You don’t need us to tell you that the summer months are a prime time for children’s summer camps. For parents that work, these can be a handy way for the children to get out of the house for the day, mix with other kids their own age while being entertained by professionals all day long. What’s not to love?
Summer camps are a good idea for the reasons above, but if you intend enrolling your children in one camp after another, the costs can add up over the summer break. While we know that children love going to summer camps because of the wide range of activities that are planned out for them and the sheer fun that can be had there, we’re also aware that the kids need to have some downtime for themselves too, to relax without the daily structure that comes with school and summer camps.
From our experience, parents usually find both they and their children get the best value from well-chosen summer camps. As we mentioned earlier, there are tonnes of camps running all over the country, so choose the right one for your child. Before enrolling your children in a camp why not consider whether they would prefer a mixed camp with lots of different activities, one which will help them improve on a hobby or one where they are taken on plenty of outings. We have worked with Kids Guide Summer Camps who offer a wide range of choice in terms of summer camps for kids.
You might also like to consider whether your child will benefit more from going to a group where they already know the other children, or if it might be good for them to immerse themselves in a new group where they can flex their friend-making muscles.
Community Events & BBQs
Summer is a great time to hold community events. When the weather is as good as it has been everyone seems to be in great form, so why not take advantage of the positive mood and stage a community event which will allow everyone, adults and children to get out into the air, socialising and having lots of fun?
Most residential areas have recreational spaces in which you can set up entertainment for the children and have a community picnic or BBQ (if permitted by the local authorities). We love when we’re asked to get involved in these community events as they are such a great way to showcase your community spirit and for people to meet their neighbours who they might otherwise not get a chance to socialise with. The sun is out, the adults have fun, the children have fun – it’s a great way to spend an afternoon!
As we mentioned earlier, a big part of the summer holidays has to be downtime for the children. They spend the rest of the year cooped up in a classroom, wearing a uniform and being expected to sit still and stay quiet, so the summertime should be a break from all that!
But how do you keep the children entertained during this downtime? Here are some of the tried and trusted activities we use to entertain children at parties year-round. You can use some of them during the summer with your kids.
Arts & Crafts
At our core, we’re all creative beings, but we forget the fact as we get older. Arts and crafts are always popular at our children’s parties. All children are different, some prefer structured activities while others love the free reign of painting freestyle. You know your child best, if they want to be left alone to create a masterpiece then leave them at it. However, if they are likely to ‘get bored’ quite quickly, then a little preparation on your part can go a long way to keeping their attention on the activity at hand.
Do a search on Pinterest to find an activity that they will enjoy and get involved too. Arts and crafts time can be a great opportunity to chat with the children in a stress-free environment. Just enjoy expressing your creativity together.
Burn off Energy
Sitting around the house without anything ‘to do’ is one of the quickest ways to ensure your child will complain of being bored. Make sure you build in opportunities for the kids to burn off energy throughout their day. While their enthusiasm for soccer might have been high over the last few weeks while the World Cup has been on, if you constantly tell them to go play football, they’ll get fed up of that too. Variety is the spice of life! The more unusual the activity, the more engaged your children will be. The easiest way to keep sports and activities fresh is to make a list and choose a different activity every day. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a sport either, three-legged races, wheelbarrow races and hopscotch have all stood the test of time for good reason.
Learn Something New
This doesn’t need to feel like school. In fact, the less it feels like school, the better! Learning can and should be fun. It can be interactive, engaging and specific to your child’s interests. Children naturally have enquiring minds, give them something to wonder about and take awe in. You could do home science experiments, explore music through rhythm and beats using home-made instruments, do some fun research about your holiday destination (if you’re taking a holiday) or even learn some basic words in the language they speak there.
As wise old Dr Seuss wrote ‘If you want to catch beasts you don’t see every day, You have to go places quite out of the way’. I remember as a child, one of the most exciting parts about summer was being able to leave the house with friends and go wherever we wanted to – within a set radius. Unfortunately, the world has changed since then and children can’t go exploring on their own in the same way their parents could.
That said, you can feed your children’s sense of excitement and need for exploration by bringing them to new places and by challenging them to look at the world around them in new ways. They can explore the garden, or ecosystems near your home and find all types of fascinating creatures they might not expect to find. Why not set up a camp on a warm evening and sit out and explore the sky over your heads. There’s loads of information online about the different stars and planets so that you can read up and then share your new-found knowledge. One thing’s for sure, our fascination with space never grows old.
We left the best ‘til last. Children love being free to jump around like loopers, that’s probably the thing they enjoy best about our children’s parties. We all need time to be a little silly, to let our hair down and go crazy. Whether it’s jumping in a puddle (if we ever get puddles again!), twirling in circles until you feel dizzy, or jumping to catch a balloon, those are the moments in life when we feel completely carefree – and as adults, more often than not, that’s what we miss about being a kid. So, take the reins off every once in a while, and let them go crazy. That’s our recipe for a fun-filled summer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our tips to ensure that your children have fun all summer long. If you’d like to find out more about any of our children’s activities and events, please contact us here or give Emma a call on 086 173 9627.