshine while also staying safe?
The Paddling Pool
Of course, the number one way to keep the keeps entertained and cool during the summer has to be setting up a paddling pool in the garden.
They can take a while to set up, but throw in some of the kids’ favourite toys and they’ll be happy splashing about for hours!
A Water Slide
A great alternative to a paddling pool, a slip n’ slide is essentially a long sheet of thin plastic which you can hook up to your garden hose, making it slippery enough for the kids to run and slide down!
You can buy these online or if you’re feeling crafty, you could also try to make one yourself. All you’d need to do is get some suitable plastic sheeting, anchor it down and add some soap to make it extra slippery before getting the garden hose on it! Click here for more information on how to do it yourself.
Wash The Car
If you can get away with it, why not find a fun way for the kids to help take a couple of chores off your hands!
Kids love splashing about with the water, and while they probably don’t realise it, they’re actually starting to learn some pretty valuable life skills too.
It helps that you’ll hopefully have a shiny looking car afterwards too! Kids could also wash their own bikes, tricycles or toy cars too if they have them!
Have A Water Fight
Kids love a good water fight and it’s a great way to keep them cool in the sunshine as well, whether they’re kitted out with the latest Super Soaker, or you’re just using hoses, buckets, water balloons, or whatever else you can get your hands on.
Just make sure that they stay away from any washing or anything else that you don’t want to get caught in the crossfire!
Make An Outdoor Fort
If your kids love building dens and forts, why not take it outside? Kids can use sticks, leaves and stones to help make their fort, but you could also just set up a tent in the garden and fill it with blankets and toys.
Kids love having their own little space in the garden that they can retreat to and cool down in.
Make Ice Cream
Of course, a trip to the local ice cream parlour will always go down well with the kids, how about making your own?
It’s not as difficult as you might think and you can get the kids to help out too. You can check out a full recipe here, but essentially, all you need is two main ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and cream, as well as whatever flavouring you’re going to use.
Make Ice Lollies
If that sounds like a little too much effort, you can just make your own ice lollies, either with a special mould or just a small container.
Just add some fruit juice to your chosen container and maybe some fruit pieces too and add a stick, then leave to freeze for a couple of hours.
In a way, this one actually feels sort of cruel! However, it will keep them busy for hours. Simply fill a large bucket or bowl with water and some toys or other treats and freeze it into a huge ice block.
Then, equip the kids with some (safe) tools and maybe some warm water to hack, chip and melt away the ice to get to the prizes inside!
Make A DIY Sprinkler
You can make your own garden sprinkler for the kids to play in using a ‘pool noodle’ (one of the cylindrical floats that you would get down at the swimming pool).
Simply lay it on the ground or hand from somewhere such as a swing and poke plenty of holes into it. Then, secure one end of the float and insert the hose into the other end and hopefully, you should have your own sprinkler!
Pick Your Own Fruit
Summertime means that all kinds of tasty berries are in bloom, and there should be a local farm nearby that allows you to go and pick your own fruit, which is a fun activity for kids.
And, if there are any left by the time you get home, you could whip up a dessert using them too.