If you’re a grandparent, then you’ll know just how joyful it is to spend time with your grandchildren, watching them grow up and hearing them laugh. There’s also that welcome time when they’re home with their parents and you can relax and put your feet up!
During the summer holidays, your babysitting services might be more in demand than at other times of the year, so it pays to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep your grandchildren entertained…
If you're still coming up with ideas for things to do with the little ones over the summer holidays, we've got a few suggestions. Read our list of fun things to do with your grandchildren, from inexpensive indoor activities to outdoor adventures, to help you entertain them over the holidays!
1. Become nature detectives
Children love bug hunting, whether it’s looking for creepy crawlies in the garden or going rock pooling at the nearest beach. Finding and identifying insects can be educational as well as fun and easily adaptable for children of different ages, like counting spots on ladybirds or identifying butterfly species for example.
If your grandchildren are visiting, you could simply shake a large plant or bush in your garden over an old ice cream tub, this is an excellent way to reveal some of the species living within. This minibeast spotter sheet from the Woodland Trust will help them identify what they’ve found, and is a great start on our list of fun things to do with your grandchildren.
2. Make your own pizza
What better way to have some fun while preparing dinner than with a make your own pizza competition! Making dough from scratch can be fun too, but it’s better suited to slightly older children.
If you’re looking after little ones, then adding the tomato and the toppings will be plenty to keep them busy. They can also experience the sense of pride that comes from eating food they’ve prepared themselves, making this both an educational and fun thing to do with your grandchildren.
3. Take a train ride
There are still a number of steam trains in operation around the UK that will take you and the grandchildren on an exciting and nostalgic ride, you can even get a cream tea on some of them. If you’re not within easy reach of any of the steam trains, you can take a trip on one of the many miniature railways instead.
4. Go to the cinema
No one ever knows what weather the summer will bring with it - though we remain ever hopeful. If the weather changes there's always the cinema. Many cinemas (both independent and chains alike) offer special Kids screenings, with reduced pricing - making that sometimes expensive outing a little more affordable. You can keep the kids entertained and stay dry while enjoying the latest entertainment on offer!
5. Join free sports activities
These days, your idea of a good time might not be dashing around a football pitch with the grandkids, so why not let the professionals do it instead? There’s summer holiday football coaching available in England and free tennis coaching on offer across the UK. Follow the links to find the closest training sessions to you.
6. Get pedalling
If you have bikes at home, then check out some child-friendly cycle routes courtesy of the National Trust. These routes are perfect for little legs and legs that aren't quite as young as they once were. Short cycle rides coupled with a picnic on a lovely summer day make for a fun time for both you and your grandchildren.
7. Go geocaching
Have you heard of geocaching? It’s a treasure hunt for adults but is a fun thing to do for the grandkids too! You simply head out with a GPS in hand to locate a ‘cache’ that has been left by another user. The cache will usually contain small trinkets that you can take but must replace with a small gift of your own. You can also leave a message as well. Here’s a guide to some of the UK’s best geocaching sites near you.
8. Find some water
On hot summer days, there’s nothing children like more than having some water to play in. Whether it’s a free splash park or a paddling pool in the garden, this is a cheap and easy way to keep them entertained for hours on end. And if the weather isn't great, what about your local indoor pool? With water slides, toys and regular 'floaty' sessions an indoor pool is a great way to work off some of that excess energy and have an afternoon of fun.
9. Head to your local library
Local libraries can be an excellent resource to use during the summer holidays, and the rest of the year. You can borrow audio books, DVDs and traditional books, or attend some of the children’s activities many libraries put on, such as reading and activity sessions. While the grandchildren are being entertained, you can use your time to research child-friendly events in the local area.
10. Let them enjoy some alone time
Children’s brains are wonderful things so don’t worry about filling every minute of the day. Letting them play alone in the garden or their rooms will encourage independence and let their imaginations flow. Colouring books, puzzles and story writing are great ways for your grandchildren to entertain themselves!
Making the most of this valuable time
We all love making memories with our loved ones but it can be difficult to visit as often as we’d like. If you’d like to spend more time with your family and friends, have you considered moving closer to them in your retirement?
Here at Homewise, we help people aged over 60 find the perfect home in a place they love and be secure for their lifetime. Our Home for Life Plan could help you save up to 59%* on the cost of your next home. This means you could move closer to loved ones and free up funds for your retirement, including more adventures with your grandchildren!
Our team of property experts could help you every step of the way. Call 0808 291 4358 to find out more today.
In the meantime, if you're over 60 and interested in our Home for Life Plan, you can use our quick calculator! It's simple, quick and could provide you with a better understanding of your potential budget.
*Savings range from 8.5% to 59% and depend on the customer’s age, personal circumstances and property criteria. Only available to those over sixty years old.