As any parent would attest, keeping the kids entertained on the weekends is no mean feat – and it becomes harder still when you attempt to incorporate some educational components into your itinerary. However, with a little imagination and a (perhaps larger) dose of patience, it is possible to combine the two. Best of all, when the kids are having fun doing an activity, they won’t even realise they’re learning, which could help to keep them engaged.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a list of some activities that can be fun for all the family while still giving your little ones something to think about. Grab your coats and shoes, and let’s get exploring.
Take a family trip
Getting out and about in the fresh air is very important, and you don’t always just want to go and play on the swings at the local park. Instead, consider planning a weekend trip with your children. Travelling is incredibly beneficial to children’s development, making them more confident and resilient, so squeezing in a mini holiday is a great way to provide them with new experiences.
You could opt for a woodland holiday nearby or even find some cheap flights abroad, depending on your budget and what your kids would prefer. A woodland break is a great educational opportunity as well as being more affordable, and there are activities you can do there for free, whilst trips abroad are a fantastic way to broaden their horizons.
Cook up a storm
Of course, it isn’t always possible to travel or visit an activity park. Weather and life can get in the way, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up and put on a movie. We know you might want to keep the kids out of the kitchen, but inviting them in to help cook a simple meal can be a fun, cost-effective, and educational activity (plus, you get help with dinner).
Choosing a kid-safe recipe to try is a great idea, as it helps them to follow instructions, hone their fine motor skills, and learn more about different foods. This is a fantastic activity that can be adapted for kids of all ages, and all kinds of cooking. Select a dish from another part of the world to add more chances for learning about other cultures in a really delicious way.
Go on a nature walk
Connecting with the world around us is a great way to reduce stress and let off some energy. Introducing kids to nature at an early age also allows them to develop respect for other living creatures – an essential trait when you consider the climate crisis we’re currently facing.
Find somewhere a little wilder, such as a park with some trails you can walk to, or even some woodland a short drive away. Before you go, you can print off some pictures of birds or flowers for your kids to spot, or you could let them collect some different kinds of leaves and find out the names for them.
You can even make an art project out of it, taking the wax rubbing idea commonly used in museums and using it on tree bark. All you need are crayons and paper to create some unique artwork. There is plenty to do on a good hike, just don’t forget sandwiches and something to drink if you plan to make a day of it. Oh, and raincoats – just in case.
Enjoy quality time together
These are only a few possible activities, of course – there are many other options out there. But hopefully this has given you a few useful ideas to think about in preparation for next weekend!