Top 10 Fun Activities Before School Starts
Summer is not over yet!
With the start of school only a couple of days away, we thought we would share some fun activities with you, that will help keep the kids entertained and make the most of the last bit of the summer holidays.
We are all about family time here at Lulu & Levi and making memories that last a lifetime.
Although it will be great for the kids to get back to school and get our routines back together, we will miss the little fun activities at random times of the day and the lazy morning snuggles in bed.
The excitement of back to school is loads of fun. New school bags, new books, new colouring pencils and all that goes with either that first day of Montessori, first day of big school or moving into an important year ahead, but for now let's just enjoy those last few precious days.
So here are some fun activities we thought you might like to try out and what's even better is most of them can be done with random stuff around the house with very little cost involved. Just what we all need after getting the kids all kitted out for school.
1. Family water fight
Since the sun has decided to show itself the last couple of days and with a few more days of it hopefully ahead, we decided that a family water fight should kick off our list. Get everyone in their swimming gear or just t-shirts and shorts (parents included).
You can use anything you can think of here and to get the kids really excited you can get them to come up with fun ideas from stuff around the house they can use.
Some ideas from us:
Empty bottles with a hole poked in the cap make for a nice homemade watering gun.
Buckets, basins, hoses, plastic cups and water balloons (if you have some lying around) the list is endless.
2. Treasure hunt
AAARRRGGHHHHH Shiver me timbers......
There is fun in this one from start to finish. Before you start on the map get the kids to pick out some things they would like to use as their buried treasure and add a few little treats in as well.
Next up is the map.
Depending on age you can draw up the map for the kids and get them to colour it in before they start out on their hunt to find the long lost treasure of Toy Room Cove, or if your kids are a little older then they could bury the treasure for the adults to find and draw up the map all by themselves to put you to the test and see if you can find the X in the sand.
Some helpful tips for this one:
Some coloured tape, paint or material to mark the X.
If you don't want the kids digging up the place then maybe bury the treasure under some old sheets, clothes or even some cut grass.
3. Make a summer scrap book
This is one we have done earlier in the year for Christmas with the kids and we loved it so much we thought a summer one would be loads of fun.
We take so many photos of our fun adventures over the summer holidays on our phones and tablets but they rarely make it off of them.
You can get photos printed out for really reasonable prices nowadays from most chemists or online straight from your device.
For this one we suggest picking out some of your favourite images as a family of all the fun things you did over your summer holidays.
You can pick up a scrap book from most book shops, supermarkets or discount stores. You can get creative with this one and make your own with some A4 sheets as well.
Once you have your images picked and printed the fun begins. Instead of just sticking them in and filling the pages, why not add some hand drawn pictures or get the kids to do some colouring. You could also add some writing about the picture, what was their favourite thing about this one??
4. Picnic time
Sometimes the simplest things are the best. What you do with this one is up to you. Use your imagination and hit the back garden, beach, park, the grandparents or maybe somewhere you keep meaning to go but have not taken the time yet.
Our kids love a little picnic, packed lunch or barbecue picnic. Go to the fridge and the presses and see what you can put together. We love some sandwiches, fruit, crisps, a flask of juice or whatever else we can think of.
Once you have decided where your going and have your picnic together it's time to let the fun begin.
Throw a blanket and some cushions on the grass out the back, fire the bucket and shovels into the car and hit the nearest beach or lake depending on your location, its up to you. Kids remember these moments, the time spent laughing and playing above all else. So take some time for you all to switch off and spend some quality time together.
5.Freeze some of the kids toy animals, dinosaurs or even some little cars
Create your own little archaeological dig for at home. There are a number of ways you can do this.
- Put the chosen item into a balloon and fill it with enough water to surround the item inside. Tie the balloon and put it the freezer over night. When its completely frozen you can cut the balloon and peel it off and hey presto... frozen dinosaur egg.
- Another option if you have no balloons is to get a plastic tupperware or lunch box and put multiple pieces in to create one big block to make it an even more interesting dig
Let it melt a little and then let the kids get cracking with their shovels, toy tools or if a little older give them a little hammer and chisel (or screwdriver) but supervise them with this one. Alternatively they can smash them on the ground outside or you can let them use a hairdryer to thaw them out, whatever you are happy for them to use from around the house.
6. Bake some cookies
One of our favourite things to do is bake some chocolate chip cookies from scratch. Half the fun of it for the kids (and the parents is eating the cookie dough)
So here is the recipe we use if you haven't got one already.
- 250g butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 165g of caster sugar
- 165g of firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 335g plain flour
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 300g of chocolate chopped finely (we mix dark, white and plain chocolate and cut it a little bit chunkier
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan assisted oven)
- Beat the butter, extract, sugars and egg in a small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, transfer to a large bowl.
- Stir combined sifted flour and soda, in two batches, into the egg mixture. Stir in the chocolate, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour
- Roll level tablespoons of the dough into balls and place on grease proof oven trays 3cm apart. Bake uncovered for between 10 to 12 minutes.
- Cool cookies on a tray, pour yourself a nice big glass of milk and enjoy.
7. Make some homemade jet packs
We posted about our little day making jet packs a few months back on our Facebook page but we loved it so much it had to make the list. Believe it or not these are still going and in near enough the same condition as when we made them. The kids love them and take them out randomly to take off around the house.
What we used:
- Empty bottles we had ready for the recycling bin. We used 2 x 2 litre bottles for Jacob Levi's and 2 x 500ml bottle for our little firecrackers one.
- Make the straps out of material, rope or old laces. Whatever you can find.
- A cereal box to cut out a little square for the kids backs that the bottles sat onto and the straps tied against to keep them in place.
- Glue, sellotape, paper and red and orange crayons and a black marker and some A4 sheets.
What to do:
- Take the wrappers off the bottles and write the kids names on them or decorate however the kids would like, cut out the cardboard square and decorate it as well.
- Poke a hole in the top and bottom of the bottle for the straps, just big enough to squeeze the straps in.
- Then glue the bottles or sellotape them together side by side, then glue the bottle to the cardboard, with the cardboard at the top of the pack.
- Next you need to tie a knot in one end of each strap and feed it into the bottle and out the top of each hole. Tie a knot on the other end and feed it into the other hole.
- To make the flames you need to colour in the A4 sheets with the red and orange crayon, then cut zig zag shapes in one end. Once you do this scrunch up the other end and push it into the top of the bottle and tape it in place.
Check out our picture above to see how it should look, but get creative and make it whatever you want it to be and let the fun begin.
8. Road trips and keeping the kids entertained
If you have to take any long trips before back to school like we do. Trip to Dublin, kids stuck in the car for 2 hours each way and a 2 year old who if she loses her patience will let you know about it every single mile of the way.
Some fun things to keep the kids entertained on the road.
- Load up some family favourite music to sing along to and have some carpool karaoke
- Pack a treasure tin of treats and snacks that can be used to keep the peace along the way by making a game of it. Use your imagination here. I spy, how many red cars can you count and so on and so on.
- If you have a portable DVD player or tablet then strap it to the back of your seat and have a drive along movie with a little bag of snacks to enjoy with it
- Bring some kid friendly audio books and have story time on the road
- Bring some teddys or sock puppets if you have them and get the kids to put on a show.
9. Make some yoghurt pops
This one is simple and fun.
All you need is some yoghurts of your choice and some lollipop sticks. You can get packets of these in a lot of arts and crafts shops or if you have something at home you can substitute for it then go for it.
Cut a little hole in the top of the youghurt and pop in the lollipop stick. Pop them onto a tray and into the freezer and let the freeze. Once they are frozen take them out and remove the container and there you have it. Some simple youghurt pops to replace the ice lollies for a change
10. Family movie night
Movie night doesn't always need to be an expensive trip to the cinema. Sometime we forget how much fun we can have at home with such a simple thing. The kids love to watch TV and movies but as adults we forget what it's like to see things through the eyes of a child.
Grab the kids and head to the shop, supermarket, sweet shop or just raid the presses and see what kind of fun snack you can come up with for movie night.
Get a duvet and some pillows and everyone get all snuggled up on the sofa, the floor or the bed, whichever you prefer. Watch something the whole family can enjoy and share together.
Memories are made from those magical moments we create, share and allow ourselves to get caught up in. Don't forget to take the time to enjoy these moments so you have the memories to look back on.
We hope you have a little fun with some of our fun activities above and if you do we would love if you would share some of your creations and fun memories with us.
Lulu & Levi have also just launched or community page My Lulu & Levi family
If you would like to join us click on the link above. We will be using it to share some fun family ideas, parenting tips and advice, recipes, a little look behind the scenes at Lulu & Levi and much more.