Great Summer-Holiday Parenting Hacks To Delight All the Family

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Surviving the long summer holidays needn’t cost the earth with expensive day trips and activities.

With a few clever hacks you can keep boredom at bay by creating fun games and experiences the whole family can enjoy together. Just follow our clever guide and keep everyone happy, come rain or shine...
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Mud Kitchen

If your children like getting mucky outdoors, then build them a mud kitchen. All you need is an old kitchen sink secured on some palettes or a few crates to raise it off the ground.

Then, just add old pots and pans, an old kettle, utensils and a whole heap of mud – kids will love making mud pies, mud cakes and mud soup for you. Just don’t forget to hose everyone down before they’re allowed back in the house!
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Water Bombs

Kids of all ages love water bombs, but they can be tricky to fill up. Not with this handy trick!

Simply rinse out some empty soap pumps and kids can attach the water balloons to the spout of bottle and squirt in the water. Then all you’ll have to do is tie the end. Genius. 
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Den Building

On rainy days, indoor den building is a great way to kill a few hours and everyone can get involved. Just grab a pile of old bedding – sheets, pillows, blankets and maybe a few cardboard boxes – and children can build their own fairy castle, Batman lair or cave.

Use chairs, sofas or a table to drape the bedding over – and then add doorways and windows by cutting up cardboard boxes and fixing with strong parcel tape. Make a picnic lunch and the whole family can eat in the den. 
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Cardboard Box

Let children explore their imagination by giving them a couple of large cardboard boxes or even a drinks carton. You’ll be amazed what they can turn them in to.

From a shop to a space rocket, all you need is some poster paint or colouring pens and some foil. They’ll have hours of fun creating something amazing and then playing with it afterwards.

You can all have a go too and then post a picture of your attempts on social media and get friends and family to vote for their favourite. Nothing like a bit of healthy competition!
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Car Journeys

If your kids aren’t great on a long car journey, silence the constant drone of ‘Are we there yet?’ by providing them with their very own in-car entertainment. Forget iPads and DVD players – just tie a shoe caddy to the seat in front of them and fill each pocket with something exciting.

Try books, stickers, snacks, cuddly toys and colouring books. Or let them be in the driving seat by choosing what to put in each pocket. 
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Car Tyres

Old car tyres are great fun to play with in the garden. Suspend one from a tree with some strong rope and you’ve got an instant swing.

Dot them around the garden and you’ve got an obstacle course, or position them close to each other to use like stepping stones. 
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Ice Lolly Trick

Fed up of tantrums over ice-lolly drips and breakages? Save the headache by buying a load of cupcake cases. Make a small slit in the middle of a case and thread the lolly stick through.

The case will catch any drips, so it will be goodbye to sticky fingers and chunks of ice lolly on the floor. 
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Mini Olympics

Jump on the Olympic bandwagon and create your own mini games in the garden (or lounge if the weather is bad). The whole family can get involved with activities inspired by Rio 2016.

Kids will love beanbag throwing, doing some hula-hooping, egg-and-spoon races and skipping. While the grown-ups can try their hand at the discus ( a used frisbee), shot put ( tennis ball) and javelin ( golfing umbrella).

Then celebrate the gold medals with a Rio-themed carnival. Think samba dancing, fancy dress and Brazilian-inspired drinks and snacks. 
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Orchestra

Embrace your inner music diva and create a family orchestra. Adults and older children will love upturned buckets or bins to hit as a drum – or crashing two metal bin lids together as a cymbal.

Little hands can pluck a homemade guitar made of rubber bands stretched over a plastic box, or shake a plastic bottle filled with stones or buttons. You might want to warn the neighbours…
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Bowling Alley

Everyone loves bowling, so make your own alley at home or in the garden. All you need are three swimming noodles bent into the shape of a bowling aisle, a yoga mat, 11 plastic drinks bottles and a ball.

The whole family can take turn knocking down the bottles. Vary the size and weight of the ball depending on the age of those playing. You can make it harder by filling the bottles with sand or water, so they’re more difficult to topple over. 
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Chalk Board

Turn any surface into a chalkboard with a tin of blackboard paint.

Inside or out, kids will love drawing, writing and scribbling. You can play games such as Hangman or noughts and crosses, or even make it educational by setting out some simple maths or spelling tests for them to complete.
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Looking for More Fun Things To Do With the Kids?

These clever craft ideas will keep children entertained on rainy days, and you can hang their cool creations with innovative ways to display kids' artwork.
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