The temperature is rising, but your bank account is falling. Your kids have loads of free time this summer, so what are you going to do with them? If you keep them guessing with fun ways to pass the time, they will never suffer from boredom. From reusing your old Hallmark cards for greeting cards to making pizza for the whole family, here are five unique ways to keep your children entertained.
Turn the living room into the cinema. Ticket prices for the cinema are steadily rising, which means that you can spend well over £50 on a family of three or four, snacks included. Or you could save money and enjoy more time with your loved ones by setting up a cinema in your own home. All it takes is a good DVD, popcorn, sweets, and soft drinks. You can rearrange the furniture so that everyone has a good view of the television, and — voila! — you’ve just created the ultimate cinema experience.
Having a pizza making contest. Pizza recipes are great to experiment with because it’s almost impossible to go wrong with them. Whether you want to do a theme, such as breakfast pizzas, veggie pizzas, or pizza “pies” for dessert, your kids will love the fact that they get to make their own. Simply arrange an entire table top of ingredients and use store-bought crusts to make this a no-fuss activity. You’ll have entertained the kids for a while and prepared dinner at the same time; it’s a win-win for everyone!
Create greeting cards for family and friends. Bring out your kids’ crafty side by setting up an area where they can take coloured craft paper, ribbons, markers, glitter, and glue to make cards for their friends and loved ones. You can peruse your old collection of cards received to get ideas for greeting cards, and you can help them write funny or sentimental messages. All of the recipients will appreciate the hard work, and you will have made good use of your kids’ imaginations.
Create a scavenger hunt. Here’s another activity that can be pulled off in a matter of minutes. You can start by hiding a “treasure” somewhere in your home. (For smaller children, a new toy would be the ultimate find; for teens, a new CD or a gift certificate to their favourite retail store will be great motivator.) Then, write and stash a series of clues throughout the house; you can stuff little pieces of paper in the bookshelf, in the coat closet, and even in their rooms. Then, all you have to do is sit back and be entertained while they go on a search for the prize.
Plan a Hawaii-style luau in the back garden. Want to take advantage of the summer sun this season? What better way than to have a barbecue style dinner with a luau theme? All you’ll need are some leis, palm tree decorations (which you and the kids can make at home), and perhaps some reggae music. When planning your menu, you can give your regular barbecued favourites a little Hawaiian flavour by adding fresh pineapple, ginger, or coconut. If you want to make it really authentic, you can look up any one of a number of Hawaiian recipes and try your hand at island cuisine.
These ideas are just a start. Make sure to get your kids’ input on what they find entertaining, too. That will surely keep them — and you — busy all summer.