The summer holidays are in full swing and Grandparents all over the country are stepping into to take over babysitting duties whilst parents are at work. This is a wonderful time to strengthen relationships with grandchildren and can certainly be lots of fun! However, by this point of the summer holidays many of us are running out of things to do with the grandchildren!
It can also be expensive to entertain children for 6 weeks - that's 1008 hours! So we've come up with some fun things to do with your grandchildren that both of you will enjoy.
These activities are great for any time of year, not just summer, so you could use them for weekend visits or sleepovers too.
For those sunny days:
If the sun’s shining, why not head down to the nearest swimming pool or splash park for a fun (and cheap!) day out? Even better yet, if you live near the coast, head down to the beach! There's nothing better than going for a coastal walk and having some fun on the beach. Take a picnic, or grab some fish and chips. It's a great day out for both yourself and the little ones. There#s endless opportunities depending on where you live. Arcades, shops, mini gold even theme parks. Check out your nearest coastline to see where's best to go.
Another option is to go on a nature walk. Before you set off, create a list of all the things you'd like to see (a bird's nest, a heart-shaped stone, something fuzzy etc.) and tick them off as you go along. Make it into a competition between the children and see who can complete their list first. There's a huge variety of nature trails across the country so you won't be far from the nearest. Check online to find out.
For the rainy days:
The dreaded rainy summer days. There’s only so much TV you can watch, so you’ll need to be prepared for rainy days. Don’t panic if you’re stuck in the house for a while – there are plenty of affordable things to do with grandchildren at home.
Why not have a craft day? You’ll definitely have a stash of pencils and paper somewhere that you can put to good use. Give them a theme such as nature or people and ask them to create drawings, painting, sculptures for their art gallery. There are also many themed printable colouring-in pages on the internet that would be ideal for particularly young children. Display all of their art at the end of the day and ask them to show their parents around their masterpieces!
Children with bags of energy can be difficult to keep entertained for days on end specially if it's rainy and your stuck inside. For those days when energy reaches a peak, trampoline parks are perfect options. Trampoline Parks are the latest phenomenon and are popping up everywhere so there is sure to be one near you. Essentially, it’s a room full of trampolines and some venues also offer activities such as dodge ball. Most parks allow adults to get involved too but most venues have a coffee shop for a much needed (and deserved!) rest.
Trampoline parks may not be suitable for some children under-4 so soft play centres are ideal for younger children. These are normally large, safe soft play areas where your grandchildren can play with other children and climb and explore as much as they like.
Not all kids are loud and outgoing. For quieter children, huge trampoline parks may be intimidating but there’s plenty of other ways to entertain them.
Libraries often have story corners where you can get comfy and read together - perhaps even start your own small book club! You will often find that libraries also offer ‘story time’ activities for younger children where the organisers will read entertaining stories to the group and organise activities.
If your little one is into learning then Museums will normally provide interactive activities for children, particularly during the summer holidays. What are your grandchildren interested in? Got a car obsessed grandchild? Find a local transport museum or exhibition. Are they budding scientists? Many cities have fantastic science museums. We've included a few of our favourites to get you started:
- Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, London
This museum will keep your kids entertained looking at the toys through history. The Museum of Childhood always put on fascinating exhibitions and displays including a current exhibition on the Clangers and Bagpuss – great for you too! They also offer free daily drop in activities.
- Roald Dahl museum, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire,
The Roald Dahl museum is a great option for little and large book worms alike! Roald Dahl’s books have been read across the generations so the daily activities and events will be as interesting to you as your grandchildren.
- National Space Centre, Leicester
Take your explorers to the National Space Centre to see their mouths drop in astonishment at the UK’s largest planetarium.
These are just a handful of many things you can do with your grandchildren this summer! For even more activities you can look in your local newspaper, tourist guide, and events section on your council website. And if your looking for even more activities, even for yourself take a read of our article on what events to attend this summer.