The holidays are upon us! We’ve come up with a fail-safe list of activities to keep your little ones active
and absorbed once the egg hunts are over.

by Sarah ▪ 06 Apr, 2021

1. Outdoor fun

There’s no excuse now the sun is making more sustained appearances: it’s time to pull on your wellies and get some fresh air. There are numerous health and developmental benefits to getting out and about for children – and most of them apply to us adults, too! Sunshine is the best way for our bodies to keep up with Vitamin D, which helps kids’ bone development and boosts the immune system among other benefits. Sun exposure also stimulates production of feel-good chemical serotonin, which helps regulate our appetite and sleep rhythms.

Studies show that getting back to nature helps children with an array of vital skills for life, including concentration and self-discipline. Natural environments are also perfect for them to explore their physical abilities and find a connection with the world around them. Luckily, there’s no end of things you can do outside, whatever spaces are available to you.
Go for a walk in the woods, build a den, and search under logs for minibeasts. You could even take a bug bottle and guide to start them on a lifetime of ecological curiosity! If you have a stream nearby, take a net and an old tin, pull on wellies and waterproofs and scoop up some freshwater minibeasts to identify (just remember to put them back!).
For garden activities, why not try building an obstacle course and having races – or trying to beat their own time for a new PB? This is also a perfect time to plant seeds for summer – try nasturtions, sweet peas and sunflowers, or some tasty veggies! In the evening, pull on a hat and warm layers and gather around the BBQ or fire pit for an outdoor meal – complete with a hot chocolate and warming dessert (we recommend Sticky Toffee Pudding) for afters!

2. Camp out

There is something particularly exciting about snuggling up in a tent, even if it’s only in the back garden. It’s a great opportunity to get kids interested in the night sky, too – watching for (and wishing on!) shooting stars, or using an app to identify planets and constellations (you could also spark an interest in mythology with some of the star names!).
If Max Woosey can sleep in a tent for a whole year to raise money, we’re sure you can brave it for one night! But even if it’s a bit too nippy out for you, or the weather doesn’t play ball, you can set up a pop-up tent in the living room so your kids can experience the novelty of making like a caterpillar in a sleeping bag and spending a night by torchlight. There are some very reasonable pop-ups available and they have multiple uses – on the beach to provide shelter or a changing area come summer, or just filled with cushions to make a cosy reading nook.

3. Art for all ages

Even if you aren’t confident with crafting, that’s no reason to avoid crafting with your kids. For a start, according to Dr Richard Rende, when parents and young children engage in creative activities together, it makes for a unique bonding experience and is likely to create lifelong memories.

Not only that, but there are some incredibly easy, fun and impressive crafts that almost anyone could stuck into. Heidi Kundin has a wonderful array of ideas, from Tin Can Windsocks and homemade microwave puffy paints to more traditional past-times such as bubble painting, which I remember enjoying in my own childhood! Find more ideas from Heidi here – you’ll feel like a superhero crafty parent in no time!

4. Online clubs and courses

If you have to work during the holidays, or the weather is against you, there are a plethora of fun online clubs and courses, introducing kids to everything from the rudiments of chess to making paper puppets.

5. A bit of drama

Another online option is the wealth of online theatre that has been made available. You surely can’t go wrong with this stage version of Frozen.

Alternatively, why not stage your own show? This is a wonderful creative activity which can be adapted for all ages, from a simple toddler ‘talent show’ to a full-on production. Older children may want to write their own play, but re-enacting a favourite story is equally fun. Artistic kids can make posters and tickets, and parents can either be an appreciative audience, or join right in.
You could even pop some popcorn together first, or make your own yoghurt lollies and eat them in the interval. For a quick sweet treat, try Gourmade’s delicious Salted Caramel Roulade.

6. Board games

A wonderful bonding activity for all ages, board games are a great evening activity for all the family. Nowadays there are some fantastic quirky games and puzzles with appeal for kids and adults alike.

For tiny ones, you can’t beat games from Orchard Toys, which combine bright colours and easy-to-handle pieces with education. Try Smelly Wellies or the iconic Shopping List game.
Whirligig Toys, which also offer fabulous construction toys, crafting materials and books, offer a fantastic range of games and puzzles. Try Cat Bingo for a family game, or Three Little Pigs for a fabulous logic puzzle for little ones based on the classic fairy tale.
Two other favourites are Rhino Hero, a superhero themed Jenga-like game using folded card, and Ticket to Ride – an easy-to-follow train race with the added bonus of inculcating some geographical knowledge!

7. Big day out

Why not make a day of it and take your family out for an adventure? Pack a picnic (don’t forget a Gourmade roulade for pud!) and head off into the blue.

From Monday 13 April some attractions, including theme parks and zoos, will be opening their doors, but these can prove expensive. But you could easily incorporate some fun into a normal walk, even if it’s just to town. Scavenger hunts are a brilliant activity and easily adapted for age. Some ideas include looking for items of different colours, signs of spring, something for each of the five senses, or items of local historical interest.

8. Set a challenge

Whatever their age, kids and adults alike thrill to a challenge – or competition! Why not see if your kids can master a new skill? This may be something that takes repetition and practice, like hula hooping or a handstand, or something you or another family member can pass on, such as knitting or making friendship bracelets.

Other challenges might be to raise money for charity, possibly by undertaking chores or a sporting activity (such as running or walking a certain distance over time), planting their own patch of garden, cooking a meal with you, or undertaking a science experiment.

9. Volunteer

It’s always good to encourage kids to give back – and to model it ourselves. Scour your local residents’ noticeboards and Facebook groups for opportunities like wildflower or planting, beach clean-ups or litter picking.

Happy Holidays from Gourmade

Whatever you choose to do, we at Gourmade wish you a relaxing and joyful Easter break. We’re offering 10% off all sides and desserts – think of them as extra EASTERTREATS (just use this code at checkout!) once the eggs run out. Happy holidays!