Look at Royal Agricultural Society gardens like these ones in Devon, Surrey, North Yorkshire, Essex and Greater Manchester. Boasting a wealth of fantastic plants, these gardens are a great way to introduce children to gardening and horticulture. RHS is even putting on an Alice in Wonderland event at all five of their gardens this summer — perfect for little ones!
Most children seem to go through a phase of loving animals at one point or another. If this sounds like your child, then they’ll be enthralled by the cheeky pigs, huge horses, and fluffy chicks they’ll get to meet at most children’s farms. Many of these centres are geared towards children and have knowledgeable staff on hand to introduce visitors to their furry (and sometimes not so furry) friends. Also, these farms tend to be mostly outdoors — making them all the more covid-friendly.
If you’re looking for petting farms near you, check out Godstone Farm in Surrey, Cotswold Farm Park in Gloucestershire, and Attwell Farm Park in Worcestershire. Wherever you live, you’re bound to have some kids farms nearby. Look out for advertisements in local magazines and ask around for suggestions.
When exploring the great outdoors
Fancy going a little further afield and exploring the great outdoors? Why not check out your local national park? There are 15 national parks across England, Scotland and Wales, and they’re all free for anyone to visit at any time. Whether you choose a trip to the South Downs, Exmoor or Lake District, your children will feel like they’re going on a real adventure.
If your kids are fine with walking long distances, they might enjoy going on a hike. Have they always wanted to go camping? Take a bigger trip farther away from home and embrace the elements for a few nights. You can even plan fun activities like BBQs, campfires, s’more making, and spooky story-telling. Give them a nature-filled weekend to remember!
Or, if your children need something a little more entertaining than rambling around countryside hills, consider taking them to an adventure park. Go Ape has adventure courses all around the UK, so see if there is a location near you. Your kids will get to experience the thrill of whizzing through trees on ziplines, navigating suspended obstacle courses, and walking tightropes in the trees.
When staying at home
As we’ve mentioned, summer is a long time. There are bound to be some days when you’ll need to keep the kids at home. Still, that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are loads of home-based activities for kids that will keep them happy all day long. It’s all about getting creative!
If you’re not too bothered about mess, encourage your kids to create their own world in one of the rooms in your house. If you have an orangery or conservatory, even better! You’ll be able to give them their own space to compartmentalise their creation. Leave their imagination to run wild for an hour or two and they’ll soon become architects of their blankets and cushions ‘den’.
When you’re too busy
During the summer months, there will inevitably be days when you have lots of work to do, need to deal with some home improvements, or have other arrangements with friends. If you know that you’ll be too busy to take your kids out and about on certain days, it might be a good idea to schedule some play dates with your child’s friends.
It can be frustrating when you don’t have time to give your kids your full attention, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing your child is having fun somewhere else. If they’re going to be going to their friend’s house to play at some point, why not suggest a time that’s convenient for you? If you’re friends with their parents, this shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, eventually, you can return the favour too!
Keeping kids entertained is tough, so here are some more tips on how to keep your kids busy this summer. Good luck, and importantly, have fun!