It’s that time again; six weeks of long summer days ahead of us. It can be hard to know how to get through it with minimal fuss, and maximum fun. Try these 10 ideas to keep the kids occupied, and your sanity intact.

1. Get out into nature

It’s an obvious one, but still an option that is widely regarded as the best way for young children to spend their time.

Country walks with a picnic, exploring a forest or woodland, building a tree swing – all things the help show your children there is excitement to be had in the great outdoors! Heck, even an hour in the local park is beneficial.

2. A day trip to the seaside

This may take some planning, and a beady eye keeping on the weather forecasts, but there is nothing quite like a day at the beach is there? Sand castle fun, wave jumping, sticky ice creams and fish and chips. And of course, wearing the kids out to guarantee a good night’s sleep!

3. Brave the Soft play

Now, I know this may be an unpopular one, and sitting in a noisy, hot industrial unit may not seem very appealing (!), but there is no denying, the kids just absolutely love it. And it can be a good back up for a rainy day. Lots of soft play centres also run special offers through the summer, where they allow unlimited entry for the cost of a discounted pass.

Top Tip: track one down that serves good coffee and has wifi, then you can at least get some work done, or catch up on the news, whilst the little darlings play.

4. Crafts

(Ok, I can see the eye-rolls from here, but bear with me.)

Glitter and sequins may not be everyone’s idea of fun (nor is clearing up the mess afterwards), but there are increasing numbers of groups offering messy play and craft activities. That way, the kids get the fun, and you avoid the mess. Check out local listings or ask around for sessions near you.

5. Find a co-working space with childcare attached (they do exist!)

For those of us who can work from home during the holidays, we know that it is pretty much impossible to get anything productive done with little ones in the house. What we could really do with is a working space with a nursery attached, right?!

Well, places such as this actually exist! Like Entreprenursery in Shoreditch, London, which combines a friendly working space with an onsite nursery and children’s activities. Usually found in cities at present, this idea will hopefully spread across the UK.

6. Local events

There are so many events and activities held around the UK during the summer holidays, that it is worth keeping your eye out for things in your local area. Your library, country parks, children’s centres, play centres; all will usually hold special events throughout the holidays.

7. Summer Reading Challenge

Every year, UK libraries run a book challenge. Children can list the books they’ve read in a booklet, review them, collect stickers, and receive a certificate at the end of the summer when they have completed the challenge.

Not only does it give your little one a sense of achievement, it also encourages them to keep up with good reading habits through the summer. This year’s theme is Mischief Makers; find out more here: https://summerreadingchallenge.org.uk/

8. Check out your local leisure centre

Leisure centres run a host of activities during the summer, for kids of all ages. With a variety of activities such as trampolining and learning to ride a bike, it’s an ideal way to get a bit of exercise whilst learning a new skill. Many activities are free or cost very little.

9. A garden picnic

For chilled out days around the house, a garden picnic breaks the day up nicely and feels like a treat to the kids. Make it a bit of an occasion; get them to plan what they would like to have in their picnic, and to help make it. They can even invite their teddy bears.

10. Down time with their favourite cartoon

Sometimes, with the combination of hot weather, tired children and weary parents, there is nothing better than to curl up on the sofa to enjoy some (guilt-free) down time. The rest and calm can help you all recharge your batteries and enjoy the chance for a cuddle (and a snooze if you are really lucky!).

Blog Post written by Melissa Turner

Melissa is a copywriter and social media manager.  Find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaTurnerMedia or check out her website: http://www.melissaturner.co.uk/.