Sunny Fun and TV Free
So finally after what seems like the longest winter ever, the sunny days have returned. Fresh air and picnics are on the timetable again. I have spoken to many nannies and childcarers in the past who upon being asked how they will fill the sunny days reply with “trips to chessington or legoland” This is all well and good if your family has a money tree but unless they have forked out for an annual pass these fun days can soon become terrible expensive.
Check with your families what they are expecting of you and what the budget is before setting of on grand adventures. I was very lucky as a nanny I was allowed to take the kids pretty much anywhere (within reason) and between their National Trust membership and my RHS we had plenty of places to choose from that nearly always have some child friendly activities to do when you get there. Saying that though, nothing quite beats a run through the woods climbing trees and rolling down the hills. Bark and leaf rubbing is great too so don’t forget the crayons and paper, you can go home afterwards and create a collage with your rubbings.
If you have a farm near you then introduce yourself to the farmer and ask if he’s happy for you to pop by occasionally and see the animals, especially at this time of year with the lambs and chicks about, too cute to miss and also an important life lesson.
(Fact) Wherever you are in the UK you are actually never more that 90 minutes from the coast. From Surrey to Little Hampton for example is just about an hour and that is a whole day of enormous fun especially if you time it right with the tides, the sea goes out for miles and stays shallow – perfect for paddling, there are a few rock pools so take a little net and see what you can discover. Draw pictures on the sand and practise writing words then let the sea wash them away and start again, draw hopscotch or a big snake that they have to follow. If they are allowed and it gets a bit chilly there is usually an arcade with the 2p machines – NB Nutkin is not encouraging gambling but a few goes on the 2p slots is unlikely to lead to heavy betting on the horses…
Buy or make a kite, making one is much more fun this is excellent for the grownups too as lets be honest, who is likely to be running around all day making it lift?
Now is the perfect time to get them off their stabilisers own their bikes too, there are some excellent bike parks around and some even have little set ups to help teach road safety. These are all free to got to. Once confident, pack a picnic and head off in true Enyd Blyton style with lashings of Ginger Beer.
There are hundreds of rivers, streams and canals all over England so for those of you not squeamish, why not try a spot of fishing? Get the children looking for worms as bait (this is the Minibeast’s favourite bit) My husband often does this with our Minibeast and they are planning an overnight camping soon to spend some quality time together by a lake.
Spend the afternoon in the woods or in a field bird watching, there are so many species and a few odd ones too, See how many Parakeets you can spot or the ever more common Red Kite. Take some pencils with you and let the children to draw the birds they have spotted.
If the weather is a bit pants, there are always libraries and museums which are free to go to. There are many local to you if you look along with old ruins and local galleries. Nothing quite beats the Natural History Museum if you wanted to make it even more of an outing and take the train.
Outdoor painting and chalk drawings can fill a whole day, let them explore their creative sides without worrying about the tabletop or carpets.
Get them to help repaint the garden furniture or the shed and if you are brave enough let them be “creative” on one of the walls.
Not forgetting the numerous outdoor games that are there to be played, Hide and seek, Catch the flag, kick the can, skipping rope, skittles (use old water bottles) Marco-Polo, water painting on the patio, the sprinkler… There are a million other things that can be done that I haven’t mentioned for endless fun if you put your thinking caps on.
You can even get the children to think of the activities then write them on bits of card or sticks and put them all in a jar. Each day you get the children to pick one out and that will be the activity for the day. Remember to involve them in the setting up and clearing away.
Categorised in: bike riding, bird watching, chalk drawings, Childcare, children, commuting, family, Feel Good, fishing, fun for free, garden, have fun, Hide and seek, kite flying, libraries, London, museums, Nannies, outdoors, painting, parenting, picnics., play, seaside fun, Summer au pair, Summer childcare, toddlers, woodland walks, working mum
This post was written by Sarah Cozens