The summer holidays can be long and draining, physically, emotionally and financially! I like to have a list of free events that I can take the children too marked up on the calender. There is also a plethora of free events organised by large brands/business you just need to know where to look.
For Megan's 7th Birthday at the beginning of the holidays we bought her a bike. Now some might say we were crazy! For her 3rd birthday Nanny & Granddad bought her a bike, which she sat on proudly realised it took effort to move and then didn't look at it again for a year. She was nearly 5 before she could ride with stabilisers and every time we took them off she was less interested than before. Then of course Megan grew and the bike was no longer suitable. However Charlie on the other hand is a bike fanatic and he's got a lovely big bike with gears which he rides to Moors Valley with Daddy Moo all the time and Megan was starting to feel a little left out. On her birthday it was barely 9 before she was dressed and raring to go to the park and learn to ride her bike. Would you believe 10 minutes it took! And she was off like a pro! Blimming kids!
I'd decided to book M&M on the Halfords Kids Bike Club to learn about bike maintenance as this is always something I leave up to Daddy Moo. But learning to fix a puncture or put your chain back on are vital skills if you want to spend the summer riding your bikes! Again the weather was awful and we were all glad of an activity that was indoors and informative.
The staff were great with the children. As it was a small group they all got to have a go using the tools to remove brakes, clean them etc. …. All the children were given a inner tube and shown how to repair a puncture. Charlie loved the session as he has no patience when it comes to waiting! He also loved that he was supplied his own bike spanners and Allen keys to take home! Megan loved learning to fix a puncture and can't wait till she has one for real so she can show Daddy Moo her new skills!
This course again is FREE and the children received an awesome goody bag at the end too! If they have a bike it's really worth booking your child on one!
The programme is aimed at 7–14 year olds who can swim a minimum of 25 metres. Each session consists of a 10-minute talk with the lifeguards, followed by 30 minutes of in-water tuition from the swimming instructors. It runs in 6 UK locations in July and August further details are available online.
I booked Charlie on one session, had I known they actively encouraged them to do more I'd have put him on two or three, giving him a chance to experience the sea in different conditions.
We arrived and well the weather was shall we say British!? On and off fine rain, I also had the girls with me! So plans of sitting on the beach building sandcastles then enjoying some chips after were quickly diminished!
RNLI team supplied wet suits and tops. This was almost your first test, could you get yourself in the wetsuit! It's pretty tricky! They went off to the sea front and did some exercises on the beach to warm up. They learnt specific skills and practised them before getting into the water. I really felt for them! It was cold, raining, the water was choppy and the visibility poor. BUT the children (like children do!) just got on with it and had an awesome time! When they finally made their way back up to get changed everyone was full of excitement. Charlie loved it his only problem was he was smiling so much he kept ending up with a mouth full of sea water! Charlie received a goody bag too with a swimming badge, certificate and a t shirt, which he was thoroughly proud of and is now homed in his swimming folder.
The girls entertained themselves jumping off the boulders on Boscombe Beach! Once we got home we had a lovely hot bath, pj's on, snuggled on the sofa with a DVD and a bowl of oven chips!
* Although you will have to wait for the next round of sessions, it's worth registering your interest so that they email you when the booking is live.*
Did you try out any of the large brands/businesses free summer events? I know Tesco did a cooking one too in some of their larger stores?