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Five ways dads can make the most of the last few weeks of the summer holidays
The summer holidays can be tiring, we know. By now you’re probably exhausted! It can be hard when they’re at school to find enough quality time to spend with them, so it’s important to make the most of the summer holidays – and as there are only a few weeks left now – what are some good ways to make the most of the tail end of the holidays? Here we list five suggestions to make the last few weeks fun for everyone, including you!
When life gives you lemons…
Make lemonade! It’s easy to find recipes online, and kids have been doing it for generations. It’s a great activity that you can all do together when it’s too hot to play outside, and makes a refreshing cold drink too! Teaching kids to cook is as necessary as it is fun, but cooking and baking can quickly get too much in the summer heat. Lemonade is easy and cheap to make and has endless recipe variations. Try lavender lemonade, strawberry and watermelon lemonade, Brazilian lemonade, ginger lemonade or cucumber-basil lemonade.
Set up a playhouse in the garden
Let their imaginations run wild! Set up a children’s playhouse and invite the toys for tea. It gets them out of the house and into the fresh air and will encourage creative play. Let them take the lead, and just see where their imaginations lead them – and you! You might well find yourself swept away, and end up having much more fun with them than you thought. Take some of your lemonade out with you, and serve high tea for them and the toys! Or they can have some friends round for a picnic and make a party of it. The sky’s the limit! There are some great playhouses available at a range of prices to suit every budget, so get online or to your local supermarket.
Get green thumbs
If you have space in the garden, planting flowers, vegetables, or fruit trees is a great way to spend the last few weeks of the summer. Not only is it fun, it provides the family with home-grown fruit and vegetables too! It feels great to see the ‘fruits’ of your labour, so why not help the kids experience it for themselves? There are lots of varieties that can be planted in August – like quick maturing lettuce, radishes, spring cabbage and onions, not to mention the perennial cress seeds! If you have them, you can even plant out some rooted strawberry runners. The summer heat means they will need watering regularly, which helps develop a sense of responsibility as well as teaching the kids how to grow their own food.
Teach the kids the games you used to play
Remember My Mummy Sent Me Shopping? How about Baby Bumblebee? A Sailor Went to Sea Sea Sea? If you learned these or other songs and clapping games at school, you will likely still remember them thanks to their patterns and repetition. Teach them to the kids, and maybe see if they know any new ones that they can teach you! It’s fun, free, and helps to develop your kids’ rhythm and musical skills. It’s not just songs and clapping games, either – you could teach them other playground or party games you remember like What’s the Time Mr. Wolf, Please Mr. Crocodile, or Duck Duck Goose. If you’re a little hazy on the rules, you can look them up online!
Make some art
Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, making art together is always a great, fun project! You can use whatever you have lying around the house, too – it doesn’t have to be expensive. Gluing pasta shells to sugar paper is a long-standing tradition in kids art, and is easily jazzed up with a bit of paint or some sequins, glitter or tin foil. If you have access to concrete or paving slabs, get some chalk and make some street art! You can even combine this suggestion with the previous one, and draw some hopscotch squares or an escargot spiral. Playing with water is a great way to cool down in the summer heat, so use a hosepipe and make some rainbows or use water to paint on walls, pavements or fences for a re-usable ‘canvas’.