Activity Toys Direct: How do you keep your children active and entertained during summer?

Wednesday, 18 June 2014 5 comments

Ahhhh the summer. Those long hot summer days spent lazing around soaking up some rays and catching up on your favourite book. Well, that might have been true pre-children. Now it’s all about the physical fun. I’ve got two small boys who have boundless energy, and trust me, when I say boundless I REALLY mean it. So for me summer is now all about finding new and interesting ways to entertain them, and when Activity Toys Direct asked how we do that I felt a blog post coming on! Here’s my top five ways of keeping my kids active and entertained during the summer.

1. Treasure Hunts

My kids love this one, and the best thing is it’s easy to tailor to your kids age or even what they’re studying at playgroup or what they’re interested in. Find around five pictures of ‘treasure’ that you’d like them to find (internet searches are your friend here) and make a collage of them with tick boxes to check when the treasure is found. So for example - recently Isaac was doing ‘Minibeasts’ at playgroup – so I found pictures including worm, spider, fly, snail and slug (glamerous I know!), I arranged the photos on a piece of paper and printed them out. Grab a couple of sheets of stickers and hit the garden/park. When you find something you can put a sticker on it (stickers are ALWAYS a big win here!). There’s a surprising amount of concentration and searching involved in finding a worm. You can do it for anything, planning a trip to the beach? Shell, Sand, Sea, Ice cream and swimming shorts, hospital appointment? chair, stethoscope, clock, trolley and get the idea!

2. Sibling Rivalry

Having two boys 12 months apart we get a lot of rivalry, I don’t know how it happened, it just did. In the summer time I try and direct this ‘competitive energy’ into physical activity. ‘Let’s Race!’ is my favourite and the soundtrack to my summer. Along with ‘Let’s Chase!’ and ‘who can jump over this stick’ you’ll hear me redirecting wrestling into running, pushing into pirouetting and squashing into squatting ...over and over again. And it’s all good fun...until it ends in tears...

3. Sports Markers

These are one of my all time favourites, and also one of my toddler camping essentials. These can be put to all kinds of uses. From marking out sports pitches and goals, to making jumps, weaving our bikes in and out, to playing games like colour matching and kings and queens (with them on our heads). One of their favourites is for me to mark out a spiral; they’ll spend ages running round and round and in and out...until they get dizzy...or sick...

4. Gardening

I’ve written gardening here but let’s be honest, it’s an excuse to mess about in the mud with tools and water. If you know my boys you’ll know they love mud. Don’t bother with wellies as they only get filled with water, I strip off those lower halves and let them get absolutely filthy.

5. Imagination Creation

This is a bit of a catch all. Just now my boys LOVE to do ‘re-enactments’ as I like to call them. These are mainly based on books we read at bedtime, and they all result in play which I like to call “Good clean fun”. There are the obvious favourites like “we’re going on a bear hunt”; I grab the book and a picnic lunch and off we go, swishy swash swishy swash.

Then there’s also the less obvious like “How to catch a star” by Oliver Jeffers. Cover some cardboard star shapes with tinfoil and hang them from a tree and let the boys loose... just like in the book, they try and think of many ways to get the star down. As they’ve got older their ideas on how to get the star have got a little more cunning so more than ‘a big jump’ is required these days! Excellent for inducing both mental and physical exhaustion...I wish...

These things are all good fun, and can be done in a ‘cheap as chips’ stylee.

 I wrote this post as an entry for an Activity Toys Direct competition, but if you’re looking for a great place to get all sorts of awesome fun things for keeping your kids active this summer – then look no further - Activity Toys Direct has everything you could ever want to wear out your little tikes!


  • Clare Nicholas said...

    Some lovely ideas Fiona.
    I have to say the trampoline I just bought my kids is the best thing has been used every single day and wears them out so much.

    I can imagine the competitiveness of your boys

  • Carly Markham said...

    Absolutely LOVE these ideas! I actually find it difficult trying to think of cheap easy ways to keep the kids busy in the summer (we are too used to being inside) love the treasure hunts and the imagination creation ideas are so cute I know my eldest would love it! I've totally bookmarked your post!

  • AK Templer said...

    i love the gardening tip hehe so true i cannot wait to buy a house in the next 2 years to finally have somewhere to get the kids out to do the gardening. defiantly need to get some of those sports markers for our next camping trip what a great idea!!

  • Jennifer Dixon said...

    Great ideas! We love going on treasure hunt for anything and everything! It's so easy to have fun in the great outdoor without having to spend a thing isn't it?

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