9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids

The sun is high in the sky, and you're sitting on your favourite garden chair as the kids run around the garden. Happy shrieks fill the air as they splash in the paddling pool and chase each other around. Toys lay on the ground amongst the grass, but you don't care. The smile on your face says it all - this is how you enjoy summer days with the kids.

While the summer school holidays can be tough, and having the kids home (and knowing what to do with them) is draining, there are simple things you can do to make the most of the sunny days at home and enjoy the time with your kids.



9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Take a walk with your kids!



Enjoy summer days with the kids by not sleeping in


The first day of the holidays it can be tempting to switch off that alarm clock, sleep in (if the kids allow it), and enjoy not having to do the school run. But if you get up at the usual time, sort out the kids' breakfast, and get ready for the day, you'll find you're more energised and happy to do something during the day.

By getting up early you're getting the usual stress and strain out of the way early - and you may even find you'll feel better for it.

The Peaceful Mom has some great tips on how to enjoy the summer too - quick and simple, which is great for the summer.



Invite friends over to enjoy summer days with the kids together


One great way to enjoy the summer days with your kids is to get together with friends. Invite them over, maybe even sort out a picnic for the garden and you can all enjoy the sunshine. When the kids are in the garden playing nicely together you'll get to enjoy a chat with a friend. It's a great opportunity for you both to get that adult conversation you crave, while the kids have fun outdoors.

Let the kids go crazy, get out as many toys as they like, and enjoy the sun.





Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.

George R.R. Martin





Let the music play during the summer days


When the sun is out and the kids are in the garden just stop and think for a moment - is there anything that could make this moment better? Probably not... 

Except maybe blasting some 80s tunes from your iPod (or ghetto blaster!) and getting the kids involved in a dance-off Run DMC style!






Playing music while the kids play in the garden, or getting them involved in that dance-off, is a great way to enjoy the summer days. The kids will probably recognise some of the music, because most of it is included in their favourite movies, and they'll enjoy watching you smile and have a good time. Nothing can make your kids' day like seeing you have a good time.



Head to the local water park / swimming baths


You don't have to spend every summer day at home, so why not take one of those sunny days and head out with the kids. Pack up their favourite swimwear, a few towels, and maybe even a picnic and make your way to your local park that has a pool - or perhaps the swimming baths. The kids will have fun playing in the water and you can sit by the side and watch them, or maybe even get in on the water fun too! Why not forget about being the "mum" and enjoy the summer days with your kids by splashing in the water with them!



Picnic, history, and fun


First of all scout out the best location - that could be the best park equipped with play areas for the kids. Or it could be an English Heritage Castle with a huge field and actors to make the day seem more historic. Then pack a picnic, filled with yummy sandwiches, awesome cakes, and snacks and drinks to keep the kids happy. Pack up the car (not forgetting the outdoor fun toys) and head out to your chosen destination to spend a day of family filled fun. 



9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Visit a castle and have fun with history!



Picnics are great, you can sit and read or play with your kids and you all enjoy the sunshine (while it's there!). 



Enjoy summer days with your kids on a bike ride


When the sun is out and the wind is low but cooling it's the perfect weather for a bike ride with your kids. My youngest, LP, loves bike rides with his dad - they ride for hours and talk the whole way, but the best thing is that they're getting outdoors and enjoying the summer while LP is still young. He loves being able to race his dad, he loves being able challenge his dad, but he also loves that they can connect with each other while riding along.



9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Riding bikes is fun!



Bike rides are a great way of getting a little exercise, taking in the fresh air on a gorgeous summer's day, and best of all - connecting with your kids.



Camp in the garden and enjoy summer days with your kids


Pitch a tent, build a fort, or just grab a large stick and a blanket and make yourself (and your kids) a tent. Make sure you have blankets, pillows, and plenty of entertainment - but get out into the garden and enjoy those summer days with your kids.

We have a huge tent, but I don't really enjoy camping. That's why camping in the garden is great - I don't have to do the whole sleeping outdoors with no amenities thing and the kids can enjoy time in the tent playing make-believe. The best bit is that I can nip into the house, make them a wonderful snack and surprise them with it - to make their make-believe fun even better.



Stargaze in the garden at the end of those summer days


After letting the kids spend the day camping in the garden why not get in on the fun. As the sun goes down and the stars come out make your way into the garden with the kids and enjoy the summer nights too - because it's not just the days that are great. You could even educate yourself on the finer points of star spotting - or rather constellation spotting!





Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light, And she sits on a sapphire throne.

Bryan Procter





If you struggle a bit when it comes to identifying Orion's Belt or the Big Dipper why not check out the many apps in the App Store. They can help you spot the right stars and in turn you can amaze your kids at your wondrous knowledge.



Enjoy summer days with your kids by learning in the garden




9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | Watch bees in your garden - and learn!
Watching the bees can be fascinating. 



From creepy crawlies to chirpy birds there's loads you can learn from the comfort of your picnic blanket. Get the kids out in the garden spotting bugs to start with - have your phone on hand to teach about the bugs you see. Watch the bugs, let the kids see how they move and maybe even what they eat. Do the same with birds. It's a great opportunity to pay attention to nature and also spend some proper time with your kids, enjoying the summer days. This and many more are ways you can enjoy the summer days for free - why not check out Lauren Greutman's list of 31 ways to enjoy the summer for free.



9 Simple Ways To Enjoy Summer Days With Your Kids | It's so easy - just get out in the garden!



The summer doesn't have to be stressful... or rather it doesn't have to be stressful all the time. There are going to be bad days, but with a little planning and taking the time to see that summer is a wonderful thing you can really enjoy summer days with your kids.



How do you enjoy summer days with your kids?




Don't forget to take time for yourself this summer too - grab the summer self-care bucket list to see how you can spend time on YOU.

Kids' activities you can both enjoy

As busy parents we're always looking for activities for the kids to do, but sometimes we want kids' activities we can both enjoy. We want to join in the fun and spend time with our kids, but we don't want to be bored with the same old kids' activities. With the Easter holidays upon us I've been thinking about all the ways my kids and I could spend time together doing fun activities, here's what I came up with.



Enjoy Outdoor games together


This time of year, when the rain holds off and maybe the sun makes an appearance, it's good to get outdoors. There are loads of kids' activities you can do outdoors, particularly if your kids enjoy being outside.

Kids' Activities You Can Both Enjoy | Play balancing games in your garden and you'll both have fun!
You can even play balancing games!



Badminton


LP loves playing badminton, and because I used to play when I was in school I enjoy it too. This past weekend LP and I got out in the garden and played a few rounds of badminton. We have a little set that we can put up in a few minutes and get to playing quickly. Playing badminton with LP made me think about the summer, and how lovely it would be to go for a picnic and take the badminton set with us so we can all have a go - It's on my list for summer kids' activities now! Badminton is a brilliant outdoor kids' activity that will keep them running around and maybe even give you a little workout too.



Football


With a boy who is into his sports obviously football features on his favourites list. I don't usually play with him, he has a net that he uses and can entertain himself for a while. But sometimes it's nice to get out and kick a football around, even if you don't like football. The thing with playing football is it gives you a workout as well as wearing out your kids - win win! 





At the end of the day, if I can say I had fun, it was a good day.

Simone Biles




Swing ball


We bought a swing ball set a few years ago and it's a good activity for LP to do outside. He can spend ages hitting the ball around and he never loses the ball because it's attached to the pole by elastic. It's good to watch him playing, enjoying being outside, but sometimes it's better to get involved myself. LP always screeches with joy when I head outside and tell him we'll play swing ball. 

Again swing ball is a good way for you both to get exercise, and even if you're not looking forward to it, you'll find that after a while it's a kids' activity you'll both enjoy!



Get your kids drawing


I LOVE drawing, it's a peaceful activity that I can put all my effort into. It is also something that LP likes to do when he gets encouragement and advice. When we spend time together drawing LP listens to my advice on how to make his drawings look good as well as watching what I do and copying. We've created monsters together, he's helped me make my other drawings better, and he's a budding artist. 

Kids' Activities You Can Both Enjoy | Draw together, even if you can't draw, show your kids you'll try something new.
Drawing together is a great way to connect, even if you can't draw!


There are some brilliant books you can buy that teach you how to draw using simple shapes, and it's a great way to teach your kids about drawing. Spending time together doing simple kids' activities will show your kids you're not afraid to do the things they love too!



You can both enjoy gardening


Getting the kids outdoors and messing around in the garden is another good teaching opportunity. Particularly if you have younger kids. I don't spend a lot of time in the garden, I don't know much about gardening, but getting the kids outside and learning about trees and flowers is something I used to do when they were younger. 

Kids' Activities You Can Both Enjoy | Teach them about the garden, the animals, and even all the bugs!
Teach your children about the wildlife that lives in your garden.


Once outside you could get the kids to plant trees, flowers, and more, and when the plants grow you can point to them and remind them it's something they planted. We have Daffodils around the garden that the kids planted when they were small. They return every year and every year I remind them that they spent time with their day planting the flowers. It's lovely to hear them talking about it and they even remember doing it - which is so cool!

Why not pop to a supermarket or DIY store and pick up some flowers bulbs, then get the kids outside and you can enjoy planting them together.



Crafts is a great kids' activity you can both enjoy


If you're any good at crafts, or even if you're not, you can grab some colourful paper and bits and pieces and get crafting. As it's Easter there are lots of fun kids' activities you can find on Pinterest that are fairly simple to try out. I love the Easter themed activities, there's bunnies as far as the eye can see and as long as you've got a few bits I have no doubt you'll be able to come up with something. 

I am not good at crafts, but that doesn't stop me enjoying these kids' activities with my youngest. In fact, all the ideas are helping with his school project where he has to create a miniature garden!



Lego


Who doesn't love Lego? Okay, so it's pretty annoying when you stand on it when it's been left on the carpet but when you're working together to build something amazing isn't it satisfying?

Kids' Activities You Can Both Enjoy | Whether it's a set, or regular Lego, build together!
LP building his Lego TIE Striker.


The Hubby and I have lots of sets of Lego, including the Taj Mahal and The Disney Castle, but we also have tubs of Lego that aren't part of any sets. The boys have collected them over the years and during the school holidays we often get out the Lego so they can create something. 

Sitting down with your kids and creating something unusual together is fun and you'll laugh as you come up with new and weird machines or houses. Lego is a kids' activity everyone will love, which is why it's on my list of activities you can both enjoy.



Build a fort together


On the theme of building something together, forts are another great way to connect. You have to work together to move the furniture to the right spot or to build the set in the right way. And it's not just the building you can both enjoy, the fun stuff you do inside the fort is good too!





'Have fun' is my message. Be silly. You're allowed to be silly. There's nothing wrong with it.



Jimmy Fallon





Spend 10-20 minutes building a fort, but you can spend all day enjoying time inside the fort with your kids. We've put LP's TV in his fort once or twice, and you can even take other kids' activities into the fort, like Lego or drawing. 

Forts are great, they let your kids imagination free and when you get involved too they can bring you into their fantasies. 

Go have fun together!

Kids' Activities You Can Both Enjoy |  Spend time with your kids and enjoy the activities they enjoy too!


Sometimes as adults we end up thinking we couldn't possibly enjoy kids' activities but when we get our kids involved and really get into it there are loads of kids' activities you can both enjoy. You just have to be in the moment with them.



What kids' activities do you enjoy?




Why not enjoy some colouring in with your kids with this Captured! colouring page - or alternatively grab a hot coffee while your kids colour in!

Post Comment Love 26th - 28th July

It's time for Post Comment Love - our little linky hosted by myself and Stephanie. We welcome all bloggers to share their posts with others and read what interests them. The linky opens every Friday and is open throughout the weekend. Will you be joining us?

Well that's it folks, it's the first #pocolo of the summer break and I've got the kids at home with me. For the first few days of the holidays we don't have anything planned. I figured we'd just wing it to start with and then plan stuff for the rest of the time. I hope it works out!

We're slowly settling into a new routine with Hubby working. His schedule has been a bit erratic lately but we're hoping it will settle down and by the time the kids are back at school we'll all be used to the new routine.

It's kind of weird for me at home - or at least it will be in September - so I'm planning trips out to the coffee shop or nip into Nottingham just to escape the house! If you happen to be in the area let me know - I'm sure I'd be happy to meet you and have a coffee!

How has the summer treated you so far? Are you looking forward to enjoying time with the kids now they're off school or are you already wishing for September?



Blogger Showcase 




Again we have no blogger to showcase this week - why not answer our questions and you could be featured next week!

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Pocolo


Each week you'll be able to link up from either of our sites and between us Stephanie and I will comment on every post linked.

The rules; Link up your best post written in the last week and we'd like you to comment on at least two other linked posts, as well as the hosts. 

Help us spread the #PoCoLo word on Twitter and include the badge on your post.

Please do pop over and say hi to this week's Blogger Showcase. It's always nice to get a comment or two. 

If you'd like to be featured in our Blogger Showcase please do check out the questions and email your answers to us at postcommentlove@gmail.com.

Thank you for popping by.


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Fascinating English Heritage Castles to visit in the East Midlands

It's the summer holidays and you're sitting on your favourite picnic blanket, the sun is shining and you're watching your kids run around the field in front of a castle ruin. You've spent the morning learning history related to the castle - which even the kids found interesting - and you're about to enjoy the lovely packed lunch you brought with you. It's been a brilliant morning spent with your family exploring the fascinating English Heritage Castle you visited - and the best bit? It was only a short drive from your home in the East Midlands.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Venture inside the castles and explore!
Explore inside the castles too!



Like the sound of that? It could be you by visiting one of the fascinating English Heritage Castles in the East Midlands - there are so many of them and I'm almost certain there's one on your doorstep! Read on to find out where your nearest castle is.



English Heritage Castles in Derbyshire




Bolsover Castle


Okay, so I started with my favourite - Bolsover Castle. In all of the English Heritage Castles we've visited in the East Midlands Bolsover Castle is my favourite because it's where I married the love of my life. I remember planning our wedding and wondering where on earth we would get married - and then I found out you could get married in a castle - I mean who wouldn't want to get married in a castle? It's out of a fairytale isn't it? So yes, Bolsover Castle is my favourite place to visit and it will always hold that special place in my heart.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | I married my love in Bolsover Castle.



But it's not on the list because of its personal meaning to me, it's actually a fascinating castle. You can explore the ruin and the intact part of the castle. You can walk along the wall, see paintings of past residents of the castle and even learn about the history of Bolsover and the surrounding area. There are some awesome views from the top of the castle too. Oh, and if you do visit pay special attention to the Star Chamber - I said my vows in there!



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | See fantastic sculptures around Bolsover Castle.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Explore the ruin of Bolsover Castle
The boys loved investigating the ruin at Bolsover.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Walk along the wall and see far into the distance.
There are amazing views to be had from the wall!



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Hubby and I said our vows in the Star Chamber at Bolsover Castle.
Hubby and I saying our vows.



Hardwick Old Hall


Hardwick Old Hall may not be listed as a castle but it may as well be. It has an interesting ruin to walk through which has stairs so you can even walk around and see the upstairs despite there being no floor in some places. 



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Hardwick Old Hall is a great place to spend the day.
Let your kids explore while you listen to the audio tour.



If you do visit Hardwick Old Hall though you really must listen to the audio tour - not only does it tell you about the Hall and its residents but it has some interesting facts too, like the reason behind the four poster bed which I'd always wondered about.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | You can see Hardwick Hall from the old hall too!
You can even see Hardwick Hall from the Old Hall - brilliant.



The last time we visited Hardwick Old Hall we had a blast, it was so much fun learning about the residents of the area and the kind of things they got up to. And I remember the kids saying they'd enjoyed it too, and given they were probably 5 and 11 at the time I think that's a win!



Peveril Castle


Situated in Castleton in Derbyshire Peveril Castle has some breathtaking views all around and there's an interesting Keep for you to explore. Again there are ruins to walk around too, and dotted around the place are plaques with information about what you're looking at. That's where you can learn about the history of Peveril Castle





A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.

Marcus Garvey





Peveril Castle is on of the earliest Norman fortresses and is even mentioned in the Doomsday survey!

It's been a few years since we last visited Peveril Castle but it was a great place to learn about English history and appreciate the things our ancestors did to keep the area safe. As it's mostly a ruin it's definitely one of the most fascinating English Heritage Castles in the East Midlands.



Sutton Scarsdale Hall


While not really a castle Sutton Scarsdale Hall is still an interesting English Heritage property to visit if you're enjoying the castles. As it's a ruin there's plenty to see and wonder about as well as explore. There's a lovely field in the area too so you'd be able to enjoy a lovely picnic while looking at the vast shell of the Georgian mansion. Just looking at the columns on the outside make me wonder about the people that once lived there. Have you ever visited?



English Heritage Castles in Nottinghamshire




Rufford Abbey


The most interesting thing about Rufford Abbey is that it has both ruins and a later built mansion. Situated in Rufford Country Park the ruins that date from 1170 were incorporated into a later built 17th century mansion. At Rufford Abbey you can learn about another one of Bess of Hardwick's husbands as well as enjoy walks or a picnic in the 150 acre country park.




Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Rufford Abbey has places for you to explore as well as a fantastic field to have a picnic.
A plan of the Abbey.



As we live fairly close Rufford Abbey is on our list to visit this summer - it's a great place to wander around as well as learn about the history. With the country park and plenty of grassy areas it's the perfect place to enjoy a summer picnic while the kids run around.






Mattersey Priory


While a small ruin you can still imagine what things might've been like for residents back in the 13th century refectory and kitchen. Despite there not being much left of the original building there are plans for you to check out showing how the building was set out and you can learn about the fire that ruined the church nearby as well as the history of the Gilbertine monasteries.



English Heritage Castles in Lincolnshire




Tattershall College


After the death of Lord Cromwell, its patron, the building of Tattershall College was completed in 1460 by William of Wainfleet, Bishop of Winchester. As you walk around the interior of the college you'll see Tudor arched doorways and note the red brickwork which makes the college one of the oldest brickwork buildings in England as it retains its original fabric.

I always find it interesting to walk around old buildings like this and imagine what life would've been like for its residents.



Bolingbroke Castle


The remains of a 13th century hexagon shaped castle, the birthplace of the future King Henry IV. Later besieged and taken by Lord Cromwell's parliamentarians. There's not much to see, apart from the ruins but I still think it's worth visiting as you can see the brickwork used to build the original Bolingbroke Castle.





History is merely a list of surprises. It can only prepare us to be surprised yet again.

Kurt Vonnegut





Lincoln Medieval Bishop's Palace


I always enjoy visiting Lincoln, what with the cathedral and the lovely streets and shops. If you ever visit Lincoln you really must visit Lincoln Medieval Bishop's Palace where you can see one of the once most important buildings in England.

The palace stands almost in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral and you can walk around the ruins led by a fantastic audio tour. And after walking around the Palace and learning about its history you can enjoy a picnic in the gardens nearby, they're a peaceful place to sit and reflect as well as enjoy a family picnic.



Gainsborough Old Hall


One of the biggest, and best-preserved medieval manor houses in England Gainsborough Old Hall is a must visit. See an enormous medieval kitchen with a huge fireplace and an ornate wooden ceiling in the great hall. You can check out the interactive floor plans and see lovely wall paintings while walking around the hall. Gainsborough Old Hall is such an interesting place to visit as it's not a ruin - it's a well preserved building with a roof! You can wander around and look at everything and learn about its history too. Win.



Thornton Abbey & Gatehouse


With a truly breathtaking gatehouse building to explore and a field to enjoy a family picnic Thornton Abbey & Gatehouse is a great place to visit. Learn about the history of one of Britain's richest Augustinian abbeys as it was one of the only places to survive the suppression of monastaries. A place you could snap some amazing photos and enjoy family time - a great day could be had by all.



English Heritage Castles in Leicestershire




Kirby Muxloe Castle




Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Kirby Muxloe Castle is a really interesting place.



An actual moated castle you can explore the remains and learn the history surrounding the fortified mansion. It was built for Lord Hastings and serves as a poignant memorial to his ambition and sudden death as he was seized and executed by Richard III.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Check out the tower at Kirby Muxloe.



You can explore the castle and enjoy a picnic in the grounds as well as take a stroll around the moat. Definitely one for your summer/school holidays list.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | A moat surrounds Kirby Muxloe Castle.



Ashby De La Zouch Castle



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Ashby De La Zouch Castle is an interesting place to check out.



One of my favourite places to visit in Leicestershire Ashby Castle is a great place for a family day out. With an audio tour where you can learn about its colourful history including the attacks during Civil War, and a tower where you can climb and see breathtaking views from the top, Ashby Castle is sure to be top of your list whenever you're looking for a family day out.  



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Morgan walking along the ruins of the castle.



I remember enjoying a sit down in the grounds of Ashby Castle as the boys ran around exploring the ruins nearby. I remember smiling as I watched them play and how I was enjoying a rest after exploring the tower. It really is a great day out.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Ashby Castle even has a field where the kids can play.



English Heritage Castles in Northants




Kirby Hall


Kirby Hall is one of England’s greatest Elizabethan and 17th-century houses, once owned by Sir Christopher Hatton. While partly roofless there are still rooms redecorated to 17th, and 18th century specifications for you to explore and enjoy. You can get a view of the gardens from inside as well as explore outside too. 



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Kirby Hall is a great place to explore.
Explore inside and out.



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Walk inside ruins at Kirby Hall.
And don't forget to explore the ruin too.



The gardens are beautifully kept and walking around is peaceful and enjoyable. Be sure to stop by and listen to the audio tour too!



Fascinating English Heritage Castles To Visit In The East Midlands | Venture inside castles, and explore the grounds, for a fun family day out!



When I was in school I thought history was boring, but when I visited some of these castles in the East Midlands I couldn't get enough of the historical information. Learning little snippets about people's lives back then or how they went about building the amazing castles was cool and I always look forward to going back. The best bit about it all though is that the kids enjoy listening to the audio tours too - they listen carefully to the history stories and pay attention to what they hear. And if you're planning on enjoying a picnic too they even have something to look forward to when they're finished. Visiting any of these English Heritage Castles in the East Midlands is sure to be a fantastic day out - whichever you choose.



Have you ever visited an English Heritage Castle?




Why not grab the Organised Mama Pack so you can get on top of your chores and plan a great day out for your family!