As I’ve never worked the summer holidays before it took until today to realise we’re HALF WAY through them!! Ahhh!
Having previously been teaching in schools lots of people kept saying to me:
“Are you sure you’re doing the right thing?”
“You’re not going to have the holidays off anymore?”
“How will you fill the time?”
If I’m completely honest it was never really something I considered when switching careers, plus it hasn’t seemed to have bothered me so I’ve not given it too much thought.
Now that we’re HALF WAY through the summer holidays I actually feel a bit sad about them coming to an end as I’ve definitely enjoyed my time with both the big and the little ones. It’s been lovely watching them spend time together and enjoy each others company! I’m not here to tell you that everything is always perfect and of course at times it isn’t but the relationships the children have developed by spending their days together has been magical!
We’ve been on lots of different adventures so far over the summer. I’ve documented a fair few over on my Instagram account, but I wanted to write up a bit more about some of the more popular ideas to hopefully inspire you for the remainder of the holidays.
I think the key to enjoying your summer is following what the children like. Follow their interests, but most importantly don’t have time limits – if it isn’t working come home. If they love it stay out all day (obviously if this is possible!)
For the bigger ones I’ve been caring for they love the more creative ideas … henna, glitter tattoos, hair chalks etc! For the little ones its the bubbles, foam and balls!
Whenever I go out I always take a small bag with some fun things to do, I do try and change it daily depending on the children I’ve got with me. The last thing I want is hair chalks with a bunch of toddlers 🙂
I got this glitter tattoo set from ebay for around a tenner. You can create the loveliest glittery, shimmery tattoos in lots of different colours. There’s a number of stencils in the pack (like the one above) but for the adventurous you can try freehand! I went for a set that was called fairies and superheroes in order to cater for both boys and girls. The tattoos last for up to seven days but if need be they come off really easily. I have to say the bigger children in particular have loved playing with this and have a variety of glittery tattoos up and down their arms!
2. Henna tattoos
I’ve been using Henna with my little girl for a while now. She loves the decorations and has even learned to sit very, very still whilst I do them! The bigger kids absolutely love the henna, they love searching for different patterns and have even tried designing a few! I’ve found this henna is lovely to use. It comes in an easy to use tube and hasn’t reacted with anyones skin (even someone with very sensitive, eczema prone skin! Although if you’re going to give it a go do a small patch test first…)
3. Hair chalks
The kids have loved playing with hair chalks this summer. I got this set off amazon and its so easy to do. You literally rub it on the hair and thats it! Its very bright on blonder hair but shows up in all colours. Its also incredibly easy to get out. Just a quick shampoo and its gone. The kids have had rainbows in their hairs all summer!
4. Camping outside in my garden
Who doesn’t love camping! We bought a gazebo to protect the little ones from all the different kinds of weather when they’re outside. However for the bigger ones this only meant one thing… camping. So for several nights my 5 year old enjoyed sleeping outside in a tent. Of course half the inside ended up outside, but she throughly enjoyed herself.
5. The Park
Quite simply what child doesn’t love the park! Picnics, playground, chase, paddling, football, daisy picking, nature walks, digging for worms etc… Luckily for us in Sheffield there are lots of lovely parks within walking distance and I firmly believe you should get them outside!
6. Play dough
We got sent an amazing play dough set from The Dotty Dough Factory and the kids have loved making play dough animals with patterns on them! The cool rocker stamp gives each animals its skin… Plus the play dough is homemade by Dotty Dough and if the little ones happen to pop some in their mouth they’ll be absolutely fine!
7. Aqua Beads
Aqua Beads was something I’d never tried before this summer but my little girl in particular has loved playing with this! Its called the Beginner studio and you make pictures using the beads on the baseboard and then you spray it with water to get them to stick! I’m fully expecting to be on my hands and knees at some point picking up beads but its been lovely to see my little girl enjoy something so creative.
My personal favourite way of spending time is being creative with messy play! For the bigger ones its creating art, for example we’ve tried making animals out of hand prints and making masks. Whilst for the little ones its about getting their whole bodies in to a tuff tray filled with foam or spaghetti or paint! Honestly one of the best ways to spend the summer holidays is letting them be little, letting them be messy. Some of the best messy products are the foam I get from poundland and paint (Tiny Land does amazing edible paints!!!)
I hope some of these ideas inspire you. Remember to check out my Instagram for more ideas and tag me or hashtag #childcareadventures in anything you try out 😉
If you want some amazing ideas for actual places to go out in and around sheffield take a look at Trips with a Tot 😊