Fun things for dads and kids to do this summer


Jul 31, 2014 by Smart Blog

It is that time of year again: the school summer holidays. Six weeks of family bliss - the chance for children and parents to bond happily in those halcyon summer days.

Alternatively, it can be six weeks of challenging behaviour, sullen, bored offspring and parents driven to the edge of sanity. For the children, much depends on the quality of the entertainment on offer.

For fathers in particular - who may work long hours and be unused to entertaining their children - summer can bring its own special challenges. Something has to be done with those demanding little people, if only to stop them from ruining the house and eating their own bodyweight in ice cream. Here are some particularly dad-friendly ideas; why not try them out?


Build a Den

What child does not love a den? And what childhood would be complete without having built at least one? To do this, dad and the little ones have to get back to nature and find some forest or woodland - the National Trust and similar organisations have websites that can help. Wood, leaves, grass and other vegetation can all be used to build the den. Remember take food and drink - few forests are equipped with cafes - and use the new den for a picnic.

Alternatively, if the weather isn’t fitting for outdoor adventures, brilliant dens can also be made in the house with chairs, blankets, and mattresses. Go wild and be creative!


Skimming Stones

Obviously some flat, calm water is required for this, but it is surprisingly addictive and may quickly become competitive! It is crucial to pay close attention to safety, for example by making sure that the water is not too deep for the children involved and that they will not fall in.


Watch a Classic Film

Many, if not most, adults have fond memories of a children's films they watched when they were young. It could be anything from Star Wars to Bambi to It's a Wonderful Life, but if the chosen film is more than five or six years old, a child is unlikely to see it unless a parent shares it with them.


Keep a Summer Scrapbook

It may be anything from two to two hundred pages, but a summer scrapbook will still bring back happy memories for children when they are as old as their parents are now! Children can be encouraged to collect pictures and other scrapbook-friendly items, such as leaves, postcards and tickets, to stick in their book. Together, dad and the kids can write poems, postcards and descriptions of events, draw pictures or make collages.


Learn to Use a Camera Properly

Depending on dad's proficiency behind the lens, the camera can be anything from a mobile phone camera to a professional level digital SLR - what matters is that parent and child explore together the mechanics of using a camera, ideas of what makes a good picture and concepts such as texture, pattern and composition. There are no rules - just explore the options. People today take so many pictures, what better life skill to pass on to a child than the ability to make those pictures (including, maybe one day, those of their own children) memorable?