Cooking and Baking
In the hot weather, it’s important to stay safe - so seek some shade and have some fun by cooking some cold treats. Home made ice lollies are a tasty way to stay hydrated in the heat, while chocolate krispie cakes provide ample decorating opportunities for little ones who love adding tasty treats to a chocolate and krispie mix - you can see the Rice Krispie Medleys which my boy and I made here if you're after some treat inspiration. For a tasty and refreshing drink, fruity milkshakes make a great snack while staying relatively healthy - just add the fruit of your choice and some vanilla ice cream to some milk and blend. To make these drinks even more fun you could serve in little plastic bottles with straws, it's such a simple thing but such a novelty for kids.
For the inevitable rainy days of the holidays (it's been raining almost all of July here in Cork!), craft activities are a great way for kids to unleash their artistry. Little gifts like decorated photo frames and homemade birthday cards are excellent for friends and family members with summer birthdays. Summerthemed activities are lots of fun too: spruce up some sun hats and t-shirts with glitter paint and tie-dye, decorate some plain photo frames to hold a holiday photograph, or make some bird feeders and pinwheels for the garden.
Take advantage of the great outdoors over the summer with some outdoor adventures and days out. If you play any sports, take the time to teach your little ones basketball or football, how to ride a bike (something I really want to do with my boy soon), or simply good old catch, or take them for a trip to the pool to cool off. For more outdoorsy families, pack a yummy picnic - this is also something you can enjoy in the garden, you can see our teddy bears picnic in the garden here - and get stuck into nature by going hiking, or have some peace and quiet fishing at a local lake or river. For intrepid future scientists, grab a guide to local wildlife and a pair of binoculars and a notepad and pencil and keep a record of all they’ve seen over the summer. Of course, a trip to the beach is always an essential during the summer months and even if the water is too cold to swim in a paddle and exploring the rock pools can always give kids hours of fun.
LearningFor bookworms the summer is a great opportunity to explore some more reading and get to know the local library. Many librarians create reading challenges for the holidays to encourage youngsters to expand their literary tastes. If you'd like to get your kids out in the garden, teaching them how to garden is a great way of teaching them something new and letting them pitch in whilst planting seeds, watering plants and pottering around the garden. I recently taught my son how to garden and he loves helping out with it now. Food festivals are increasingly common in bigger towns, so older children will feel grown up watching demonstrations and sampling some of the dishes. For family days out, a trip to a history or science museum always goes down well, with lots having interactive displays and some even organising days of the week that are more family oriented over the summer holidays - a quick web search will show what’s going on nearby.
These are things I enjoy doing with my son, not only in the summer but throughout the whole year, however, having sunny days to go with these activities is always the best. Will you be doing any of these things to entertain and keep your kids happy this summer?