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Summer holiday fun for all ages

Posted on 17 August 2018

The summer holidays can be difficult enough to keep filled with fun activities – but what if you have a range of ages to deal with as well? Mixing toddlers, kids and pre-teen options can fill many parents with dread, but we think some good ol’ fashioned fun is the way to keep it simple and easy this summer.

A day out at the park, an outdoor concert or festival, a big picnic…these are the usual suspects, which seem to work for all ages for a reason, the entertainment comes from getting out of the house, away from screen-shaped distractions and just chilling out as a family. Finding a list of local festivals, national parks and days out is so easy with the wealth of information available online.

But what about those rainy days? If you are balancing older children with toddlers that still need a nap, those rainy afternoons can cause tension, bickering and melt-downs. The obvious answer is to put on a film but realistically that only works for part of the day! Making an indoor, home cinema is a great way to get everyone involved. Older kids can make popcorn whilst the little ones decorate tickets and juice cartons. There can even be a scramble around the house to find one and two pence coins for the ticket money. Although it seems slightly “babyish” for the older ones, they’ll soon get into their roles as the ticket taker and popcorn maker.

Don’t forget the teens in your home might be looking for a bit of peace throughout the day. Of course, it’s okay to schedule in a little family time – but be aware that dragging a teen out of bed to go to the park may be a step too far! Giving your teen a bit of freedom in the summer is a great way to test out their “adulting” skills. Would your teen be capable of doing the food shop?

You might want to swap some sibling babysitting for some cash – to fund that next shopping trip perhaps? Often younger siblings have missed the older ones whilst exam revision took over recent months. Encourage your elder children to take the little ones out for an ice cream or a dog walk. Using the summer months to solidify their bond means you will have a calmer year all around.

Family activities can be as involved as you want and can include things like cooking together – practicing chopping skills with the older kids and letting the younger ones wash the vegetables and put them on skewers. With you to support them, your child might get some valuable lessons in understanding the rules around the kitchen and have some fun too. Kid-friendly kebabs can be sweet or savoury- and they’re great to bring on a picnic too.

Days out can be difficult to manage across multiple age groups, with some older children wanting to avoid places like petting farms and zoos. However, many zoos and petting farms offer activities for children aimed up to the age of 12. They often have climbing frames for various ages as well. The Natural History Museum and Science Museum in London offer overnight experiences for families and have a range of entertainment to keep children occupied.

Ultimately, with a little pre-planning, most summer activities can be guided around toddlers to teens. The trick is to know what your children will be happiest doing and offering age-based options, so no one feels left out. The summer holidays are a chance for everyone to relax and enjoy each other’s company too. So, don’t forget to factor in some chill out time for all of you!