My boys are nearly 8 and just turned 9 and last summer I championed #Freerange parenting. I tried to give them freedom to explore, play and investigate independently.
Just because we are having a free range summer, it doesn’t mean that we can not plan some activities and ideas for things that we want to do as a family. I was inspired by Frugal Family’s post on how they plan their summer holidays to share how we plan ours.
So this morning we all sat at breakfast and decided on things that we wanted to read, do, make and places we wanted to go. I sat and wrote them all out on Post-it Super Sticky Notes from 3M . The boys would have had we had more time and will any additional ones!
We used a different colour for each of the activities and then used some lovely heart ones for major things and day trips we are planning.
Our list this year is wonderful and wide ranging and includes:
Visiting lots of different parks – We tend to take a picnic with us.
Visiting local museums and art galleries – I tend to tie this into times when they have free activity sessions on. Your local council is a great source of information on this.
Woodland centres and forests. The Forestry Commision has an enchanted wood at Dalby Forest with a magical adventure play area with a fort, storytelling seats and carved insects hiding in the trees. They also have some great free fairytale activity sheets and ideas too. The woodland trust also has a great Nature Detective website with over 150 ideas for free things to do.
Visit the cinema and bowling alley. We always make sure we look out for great deals and this summer Cineworld have some great family deals, which I featured on A Thrifty Mum.
Outdoor play – including cricket, football, rounders, minibeast hunting, camping out in the garden, playing with friends, cycling, scootering and having their own olympic games.
Making and baking – I always encourage the boys to be as creative as possible and this summer they are going to make their own cakes, pizza, biscuits and picnics. They also want to make a windchime, birdfeeders and dream catchers. I think that it is always fun to collect items from your trips to places and use them in your crafting, such as shells and pebbles from the beach, which can make rock monsters and memory stones.
Thank you to Post-it Super Sticky Note for provided me with lots of Post-it Super Sticky Notes to write our activities on. Did you know that they are so sticky that they are going to cover a London Taxi in them and drive it around London to prove it. You can get your name on a Post-it Super Sticky Note, that will then be stuck on the Taxi by visiting their Facebook Page www.facebook.com/PostitUK. My name will be on the Taxi! Six people will be invited to remove a note off the taxi and if your name is on it then you would be a winner.
When I think of my summer holidays as a child, they were filled with sun, sand, bikes, scraped knees, dens and playing out with my mates, only coming home when I was hungry or thirsty. This i9s the type of summer I want my children to have. A somewhat retro summer and certainly a free range one.
I am not saying that I am going to leave my seven and eight year old boys to fend for themselves all day or go on days out with them or even forgo every planned activity. What I am saying though is that I am going to limt screen time and expect them to take out their cricket bat and ball and enjoy some outside time.
I want them to get board and to try and find ways to fill that time with something other than a mindless electronic game. If all else fails then they can resort to the board jar and face the chance of getting a chore instead of an activity!
Who is with me?
MadDad had an idyllic and pretty independent childhood. It was very Enid Blyton, well it would be he lived and grew up on a farm and spent most of the summer holidays returning home only to eat and sleep. I grew up with a pretty similar upbringing. We would venture out on our bikes to the nature reserve, the allotment, park or the beach. I loved it and when I was small we were allowed in certian peoples houses and the back alley.
One of our reasons for returning to our native North East was the fact that we wanted to give our boys a taste of the freedom we grew up with. Now before anyone starts with the kiddie fidlers and all that. I am a firm believer that there were such people when I was growing up and I distinctly remember being flashed at the local park, however, I also believe that there are not more of them nowadays, just that we are more aware of the dangers.