The summer holidays just creep in, don’t they? No sooner are you measuring the children for their new uniforms which they’ll grow out of in two months, you’re fretting over child care and how to keep everyone entertained for the summer.
NI4Kids has sought advice from the place where children are the most important people in the world; IKEA. Here, we have some top creative tips from Agnieszka Lachowicz, Sales Leader for Children’s Products at IKEA UK & Ireland, to keep the little munchkins out of trouble this summer, and out from under your feet!
Build a fort
When you’re little, there’s nothing better than making a small part of the garden or house your own, and all you need is a little bit of imagination – and some textiles. Using blankets and lengths of material you can create a pretty decent foundation, then fill it up with cushions, books, games, art supplies and even install its own NYBAKAD kitchen (£25) to provide endless fun throughout the long summer days.
If it’s a nice day, build a fort in the garden using the HEMMAHOS tent (£25); a nifty caravan style tent that will make them feel like they’re on a summer holiday on the coast. This tent can also be moved around anywhere, so even if it’s pouring, it will have a home in the playroom.
Make believe play
Turn your little monkeys into actual jungle animals with some face paint, or even just some towels from IKEA. The DJUNGELSKOG range is a series of books, textiles, card games and soft toys inspired by the jungle that will bring out the wild side in your little ones! The KURA Bed Tent (£24) and LӦVA Canopy (£8) will bring the whole scene to life, keeping jungle adventurers entertained.
The URSKOG collection brings safari life into the home with tiger print textiles and palm leaf curtains and rugs to make summer life a little wilder. This collection is also made sustainably, using dyeing methods that require up to 40% less water than conventional methods; a collection that helps the animals while enjoying them at home too!
Arts and crafts are the perfect solution if the weather doesn’t play ball over the summer. All you need is a MÅLA Drawing Paper Roll and plenty of crayons, felt tip pens, stickers and glitter. Give the children a challenge to create a picture story throughout the day, and not only will this bring out their imagination, but keep them happily doodling until bed time.
Keep them comfortable and make a creativity corner where all their pens and paper can be stored away. Plus, the MAMMUT collection of children’s tables and chairs means they have their own space and will prefer to use that instead of the kitchen table. It means your space isn’t completely taken over by child’s play over the summer.
Let’s face it, the sun isn’t going to shine every day and there comes a point where quiet time is just the ticket. Make a movie day super exciting by rearranging the room so you can pile lots of cushions and beanbags in front of the TV screen.
You could get crafty during the doodle days and make cinema tickets and popcorn boxes, or even use a blackboard to jot down all the must-see summer flicks and tick them off one rainy day at a time.
We all know you can’t watch a movie without some snacks, so stock up on some pic ‘n’ mix and popcorn and invite the family in for an exclusive summer screening.
If you’re lucky enough to have a good outdoor space and a projector, grab a crisp white cotton sheet and hang it outside for an authentic “drive-in” movie experience with solar lights twinkling in the hedges and outdoor furniture arranged for maximum comfort.
Ban the screens and create a day of brain stimulation and physical activities from running races to Pictionary.
It couldn’t be simpler to turn the lawn in to a running track for sprints, egg and spoon, sack races and the three-legged race! Some plastic plates and bowls easily replace expensive cones, then all you need is some ribbon for the finish line. Keep an eye on scores using the MÅLA Easel, which has both a white and black board.
When the weather isn’t on your side, bring the games inside and encourage creativity with the LATTJO range, made up of musical instruments, an indoor darts game, dominos and stacking blocks. There’s even some beautiful story cards which encourage both adults and children to create their own stories from whichever card they choose.
To view all products and more, visit www.ikea.co.uk and for more information about summer activities and offers at IKEA Belfast, visit www.ikea.co.uk/belfast.