How To Keep Your Child Entertained This Summer
15 February, 2022
How To Keep Your Child Entertained This Summer
Whether it’s the school holidays, the weekend or even a free afternoon after school, there’s no time like the present to try a fun new activity with your child. Experiencing new activities helps your child with everything from problem solving to confidence, and even mindfulness – so much so, it’s what our play-based and active early learning philosophies are centred on. Here are a few summer activities to try.
Who doesn’t love a camping trip? From hanging out around a campfire to sleeping under the stars, it’s one of the best family activities we can think of. Here in South East Queensland, we are blessed with countless amazing camping spots to choose from. Head to the Sunshine Coast and you’ve got a coastline littered with beachside camping spots, as well as beautiful hinterland to explore. On the Gold Coast, it’s the same. For a real country camping adventure, drive west toward Toowoomba and stop at any one of the amazing spots along the way. Across the border, northern New South Wales is another great destination.
In terms of cost, one night of camping can range anywhere from $0 to $50 – but it’s hard to put a price on those family memories. While you’re there, you’ll certainly be treated to beautiful hikes, great swimming spots and maybe even a few charming local businesses to visit. And, if staying home is on the agenda this weekend, consider pitching your tent outside or building a cosy cubby indoors for a different kind of camping trip.
Picnic in the Park
Why eat lunch at home, inside, when you can put your meal on wheels and hit the park? There’s no doubt a great park in your local neighbourhood, but if you’re looking to explore a little bit further, some of the best in South East Queensland include:
- Cascade Gardens, Broadbeach: Hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist strip at Broadbeach, Cascade Gardens is a sunny spot providing tranquil relief for local families. It’s equipped with picnic tables, BBQs and a playground.
- Kalinga Park, Wooloowin: From the babbling Kedron Brook that flows through the park to the awesome bike track, sandpit, playground equipment, forts, nets and ladders, this park has it all – even a fully-fenced dog area.
- Robert Neumann Park, Currumbin Valley: A beautiful green space with a playground, picnic space and duck pond. The playground has two mega slides, a toddler slide, climbing opportunities and swings, keeping children of all ages happy!
The only cost for your family day out will be the food you choose to bring along (raid the pantry and it’s free!) and the petrol required to get there. Picnics are the ultimate activity for summer fun.
Learn a New Game
How long has it been since you added a new game to your family rotation? If it’s been a while, you might not know how many fun ones there are to choose from! In the backyard, games like Finska and Kubb provide endless fun and a bit of strategy – or you could take old school favourites like chess, Jenga and even Yahtzee to the next level with giant versions designed for outdoor play. Outdoor games are some of the best summer activities for kids!
Inside, one of the most popular tabletop games, Monopoly, has been given a fun twist in the form of Monopoly Deal. There are also some new games on the block like ‘Beat That!’, ‘Taco! Cat! Goat! Cheese! Pizza!’ and ‘Blah, Blah, Blah’. The best part is, you can pick up a new game for anywhere from $10 to $150.
Or why not encourage your children to make their own game? It could be imaginative, a board game or something outside – the world is their oyster. Inspire them by teaching them some of the games you played as a child!
Go on an Adventure
If you’re looking for cheap activities for kids, there’s nothing quite like a family adventure – whether it’s hiking, biking or a trip to the beach.
For hikers, you’re spoilt for choice here in South East Queensland. There are so many great (and free) treks in Springbrook National Park, Lamington Park and in the Glasshouse Mountains. Closer to the city, Brisbane’s Mt Coot-tha and the Gold Coast’s Burleigh Heads National Park are other great options. Just fill up a backpack with water, snacks and sun protection and hit the trails.
Alternatively, why not dust off their bikes and go for a family ride? On the Gold Coast, the Gold Coast Oceanway allows you to coast almost continuously from The Spit to Coolangatta, with plenty of places to stop for a dip and a snack along the way. In Brisbane, there are loads of bike tracks along the river as well as mountain biking tracks in suburbs like Chapel Hill and Mount Cotton.
Finally, if there’s one thing we’re blessed with in our corner of the world, it’s beautiful beaches. The Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast are two obvious choices, but did you know there are plenty of pretty beaches in Brisbane, too? Head out to eastern suburbs like Wynnum and Manly, or Sandgate and Redcliffe further north.
All you’ll need to pay for these adventures is the cost of petrol and food. Easy.
Go to the Cinemas
School holidays are made for going to the cinemas, don’t you think? There are always great, family-friendly flicks to see on the big screen – and the idea of spending a few hours quiet in an air-conditioned room (with comfy seats, mind you!) is parental bliss.
The only downside? The cinemas can be expensive. It’s hard to get around paying full price for the tickets (unless you sign up to your favourite cinema’s members’ club) but it’s easier to save money in the snack department by bringing your own.
Of course, you can also have your own cinema night at home for the cost of your monthly streaming service. At-home movie marathons are also one of the best summer activities for toddlers – they can’t get into (as) much trouble at home and can play happily while the rest of the family enjoys the movie.
Bake a new Recipe
Finally, why not get into the kitchen with the kids this weekend? You could beat the heat and make a summer favourite like home-made ice cream, spiders or fresh juice. Alternatively, satisfy your sweet tooth by baking a delicious cake, some brownies or even cupcakes – perhaps your child could bring them to school?
Does your family sit down to dinner, each and every night? If not, you might want to start – there are plenty of proven benefits to eating dinner as a family. Find out more here!