Spring has sprung! Winter may still be clinging on to us like a needy child but the sun is definitely fighting the battle to shine on our desperate faces and there is lots to do out there as we approach the Easter holidays.
Here are some fabulous ideas to keep yourself sane and your kids entertained over the next few weeks.
The library is one of the best inventions in the world, ever. Not only does it provide cover for those rainy days that gloom us out, but they are filled with all sorts of lovely books and activities. Most local libraries offer sessions for smaller children such as story times or crafting corners, and older kids can entertain themselves by searching for great books to read at home.
You will also find that many libraries have computers just for kids, preloaded with tons of educational games for them to play. If you can get them involved, you might even be able to sit back and relax with a book of your own.
Another great idea while you’re there is to nab some craft books that are packed with ideas on things to make with your kids at home. And you can find pamphlets and flyers that detail local events that are happening in your area.
When the sun shines drag on those wellies and get walking. The countryside is responding beautifully to the weather and there are loads of squirrels and birds and flowers appearing all over the place. Google walks in your local area, or nab some info from the library, and get your family onto a trail across the fields.
Not only will long walks boost your metabolism and mood (by getting those endorphins flowing) but it will provide your children with much needed activity for their young bodies. Pack some snacks (there are few things more frustrating that tired and hungry kids), some water and get stepping.
If you are feeling particularly clever, one of you can nip out ahead of the pack and hide some Easter eggs along the way for added fun. Or you can take a plant guide book with you and everyone can learn more about the plants and animals that surround them.
3. Scrapbooks and photo albums
When you’ve had enough of the library or are feeling nicely relaxed after a scrummy lunch, why not haul out the photographs, leaves, stones, flowers and bits that you and your kids have been collecting over the holidays, and make a gorgeous Easter scrapbook.
Don’t worry if sand and dirt get onto the pages, just stick things on and have fun. Make notes on paper and add them in. Put dates into the pages, get the kids to write about how they felt on each day or about each activity, and add all this in to the album. Not only will everyone have fun but you will also have created a memory book that you will all love looking at in years to come.
4. Movie night
This is particularly brilliant as a reward for the kids (and you) over Easter. Everyone gets a chance to choose a movie they like, you whip up some hot buttered popcorn, bake some fresh hot cross buns, curl up on the sofa and get watching.
This is a lovely way to spend some time together on a cold and rainy night or afternoon and you won’t feel guilty about overdoing their allocated TV time because they have been on all those wonderful walks with you.
5. Photographic fun
Let the kids take the photos for a day. Hand over that camera and let them be as crafty and creative as they can be. The wonderful thing about digital photography is that it won’t matter if heads are cut off or there are twenty photographs of a toe. Instead, these images can be printed out for your scrapbook or you can create a lovely free photo album for each of them using free software like Picasa.
There are really no limits on how much fun you can have with a digital camera and a PC. They can even get in on the fun and enjoy photoshopping them with the free Adobe platform available online.