Baby Birthday celebrations take three. A picnic in the park with the NCT crowd. Really nice plan but at the moment it looks like rain. Typical. Still I am ready with my party bags and a brolly.
If you don’t have children of your own you may suddenly notice kids everywhere; on your commute to work, in your local park, in your coffee shop drinking babyccinos. Perhaps not a welcome sight either. Well it is that time of year when children get to be children and parents get to fret about what to do with them for 6 weeks and how much it will cost, and what about work? All of which I have to look forward to. So this week I’m taking a look at what London has to offer in the way of school holiday activities but don’t stop reading if you haven’t got kids, plenty of these things are fun for those who are still in touch with their inner child.
I’m not sure I used to relish a trip to a museum when I was younger but now I find them a lot more interesting. Which could be just a sign that I am getting old but hopefully it is because museums are a lot more interactive and many of them have exhibits and exhibitions aimed at children. The great thing is, most of them are free so you could work your way around them all during the holidays. Check out my list of 21 Unusual Museums in London to start you off.
There are some amazing productions on in the West End that would be great to take children to, Matilda, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time or Aliens Love Underpants. But these come with a hefty price tag so it maybe worth holding it back for an end of holiday treat. You could try taking advantage of Kids Week though, where at participating venues a kid can go free with a paying adult during August. Check out the Kids Week website for more details.
You could try getting your little ones to put on their own theatre or puppet show. Let them spend the afternoon making their own puppets or improvising a story and then get them to put on a show.
I am so glad I live in the age of Google. A quick search brings up lots of ideas on how to make puppets out of really cheap materials, I particularly like the puppets on Danielle’s Place, made out of bent plastic spoons!
Think of all the lolly pops you’ll be eating over the next few weeks and remember to save the sticks to make some lolly pop stick puppets from the Mumsnet website. They also have plenty of other crafty ideas for what to do on a rainy afternoon.
Another freebie. Don’t underestimate the fun that can be had with a group of friends, a picnic and a park. Unfortunately this one is weather dependent but we can’t complain too much about the summer we’ve had so far this year, this is the UK afterall. Check out my list of 10 Local Parks and why not try a treasure hunt, your own sports day (including egg and spoon and sack racing which apparently is no longer allowed in schools) or a teddy bears picnic.
If your little one is a bit of a nature lover you could try a bit of Bird Spotting or nature watching. Think bark rubbings, gathering different stones and counting red squirrels (that should keep them busy for a while). The Woodland Trust has some great resources for kids including free activities to download.
If things get too hot you can cool yourselves down by finding one of London’s Play Fountains, make sure you take a towel and dry clothes though, as what child could resist splashing everything including you?
Make sure you check out your local library, not only will you be able to take out books but many have toys, dvds, free computer sessions and special events for children, and your local council website will list any special events, festivals and markets that are taking place.
Can we get through a post without mentioning a sporting event? Kind of. Don’t forget to watch the Opening Ceremony for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on 23rd July.