Fun in the sun
This year's summer has started off hotter than ever; and with more very warm weather on the way, many parents are asking how they can keep their children cool and entertained this summer, without spending a lot of money? We have a few suggestions:
1. Take shade in the woods
Naturally cool due to the canopy of trees, you might want to visit one of the many beautiful British woods this summer. There are many activities you can do, from climbing trees, to foraging, to watching the wildlife…or even just eating a picnic in the great outdoors. Most British woods are free to visit and to find out the nearest one to you, please go to: http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/
2. Play dodge sponge
If you have plenty of outdoor space that you don’t mind getting wet, then dodge sponge is a great game for older children. All you need is at least two children (because you need two teams), two buckets, and sponges. The aim of the game is for each player to dodge the wet sponge that the other team throws at them. If the weather gets too hot, you may want to join in.
3. Go star spotting
Hot, sticky nights can make it difficult for everyone to sleep. Why not head outside into the cooler night air to spot some common stars? For top tips on star gazing – including what to look for and great spots for star gazing in the UK if you feel like venturing away from home, please go to: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/stargazing-for-beginners
4. Go on a mini beast hunt (but no touching)
Mini beasts (such as butterflies, bumblebees and crickets) can be found in a number of places – from gardens, to playing fields, to woodland. Mini beast hunts are a great activity for children, especially if they have a spotting sheet. If you’re on holiday, you might want to try looking in rock pools - those nearest the sea will have the best wildlife, but take care to move up the beach as the tide comes in. To download a spotting sheet, or to make your own, please go to: http://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/spotting-sheets
5. Pool Party
Nothing is more fun for children in the summer than splashing about in a paddling pool. In fact, the only way to make it better is to try and get their friends together for a pool party. Your children can make invites and refreshments (Look online for homemade lolly recipes – from plain cordial and water to fresh fruit and yoghurt) Dress code? Sunglasses and hats… If you don’t have a paddling pool, check if other parents you know have one before investing. You can invite their children to your pool party and then get an invite to theirs.
When planning outside activities with your children this summer, it’s best to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest, and drink plenty of water. For tips on how to keep cool, please go to: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx