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Holidays again! Oh gosh, children at home…how do we keep them entertained for the next few weeks, will they be bored, and will we go crazy! Entertaining your little ones can be a tricky business at the best of times, and it’s even more difficult during holidays. When the schools break up for half-term or summer holidays, it’s sometimes tough to know how to keep your children focused.
Whether it’s chucking it down with rain or the sun is shining, there is so no need to get anxious or stressed about holidays…enjoy them, and even more importantly, make sure your child enjoys them too.
We’ve put our thinking caps on and come up with a handful of great ideas to keep your kids busy, whatever the weather and their age. So, if you’re desperate to drag them away from the TV and games console, there are lots of ways to keep your kids busy, and to stop you going a bit crackers!
Jazz Up Their Rooms!
Tidying up their room doesn’t have to be boring and tiresome for your child, and of course it will save you tidying it up all the time. You’ll find that a room ‘created’ by your child will usually be a tidy room. Let them arrange furniture around to where they would like it to be, let them hang up photos of their friends and classmates, and decorate it with their own arts and crafts made at home or at school. We can highly recommend a super cute chain of beautiful Felt Fairy Lights, with a choice of a red & pink Scottie dogs or a soft brown horses, which are a perfect as a night light and lovely bedroom or nursery decoration. Or why not let them love, and find a home for the White Rabbit LED Night Light, which emits a soft glow and is perfect for our little animal lovers out there. Both coming soon to our Mini Social Website, so keep your eyes peeled.
Get Them Walking – Boots On!
Who says you have to be creative to keep your child happy. Just go for a walk, and whether you live in a city, town or the country, there will be places to go they’ve never been before. Think of somewhere with spectacular views, or a part of your local area that’s has lots of history attached to it. If you’re not sure where to go, your local library or social centre can help you with some great ideas. Introduce your children to animals by taking them to a farm, and even if you live in a city, there are lots of city farms around the country, and many of them cost peanuts, or nothing, to get into. You’re never that far from the beach in the UK, and even if the sun’s not shining, it can be great fun, walking along the beach looking for ‘lost treasure’. You can find crabs and barnacles in rock pools, lots of shells and amazing coloured pebbles. Castles are magical places and capture the imagination of most boys and girls, who love crossing moats, running up and down spiral staircases and looking at cannons. By the end of the day even the liveliest child will be ready for bed!
Put Their Thinking-Caps On!
Children just love mystery and intrigue, so why not have an expedition or a treasure hunt. Come up with a list of odd and fun items with your kids, and then hide them all, and they can then hunt around the house or your garden to try and find them. Suggested items can be: their favourite toy or teddy bear, a small tin of sweets or other treat, their favourite fruit, a new item of clothing. If you live in the country, or go to a park to do it, some suggestions are a pine cone, a bunch of flowers, a shiny pebble, something red, a feather etc. For the older child why not write down some clues on a paper and let them try and decipher them. Solve the clues and whoever finds the most hidden items will get a prize. OK, so this means a bit of work on your behalf, but you’ll find that even you will get drawn into their excitement of seeking.
Children Love Cooking!
There are so many simple recipes that you can try out with your children, and it will encourage their eating habits as they are cooking what they want to eat. Why not challenge them to come up with different sandwich fillings or pizza toppings for their tea. They may not particularly enjoy the results, but you’re teaching them about taste, as well as having fun, and you can always make tasty back-ups!
Most children seem to love baking too, especially with grandparents; we think it’s down to the tasty warm treats at the end and the fact that our parents often allow them to eat them all! To get your none-bakers, little lads, or videogame & TV lovers to join the fun too, try these awesome 3D Dinosaur Cookie Cutters! Even the big kids (that’s us) will have fun baking then piecing there Dino’s together. Or why not try the Wooden Cookie Stampers - let them bake their own delicious biscuits and put their own stamp on them with a HOME MADE, I LOVE YOU or EAT ME Wooden Cookie Stamper, and they will feel super proud and achieved!
Many kids love to help in the kitchen, and it’s a great way to encourage the art of cooking / baking, whilst making a delicious treat for the family!
The Great Outdoors!
Our weather might not be great, but that doesn’t mean we should all huddle up indoors, get the children out and about, fill their lungs with fresh air and take them to the local park or even round to a friend’s / families house to say hello. If they don’t feel enthused by the walk, there are a few products we think will encourage them! With a pair or few of Shwings to accessories their shoes, they’ll be dying to get out to show them off! Whatever their style there’s a colour for everyone, to mix and match and make their kicks extra cool for the park in front of their friends! If they still drag their feet because you turned off the TV, get the smaller ones on a Little Tikes 3 in 1 Trike which grows with their ability and size, or to revamp the use of their existing scooter why not add a Handlebar Hero? They’re fab for role play and encourage creativity, while the older ones can show their skills at the park with the Osprey Stunt Scooters.
Not only is being outdoors good for them , but it will tire them out much more quickly than sitting in front of the TV or computer, which may just allow you a pinch more peace when they return home to relax!
Growing plants or vegetables is also great fun. There are lots of plants that even a young child can grow without too much trouble, from small trees to herbs. If you don’t have a garden, then a window box or small pots are the answer and it won’t matter what time of year you plant them. Try growing herbs like basil, parsley or cress, and vegetables like peas, tomatoes and carrots – that way they can also eat them once they’ve grown.
Let’s All Dance and Have a Party!
Children love to dress up in their party clothes, and just love music, so why not have a party! Invite around some of your children’s friends, get a bunch of their favourite CDs and let them dance until they drop. If your children are a bit younger get out some of their favourite nursery rhyme CDs or DVDs, make all the children dress as the characters in the nursery rhymes, and let them act the scene out as the song or film is playing. Alternatively, karaoke CDs cost very little from music stores. Make sure you sing along to some of the songs as well, there’s nothing like embarrassing yourself to entertain your kids! All you’ll have to do is provide a few nibbles and cordial drinks, and you’ll have some happily tired-out little mini ones at the end of the day. Who knows it may even get you singing and dancing too!
It’s Raining It’s Pouring!
How we wish our weather was sunny all the time; but it isn’t. But when the weather is too blustery & wet, being indoors shouldn’t spoil their fun or let them be bored. Find your nearest local indoor play centre or swimming baths, which are becoming more and more popular. Perhaps get on to some other mums, and join together so that all their friends are there as well. It’s a great opportunity to meet up, even during bad weather. They’re great fun, safe with lifeguards and watchers and could allow you to relax & chat to the other parents while they run around or swim. If you have very young children, go for a swim with them, make memories with them, enjoy it with them and teach them, most swimming baths have baby pools too. Also, most local leisure centres have loads of opportunities to learn new sports, from martial arts to badminton, football, dance classes and to tennis. What’s more, they usually provide the equipment so you won’t have to shell out for lots of expensive kit.
Get Them Writing!
Children have such active and creative minds so we need to encourage their imagination and let them run wild with their feelings and emotions. Children especially love to express themselves, and even the most shy or timid children can do this in writing. We’ve found the perfect product for this, the amazing “I’m going to be” Notebooks designed by 2 Little Boys, and available on the Mini Social Website, a perfect gift for your little grand planners, your future rock-stars, wannabe super heroes, gorgeous girlies or your mischievous mini ones. Let them write about THEMSELVES, practice their autographs, design their super hero costumes, make notes of their favourite fashion or simply devise grand plans. With the positive message ‘Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together’ emblazoned on the back cover! Another great idea is to write chain stories with friends. Each person writes a small paragraph and then folds over to only show their final line to the next writer. Repeat until everyone has had a go, and once the final person has written their section, read the whole story out loud – this is tried and tested and is – hilarious!
Where Do We Come From Mummy?
How much do your kids really know about their background and all their family? Do they know anything about grandma and granddad, Uncle Bob or Auntie Nelly, about their surname, or even their first name? Most of us have computers at home so it will be great fun showing them what their first name means (e.g. Diana was a Roman goddess of the moon, hunting and forests), or the origins of their surnames. How cool would it be to find out that their surname dated back to Viking days, kings and queens, princes and princesses! Not only is drawing family trees fun, but it also teaches them a bit about history. You may even unearth some really interesting stories about your own family that even you never knew about. Most kids love visiting grandma and granddad, so armed with all this new-found information, visit them and get your child to ask them what it was like when they were kids. What did they do to pass the time? What were their favourite toys? Did they watch TV? They’ll be surprised by the answers, and you will too perhaps!
We bet you’re looking forward to the holidays now!
Mini Social is the brand new, UK based, home of innovative, outrageously cool products for families, nothing you will find extensively on the high street; all offered for a limited time at a promotional price.
Fresh, inventive products that make family life easier, that offer solutions to common parenting problems, and that generally help to make our lives less challenging and much more fun!
Founded out of love for discovering new products, they wanted to build a platform where these amazing goods could be showcased to the audience they were intended for. The ingenious ideas, creative solutions and ‘why didn’t I think of that’ feeling is what they’re looking to capture.
They are focussed on providing a fully national site that allows us to buy & receive products within days. They offer no service led promotions that we have to wait in line to ‘book in’ to, but rather quality tangible products with a difference. Their products fit in with seasons, national events & holidays, keeping their promotions fresh, enticing & extremely relevant to our needs.
Every deal must meet their seal of approval, they have hand-picked all the best brands, and grown their own site specifically for parents, by parents.
Mini Social – The new site focused purely on families, and the ‘Mini’ ones within it.
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