With schools soon closing for the summer, kids of all ages are breathing a sigh of relief and looking forward to a happy holiday!

Unfortunately this doesn’t always fill parents with the same sense of joy, so here at Smiley we want to help mums and dads everywhere with some helpful tips for keeping your little monsters occupied throughout the summer holidays! 😉

Trip to the park

Free and fun! Grab whatever sports equipment you have to hand and let your little ones tire themselves out with an afternoon of running around in the glorious outdoors. For extra smiles don’t forget to pack a picnic! 😀

These funky drinks bottles from Zak are sure to bring a smile to any picnic!

These funky drinks bottles from Zak are sure to bring a smile to any picnic!

Visit the seaside / countryside

Did you know that one in ten kids in the UK haven’t seen the sea, or that one in three have never built a sandcastle?! Time to reverse that trend with a fun-filled trip to the seaside!

Bring spare towels, hats, and suncream to protect your family from the sun (well, it’s British summer so maybe an umbrella instead!) and plenty of water to keep them hydrated.

If you live far from the coast, a trip to the country may be more appealing than a long journey with your kids (“are we there yet?!”) It’s a great place to teach your kids about nature, explore a forest, build a camp, etc. Isn’t it strange how children seem at their happiest when covered in mud? 🙂

 

Keep your kids looking cool on the beach with Jabong’s stylish Smiley clothing line!

Keep your kids looking cool on the beach with Jabong’s stylish Smiley clothing line!

Swimming / Slip and slide

Something that always brought a smile to my face as a kid was a good ‘ol swim! Most areas now have local public swimming pools, many with Children’s discounts and scheduled swim times. Even a paddling pool in the garden can be a great way to cool off on those hot summer days!

My personal favorite is creating a cheap and cheerful ‘slip and slide’ in the garden! All you need is a plastic sheet, a hose, and a bottle of fairy liquid, and your little ones will have hours of fun launching themselves down the slippery runway!

These towel and bag sets from T&F are super soft and absorbent, perfect for drying off the little ones after a swim!

 

These towel and bag sets from T&F are super soft and absorbent,

perfect for drying off the little ones after a swim!

Arts and Crafts

With a good supply of pens, paint, and other crafty supplies kids can sometimes keep themselves occupied for hours, but our top tip for summer artists is to grab a pack of chalk and doodle on the driveway! The clean up for this ‘street art’ couldn’t be simpler – just start a water fight or wait for one of our regular UK summer rain storms!

These Smiley stamp packs from Aladine are perfect for scrapbooks, cards, and other crafty arts!

These Smiley stamp packs from Aladine are perfect

for scrapbooks, cards, and other crafty arts!

Baking

Some of my fondest childhood memories were forged while learning to bake with my parents, and these days it’s even easier – many brands even offer beginner baking kits themed to their favourite cartoon characters for added smile points! Be warned though, this summer holiday suggestion is likely to involve the most clean up time!

Bring smiles to the kitchen with this range of edible decorations from Guenthart!

Bring smiles to the kitchen with this range of edible decorations from Guenthart!

Merlin year pass (chessington, thorpe park, etc)

Not a cheap option, but one that can prove good value for money depending on how much it’s used! A Merlin pass gives you a whole year of unlimited access to many of the UK’s most popular attractions, including theme parks, museums, castles, zoos, and Sealife centres. The smiles don’t have to stop with the end of summer! 🙂

For more details click here: http://www.merlinannualpass.co.uk/

Activity Camps 

Another slightly pricey option, but one that can pay for itself by giving parents some much needed time off during the holiday period! Organisations like Camp Beaumont and Barracudas in the UK offer both day and residential camps for children of all ages, with a huge range of activities and experiences on offer. As an added bonus, most groups are organised by age, so your child will get to socialise and make a load of new friends!

More information here: http://www.campbeaumont.co.uk/ and https://www.barracudas.co.uk/

 

That should be enough to keep suffering parents going for now! If you have any of your own secrets for keeping the kids smiling over the summer holidays then drop us a line @SmileyOriginal on twitter and let us know!

 

Have a happy smiley summer everyone! 😀